— It’s the first time since 1998 that the finals will be played without LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan or Dwyane Wade.
— It’s the first time since 1983 that nobody in the NBA Finals has been, or will be, a teammate of Shaquille O’Neal. You read that correctly. Every title series from 1984 through 2020 featured at least one player who had been (or would eventually be) teammates with O’Neal, a list that includes names like Greg Kite, John Salley, Byron Scott, Steve Kerr, Leandro Barbosa, Danny Green and Matt Barnes (along with everyone he played with on the 1995 Orlando Magic, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004 Los Angeles Lakers teams, and the 2006 Miami Heat). Though there is one technicality at play here: Phoenix guard Chris Paul and O’Neal were All-Star Game teammates.
— Of the 12 referees working this series, three are in the NBA Finals for the first time. Courtney Kirkland, James Williams and Sean Wright are all set to make their finals debuts, though Wright was an alternate for the 2019 finals.