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East vs West: which conference has won more NBA championships?

The 2022 NBA Finals pits the west coast’s Golden State Warriors against the east’s Boston Celtics. But which conference has dominated over the years?

(Original Caption) 4/29/1969-Boston,MA- LA Lakers' Wilt Chamberlain (13) grimaces as Celtics' Sam Jones winning basket, with one second left in game, parts the twine, 4th quarter, 4th NBA championship payoff game at the Boston Garden. Celtics' Emmette Bryant (lower l) whoops it up as Sam Jones (lower R) looks to timer. The Celtics won the game 89-88. The series is now deadlocked at 2-2.

As we ready ourselves for another NBA Finals series, which gets underway with Game 1 on Thursday 2 June, we consider the relative successes of the Western Conference, represented in 2022 by the Golden State Warriors, and the Eastern Conference, once again counting on the Boston Celtics.

Lakers and Celtics lead their conferences

It is the LA Lakers in the west that hold 17 NBA Finals Championship titles, tying for first place with the aforementioned Celtics, who are clearly aiming to be standing out alone in the coming days. The Western Conference has a total of 34 NBA finals won from nine different franchises, while the East has 39 championships with 10 different franchises, the Milwaukee Bucks adding to that total last year.

A glance at the honours of the two historical giants shows that the LA Lakers are the franchise that has played the most Western Conference Finals with 23, and they have won 19 of those. The last time they won the NBA Finals was in 2020 at the Orlando “Bubble”.

The Celtics have the most appearances in the Eastern Conference Final, reaching 20 and winning nine. The last time they took the Eastern title was in 2010, but they failed to go on and win the championship that year.

The NBA has had 76 champions to date, and of these, 34 have gone to the two teams we’ve been focusing on, the Lakers and the Celtics. Combined, they make up around 45% of all the league titles. That win in 2020 was so important for the LA team, bringing them level with their rival. Don’t be surprised if there are Lakers fans cheering on Curry, Thompson and co. in the 2022 series.

The history behind the conferences

As the NBA grew in size and more teams joined the league, the number of games played per year became a concern for the governing body.

The travel load and the fear of injuries for the star players forced the league managers to decide to split the conferences into two in 1970, and so the new structure was born: the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference.

AS USA does NBA Finals 2022

Of course, as you know by now, here at AS USA we will be all over everything to do with the Finals, and this includes live coverage from Game 1 until Game 4, 5, 6 or, if we’re all really lucky, Game 7.


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