Ah, the great debate. When it came to deciding which NBA teams are greatest of all time, we argued and shouted at each other for a bit before eventually deciding that our north star in these debates would be to look for the squads that dominated whoever it was they were playing against. We came up with a list that we’re standing by.
Check out the full list below to see who our number one is and where your favorite team ranks. We expect that there will be some disgruntled fans out there, but that’s what makes this fun, right?
Last but certainly not least. From the 1997-98 Pacers who put up a fight against the Chicago Bulls’ “Last Dance” squad to the 2018-19 Raptors that made history in the 6.
These squads set the foundation for greatness to come. The birth of the Celtics dynasty with Bill Russell to the 2004-2005 Phoenix Suns had the best record in the L.
Rewriting history. The 2003-04 Pistons that ended the Lakers’ Finals run to Milwaukee’s first title.
Heavyweights turned champions. From the 1983-84 Celtics that brought the ‘chip back to the Bean over LA to the 2011-12 Heat that won LeBron James his first ring.
Tight spaces and pressure packed situations formed these teams into dynasties. From the 2001-02 Lakers completing the three-peat, to the Spurs squad that gave Tim Duncan his third ring.
These squads made history. The 2015-16 Warriors that won 73 games to the Cavaliers team that upset them in that same Finals.
Back to back. Miami became the first Eastern Conference team to repeat as champions since the “Last Dance” Bulls.
At the height of their dominance in 2000-01, the Shaq and Kobe-led Lakers generated one of the best postseason runs ever when they lost just one game in the 2001 playoffs.
Paid in Full. The early 80’s were mostly dominated by the Lakers and Celtics, but the 1982-83 Sixers, led by Julius Erving and Moses Malone, swept LA in the Finals.
The first of six rings for Jordan, this Bulls squad redeemed themselves when they swept the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals and then defeated the Lakers in five.
A revenge tour and Magic’s first regular-season MVP, this “Showtime” Lakers team returned to the Finals after missing it the previous season.
A coin flip in ’69 allowed the Bucks to draft Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, which brought a championship in his second season as he averaged over 30 points per game and earned MVP honors. Legendary.
Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics were flying high in the mid 80’s. Larry himself won his second Finals MVP trophy in ’86.
The opening act before Showtime. The Lakers capped off a tremendous season and brought vindication to the franchise. Wilt Chamberlain was the Finals MVP, and Jerry West could finally feel like a winner.
One of the most talented teams ever assembled in the L, the Warriors lost only a single game during the 2017 playoffs. Adding Kevin Durant made their 2016-17 squad unstoppable.
Top 2 and they’re not 2. The 1995-96 Bulls weathered a perfect storm; getting Michael Jordan back in full form, adding Dennis Rodman, the Bulls won their fourth title.
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