Another season is behind us and what a historic one it’s been! Lebron James and the Cavs have ended a 52 year drought to bring a championship to Cleveland by being the first team EVER to be down 3-1 and come back. You don’t have to be a Cavs fan to understand how monumental that is, but there are still going to be those that debate this win and many more to come. Already I can hear the loud voices in barber shops, classrooms, water coolers and backyards arguing about the “best team”. In an attempt to silence the debate, or add more fuel to the fire, I’m going to list the top three NBA franchises of all time. I ask that you read until the end BEFORE you blow a gasket.
One thing is for certain. If you look at the odds to win the 2016-17 NBA Championship you are not going to find any of these teams as the favorites. They have fallen a little on hard times and Vegas does not seem them as strong contenders in their current form. But, it won’t take long for them to return to the Finals, trust me.
You knew it was coming, maybe not out the gate, but you knew. The Bulls defined the entire decade of the 90’s. Six titles in eight years. Arguably one of the greatest to ever play the game in Jordan, hall of fame coach in Phil Jackson and a host of supporting characters that would make Hollywood jealous. It started in ’91 when the Bulls (underdogs if you can believe it) dispelled of their nemesis the Detroit Pistons. Just in the prior season the Pistons eliminated the Bulls and went on to win their second championship. This did not sit well with the Bulls and in the ’91 season they stormed back to face their rivals and not only beat them, but swept them! Then they went on to face a veteran Lakers team complete with Magic Johnson. The series was wrapped up in game five with three straight wins in L.A. The momentum continued with titles in ’92 versus Portland, ’93 versus Seattle, ’96 versus Phoenix and back to back wins against the Jazz in ’97 and ’98.
Sixteen championships dating back to the 40’s! It all started when the Lakers were based out of Minneapolis winning their first title in 1949. They wound up repeating in 1950 and then went on to win the title three straight years in a row in ’52, ’53, and ’54! We haven’t even mentioned Magic or Kareem! In 1960 they relocated to the west and went on to win 11 more titles with the likes of Magic Johnson, Vlade Divac, James Worthy, Kareem Abdul Jabar, Kobe Bryant, Shaq and Phil Jackson.
Seventeen titles. Only the Lakers are close to beating this record and lets be honest, it’s not happening anytime soon. It all started in ’57 when Boston won their first title. Two years later they went on a run that has yet to be matched in the NBA, 8 consecutive titles!! Think about how hard it is to repeat, let alone run through the league 8 years in a row man handling everyone they throw at you. After their win in ’66, they were not able to repeat in ’67. No worries they bounced back in ’68 and repeated in ’69. They went on to win in ’74, ’76, ’81, ’84, ’86 and ’08. Their roster included greats like Russell, Bird, Pierce, Garnett, Parish, Cousy, Rondo, McHale, Ainge, Walton and Archibald. The only other team that rivals the Celtic’s titles, doesn’t even play the same sport! That would be the Yankees.