If appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated is some indication of national relevance, than it’s easy to understand why the Cleveland Cavaliers & Golden State Warriors are the most recent NBA teams to appear there, and also why it’s been a very long time since some other NBA teams have been featured on the cover.
It’s not necessarily a cover specifically about a team. Like in the last one about the Boston Celtics (2011), it’s simply a Celtics player (Rajon Rondo) on the cover during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
There are 31 covers here, not 30, because the Seattle Supersonics, a franchise that turned into the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008, gets a cover, back from 1996, the last time they made the NBA finals (losing to the Bulls and Jordan).
And it’s incredible how long it’s been since anyone really cared about the Milwaukee Bucks.
Golden State Warriors & Cleveland Cavaliers (June 1)
Oklahoma City Thunder (April 6)
Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls (February 23)
New Orleans Pelicans (December 8, 2014)
Los Angeles Lakers (August 25, 2014)
San Antonio Spurs (June 23, 2014)
Brooklyn Nets (October 28, 2013)
Miami Heat (June 1, 2013)
Memphis Grizzlies (May 20, 2013)
New York Knicks (February 27, 2012)
Los Angeles Clippers (December 5, 2011)
Dallas Mavericks (June 20, 2011)