The best NBA Teams of all time

Over three quarters of a century, the NBA has welcomed many great players, teams and dynasties. These teams have changed the way we see basketball and been a part of the evolution of the sport, becoming faces of the NBA that we all know and love. Only 19 separate franchises have won the NBA Championship in its 76-year history with six more yet to even appear in the finals, proving that it takes a heck of a lot to become a great team. The Celtics, Suns and Bucks are usually the favorites in the NBA lines, and should the Bucks win then they will certainly have their own place on this list. Let’s take a look at the greatest teams to have stepped onto the court in the NBA.

2000-01 LA Lakers

This was the second win of the Lakers’ threepeat between 2000-2002. What makes this sandwich year standout is that you can pinpoint it as the season Kobe Bryant became a superstar and his partnership with Shaquille O’Neal blossomed. He and Shaq were a formidable duo with the latter completely dominating the finals in which the defending champions beat the 76ers 4-1. It was the second of his back-to-back-to-back finals MVP performances. He and Bryant would average 30.4 and 29.4 points per game respectively throughout their playoff run. Floor general Derek Fisher and clutch shooter Robert Horry also bought a great balance to the team. Coach Phil Jackson had assembled the most feared NBA team of the early 2000s with the two hall of famers at the forefront.

1986-87 LA Lakers

Frome one elite Lakers team to the next, this team dominated much of the 1980s with five championship wins throughout the decade. Led by stars and hall of famers Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy, they finished ths regular season as top seeds with Johnson earning the season MVP award. They would go on to lose just a single game in their playoff run before beating the Celtics 4-2 in the finals. Seven players averaged double figures throughout the season and although Kareem was in the twilight of his career, he was still one of the most effective players in the league. Earning the label “Showtime” for their ability to run the fast break, this team was certified box office and perhaps the best Lakers team of all time.

1985-86 Boston Celtics

Choosing between the previous Lakers side and this Celtics team is extremely tough, but the Celtics just edge it. Coming off the back of a final’s loss to the Lakers the previous season, Larry Bird and co were out for revenge, and they did just that. He and Kevin McHale were formidable, turning defenders inside out all season long. They recorded the best regular season in franchise history with a 40-1 winning record at home, that .976 win percentage being the best in NBA history along with the fifth-best overall winning percentage. They dominated in the playoffs with just one loss before defeating the “Twin Towers” Ralph Sampson and Akeem Olajuwon in a 4-2 finals series win over the Houston Rockets.

2016-17 Golden State Warriors

It is unlikely we will ever see a team so chockfull of stars as we did with the 2017 Warriors. Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green were four bonafide All-Stars and as such were hailed as a “Superteam” by the media. The first three of those previously named stars all averaged over 22 points with Green’s all round efforts being the glue that held it all together. They were defensively elite and snipers when it came to shooting, the rest of the league truly didn’t stand a chance. They would sweep every team in their playoff run and lose just one game in the finals, becoming the first team ever to start 15–0 in the playoffs. They have the best playoff record in league history and this team is undoubtably the best team of the century so far.

1995-96 Chicago Bulls

In all honesty, you could probably have three Bulls teams from the 1990s on this list with little argument, but that would just be unfair. In Michael Jordan’s first season back from retirement, they started the regular season with an incredible 41-3 record and finished 72-10, shattering the record for most wins in a regular season. Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman wowed fans throughout the 90s and the core was rounded out by Ron Harper, Luc Longley, Toni Kukoc and Steve Kerr. Rodman was the king of the rebounds averaging 14.9, Pippen dominated wings and Jordan was, well…Jordan. The latter showed no signs of rust in his first season back and finished the season as league MVP as well as finals MVP in their 4-2 series win over the Seattle Supersonics. Led by legendary coach Phil Jackson, there is little doubt that this team is the best NBA team of all time.