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May 18, 2003

When the Lakers lost their Western Conference semifinal series to San Antonio, it marked the 25th time over the last 34 years that a defending NBA champion failed to repeat. How NBA champions have fared the season after winning the title since 1970:

*--* Season What Happened 2002-03 LAKERS lost to San Antonio, 4-2, in conference semifinals 2001-02 LAKERS defended title, defeating New Jersey, 4-0 2000-01 LAKERS defended title, defeating Philadelphia, 4-1 '99-2000 San Antonio lost to Phoenix, 3-1, in first round 1998-99 Chicago did not make playoffs 1997-98 Chicago defended title, defeating Utah, 4-2 1996-97 Chicago defended title, defeating Utah, 4-2 1995-96 Houston lost to Seattle, 4-0, in conference semifinals 1994-95 Houston defended title, defeated Orlando, 4-0 1993-94 Chicago lost to New York, 4-3, in conference semifinals 1992-93 Chicago defended title, defeated Phoenix, 4-2 1991-92 Chicago defended title, defeating Portland, 4-2 1990-91 Detroit lost to Chicago, 4-0, in conference finals 1989-90 Detroit defended title, defeating Portland, 4-1 1988-89 LAKERS lost to Detroit, 4-0, in league championship 1987-88 LAKERS defended title, defeating Detroit, 4-3 1986-87 Boston lost to LAKERS, 4-2, in Finals 1985-86 LAKERS lost to Houston, 4-1, in conference finals 1984-85 Boston lost to LAKERS, 4-2, in Finals 1983-84 Philadelphia lost to New Jersey, 3-1, in first round 1982-83 LAKERS lost to Philadelphia, 4-0, in Finals 1981-82 Boston lost to Philadelphia, 4-3, in conference finals 1980-81 LAKERS lost to Houston, 2-1, in first round 1979-80 Seattle lost to LAKERS, 4-1, in conference finals 1978-79 Baltimore lost to Seattle, 4-1, in Finals 1977-78 Portland lost to Seattle, 4-2, in conference semifinals 1976-77 Boston lost to Philadelphia, 4-3, in conference semifinals 1975-76 San Francisco lost to Phoenix , 4-3, in conference finals 1974-75 Boston lost to Washington, 4-2, in conference finals 1973-74 New York lost to Boston, in conference finals 1972-73 LAKERS lost to New York, 4-1, in Finals 1971-72 Milwaukee lost to LAKERS, 4-2, in conference finals 1970-71 New York lost to Baltimore, 4-3, in conference finals 1969-70 Boston did not make playoffs

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