The youngest players in NBA Finals history

Young players typically don’t get minutes in the playoffs, but sometimes they earn them, even on a stage as grand as the NBA Finals. Other times, young players get minutes in garbage time.

That was the case this year with Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moodyas both young Golden State Warriors players got playing time in the series against the Boston Celtics, making them the third- and fourth-youngest players in NBA Finals history.

The ranking is led by Darko Milicic and is mostly full of guys with minor roles in the Finals like Milicic, Kuminga and Moody (so far), but you also have some guys who had major roles, like Tony Parker in 2003, Tyler Herro in 2020 and, memorably, Kobe Bryant in 2000.

There’s even a Finals MVP on the list.

The legendary Magic Johnson won that accolade in 1980 after averaging 21.5 points, 11.2 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 2.7 steals in a six-game championship win for the Los Angeles Lakers, stats he put up… as a 20-year-old.


Check out the full rankings below.

(The ages listed are for their first game in the NBA Finals).

Manny Millan/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

2004 Final stats: 0.7 rpg, 1.3 mpg in three games
Pistons won 4-1 vs. LA Lakers

JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images

2000 Final stats: 3.5 ppg, 0.5 rpg in two games
Pacers lost 4-1 vs LA Lakers

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

2022 Final stats: 2.2 mpg in two games

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

2022 Final stats: 1.0 ppg, 3.6 mpg in two games

AP Photo

1977 Final stats: 7.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 0.8 apg, 18.7 mpg, 44.8 FG%
Sixers lost 4-2 vs. Trail Blazers

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2020 Final stats: 14.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.0 apg, 36.8 FG%, 36.7 3P%
Heat lost 4-2 vs. Lakers

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1980 Final stats: 21.5 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 8.7 apg, 46.2 FG%
Lakers won 4-2 vs. Sixers

JAMES NIELSEN/AFP via Getty Images

2003 Final stats: 14.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.2 apg, 38.6 FG%, 42.9 3P%
Spurs won 4-2 vs. Nets

1948 Final stats: 3.0ppg
Warriors lost 4-2 vs. Bullets

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

2007 Final stats: 10.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.5 apg, 43.9 FG%, 31.6 3P%
Cavaliers lost 4-0 vs Spurs

1947 Final stats: 10.0ppg
Stags lost 4-1 vs. Warriors

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

2018 Final stats: 2.0 ppg, 1.7 mpg in three games
Cavaliers lost 4-1 vs. Warriors

1950 Final stats: 12.5ppg
Lakers won 4-2 vs. Nationals

MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

2008 Final stats: 7.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.3 apg, 48.4 FG%, 52.9 3P%
Lakers lost 4-2 vs. Celtics

MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

2007 Final stats: 1 second played
Cavaliers lost 4-0 vs Spurs

AP Photo/Harry Harris

1977 Final stats: 10.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 5.0 apg, 42.9 FG%
Trail Blazers won 4-2 vs. Sixers

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2017 Final stats: 2.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.4 apg, 6.8 mpg, 27.3 FG%
Warriors won 4-1 vs. Cavaliers

Larry W. Smith-Pool/Getty Images

2009 Final stats: 6.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 0.6 apg, 36.4 FG%
Lakers won 4-1 vs. Magic

JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images

2000 Final stats: 15.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.2 apg, 36.7 FG%, 20.0 3P%
Lakers won 4-2 vs. Pacers

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2013 Final stats: 1.8 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 1.0 apg, 7.1 mpg, 44.4 FG%
Spurs lost 4-3 vs Heat

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1976 Final stats: 23.0 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 4.7 apg, 48.8 FG%
Suns lost 4-2 vs. Celtics

AP Photo

1950 Final stats: 17.3ppg
Nationals lost 4-2 vs. Lakers


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