The Miami Heat have reached the NBA Finals for the seventh time, while the Florida Panthers have reached the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in franchise history.
Together, they could become the first NBA and NHL teams from the same market to win championships in the same season.
Basketball and hockey teams from five areas around the country have reached the championship round together eight times previously. It has resulted in three total NBA titles by two basketball teams, Stanley Cup championships for two hockey teams and three years where both lost in the finals.
But never has a market enjoyed an NBA and NHL title together.
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The Florida Panthers swept the Carolina Hurricanes, and they will face the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final starting Saturday.
Here’s a breakdown of NBA and NHL teams from the same metro area that nearly won championships in the same year:
NBA team wins, but NHL team loses in final
NHL team wins, but NBA team loses in final
No titles for same market in finals
1958: In a repeat of the 1957 matchup, the Celtics lost to the Hawks, and the Bruins lost to the Canadiens.
1972: The New York Knicks (NBA) and New York Nets (ABA) both lost in the finals, and the Rangers lost to the Bruins.
Heat, Panthers make it to finals at No. 8 seeds
The Heat and Panthers both climbed from the eighth and final seeds in the Eastern Conference to reach their respective finals.
The Heat ousted the No. 1 seed Bucks, No. 5 seed Knicks and No. 2 seed Celtics to reach the NBA Finals. The Panthers beat the No. 1 seed Bruins, the No. 2 seed Toronto Maple Leafs and the No. 4 seed Carolina Hurricanes to reach the Stanley Cup Final.
And the synergy has permeated throughout South Florida.
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 25, 2023
“I think back to like two or three months ago. Nobody in the whole world thought we would be in this position right now, let alone even make the playoffs,” Tkachuk said during an interview on TNT’s NBA pregame show with Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal.
“The fact that I'm sitting here with you guys and getting ready to play in the Stanley Cup Final, at my first-ever Heat game here with them having a chance to make the (NBA) Finals? It's storybook for South Florida.”
— NHLonTNT (@NHL_On_TNT) May 28, 2023
Even second-year Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel has taken notice, attending home games for both teams during their playoff runs.
“How cool is that for South Florida sports just in general,” McDaniel said. “The Heat and the Panthers doing a lot of things that people said they couldn’t do, which I very much appreciate and we are definitely taking note.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Miami Heat, Florida Panthers could make sports history in NHL, NBA