Who has won the NBA every year? Full list of winners
The Los Angeles Lakers are the reigning NBA champions after they defeated Miami Heat in the 2020 Finals (4-2). But where do they sit on the all-time list?
After Los Angeles Lakers overcame the Miami Heat in a covid-delayed 2020 championship, the NBA title was assured its place in the West, for a few months at least. That was the first time since Kobe Bryant’s fifth and final title a decade ago that the Lakers had triumphed, thanks to a great degree by Lebron James' 11th career NBA Finals triple-double - 28 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists - and was rightly named the Finals MVP.
This was the fourth championship for James in the 10 finals he has featured. He had previously won two titles with the Heat (2012 and 2013) and another with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2016). As we edge closer to identifying the 2021 champion, we reflect on the titles of years gone by.
Which NBA teams have the most championships?
The Lakers have 17 NBA titles, tying with the Boston Celtics for the most in league history. After 73 editions of the NBA Finals, there are still some franchises that have never even made it to that stage. But here we’re focusing our attention on the most successful NBA franchises.
Boston Celtics – 17
Until last year the Boston Celtics were the team with the most victories in the NBA finals. In the Bill Russell golden era (he played for the Celtics from ’56 to ’69) they won 11 rings in 13 years, although it is should be noted that back in the late 50’s there were just eight teams taking part in the competition.
Post-Russell the Celtics added a few more rings with Larry Bird as the franchise player, but in recent years they have been struggling to get back to those winning days. They won their last NBA title in 2008.
NBA Titles: 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1981, 1984, 1986, 2008
Record In NBA Finals Series: 17-4
Los Angeles Lakers – 17
If the Celtics were reigning supreme in the second half of last century, the Lakers are the most successful team in modern times. Four of the top five all-time leading scorers in NBA history have played for the California team, not to mention that they have had some of the biggest talents around the league on their books (Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant...). They are also the franchise with the most appearances in the NBA Finals (32).
NBA Titles: 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1972, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010, 2020
Record In NBA Finals Series: 17-15
Golden State Warriors – 6
Stephen Curry and Steve Kerr transformed the Golden State Warriors. From being a bottom-of-the-pack franchise it became the biggest powerhouse in recent history. In one of their successful years they took down the Chicago Bulls' record for most wins in the regular season (73).
The Warriors, led by Curry, made it to five straight NBA Finals, winning three of them. However, the departure of their other big name, Kevin Durant, last year after their defeat to the Toronto Raptors in the Finals, has weakened the franchise dramatically.
NBA Titles: 1947, 1956, 1975, 2015, 2017, 2018
Record In NBA Finals Series: 6-5
Chicago Bulls – 6
If we speak about The Chicago Bulls, we speak about Michael Jordan. The New York star turned the Bulls into the NBA's hottest team for more than a decade, as he led them to the only 6 NBA Championships in the franchise’s history.
It is fair to say the legendary number 23 took the Bulls to another level, along with Phil Jackson and his teammate Scottie Pippen. However, since Jordan retired, the Bulls have struggled and have never been in with a real chance of lifting another title.
NBA Titles: 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998
Record In NBA Finals Series: 6-0
Full list of all NBA championship winners
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