The 2004 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 2003–04 National Basketball Association season.
This Finals was contested between the Los Angeles Lakers of the Conference and the Detroit Pistons of the Eastern Conference; the Lakers held home court edge. The show was played under a best-of-seven format.
Though the Lakers, headed by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, were believed the favorites that were heavy, the Pistons conveniently won the series in five matches. This win marked the Pistons’ fifth win complete as its first title as the 1990-1991 NBA period; almost fifteen years as well as a franchise. The series featured the underdog Pistons, controlling a Lakers team composed of four future Hall of Famers.
Pistons’ owner William Davidson became the first owner in American sport history to win two championships in one calendar year; eight days earlier, the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League had won the Stanley Cup Finals in seven games over the Calgary Flames.
The Lakers had won three consecutive championships from 2000 to 2002, but lost to the eventual champions, the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Semifinals at 2003 to finish their series at three. The Spurs beat the Lakers.
In the 2003 offseason, alterations were made by the Lakers, with consequences that were initially. Needing to find a point guard and a power forward to shield against Tim Duncan and the Spurs, the Lakers signed veteran stars Gary Payton and Karl Malone for well below market value; they also expected to provide both veterans their first tournament ring. The Lakers were afterwards considered the favorites to win the NBA title.
Throughout the regular season, after beginning the year 18–3, the Lakers were afflicted by numerous traumas and stumbled to some 56–26 record to complete the season with the second seed in the Western Conference.
The Lakers breezed beyond their ancestral opponent, the Houston Rockets, headlining a matchup between Shaquille O’Neal and a young Yao Ming, defeating the squad 4-1 but then dropped the first two matches in their series against the Spurs prior to a dramatic comeback that saw them triumph 4–2.  Subsequently they confronted league MVP Kevin Garnett and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Lakers won the series 4–two to advance to the Finals.