The Top 5 NBA Basketball Teams with the Most NBA Championships

  NBA Team NBA Championships Years in League
1 Los Angeles Lakers
(Los Angeles, California)
17 75 years
(1947 to 2022)
2 Boston Celtics
(Boston, Massachusetts)
17 76 years
(1946 to 2022)
3 Chicago Bulls
(Chicago, Illinois)
6 56 years
(1966 to 2022)
4 Golden State Warriors
(Oakland, California)
6 76 years
(1946 to 2022)
5 San Antonio Spurs
(San Antonio, Texas)
5 46 years
(1976 to 2022)
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 Special Report

The Two Greatest Basketball Dynasties

The teams with the most NBA championship titles are the Boston Celtics with 17 titles and now the Los Angeles Lakers with 17 NBA championship titles fresh off their 106 - 93 win over the Miami Heat on Sunday October 11th. Out of the total 73 NBA championship games played, the Lakers and the Celtics have won 34. The Boston Celtics have won the Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy the following years:

1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1981, 1984, 1986, and 2008.

The Minneapolis Lakers won 5 NBA championship titles before becoming the Los Angeles Lakers and have won 12 under the Los Angeles name. Here are the years they've won the title:

1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954 (as the Minneapolis Lakers). 1972, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010, and 2020 (as the Los Angeles Lakers).
NBA Championship Ring
It's a tie boys!

Bill Russell, Larry Bird and the Celtics

The Boston Celtic dynasty started in 1957 after acquiring Bill Russell, who began his career as a center for the Boston Celtics in 1956 and would go on to win 11 NBA championships with the Celtics, 2 of those years as a player-coach, which, to this day, is an unbeaten NBA record. As of 2020, Russell is still the NBA player with the most NBA Championship wins (1957 to 1969). The Celtics won 8 consecutive championships with Russell from 1959 to 1966 and are one of the most successful teams in NBA history.

Bill Russell
Michael who now?

Larry Bird, arguably the most Famous Celtic won 3 NBA championships with the team. Larry was a key figure in the famous rivalry between the Celtics and the Lakers, specifically with Magic Johnson. The Bird - Johnson era cemented the Celtics legendary status in the NBA and was likely the beginning of the "fame" era in the sport of basketball propelling it into higher television viewership and ratings and confirming it's status as a major U.S./global sport and business.

The Los Angles Lakers Era

If the Boston Celtics are the most successful NBA basketball team of all time, then the Los Angeles Lakers have to be number 2. Indeed, they are number 2 on our Top 5 list of NBA Basketball Teams with the Most NBA Championships at 16 wins. The Los Angeles Lakers "dynasty" arguably started with five NBA championships (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, and 1988) after they drafted Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Magic Johnson was one of the first superstars in the sport of basketball.

At an imposing 6 foot 9 inches tall, Johnson was as talented with the ball as he was impressive in physical size. His flash and dazzle brought the L.A. Lakers and indeed the sport of basketball to a whole other level. Before 1980 the L.A. Lakers were known as the Minneapolis Lakers and had clinched 5 NBA championship titles from 1948-1954 before moving to L.A. Then owner Bob Short decided to move the team to Los Angeles after seeing the huge success of the Brooklyn Dodgers move to L.A.

The L.A. Lakers and Boston Celtics would go on to have one of the most famous rivalries in all of sports history and certainly the most intense in all of basketball history.

More recent Lakers successes were dominated by the Jordan-like playing skills of Kobe Bryant who had 5 NBA Championships under his belt for the Los Angeles Lakers (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010). Mr. Bryant died tragically in a helicopter accident in January of 2020.

The Chicago Bulls and the Rise of Michael Jordan

Although winning less NBA championship titles than the Celtics or Lakers, no one can doubt the Chicago Bulls impact on basketball and sports history. The team in the 90's with it's star player, Michael Jordan not only dominated sports culture, but also dominated popular culture and arguably gave us the rise of the sports megastar. In 1985, present owner Jerry Reinsdorf, purchased the Bulls for 16.2 million dollars, while as of February 2020, the team is valued by Forbes at $3.2 billion. (b.) Obviously a lot of team-building happened between those years and Michael was key. Jordan had a rare combination of work-ethic, charisma, talent, confidence, love and passion for the game, and the ability to fly.

Of course at the end of the day, basketball is a team sport and the team and coach that worked around Michael Jordan was also exceptional. With head coach Phil Jackson and players like Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and Steve Kerr just to name a few, the team was well stacked to create a basketball dynasty. By the time 1998 rolled around the Bulls had won their 6th NBA Championship thus establishing them as one of the greatest basketball teams in sports history. Netflix's excellent documentary series "The Last Dance" comes highly recommended and takes you through the unforgettable journey of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

The Golden State Warriors

We obviously can't speak about dynasties without speaking of the Golden State Warriors, the number 5 team on our top 5 list. During 1946–1962 the team was known as the Philadelphia Warriors, they then came to be known as the San Francisco Warriors from 1962 to 1971, and finally from 1971 to the present day they are known as the Golden State Warriors. Their 6 NBA championships wins span from 1947, to 1956, 1975, 2015, 2017, and finally with their latest win in 2018.

Probably their most famous era was the Wilt "the Stilt" Chamberlain era from 1959 to 1962. Chamberlain is the only player to have scored 100 points in a single NBA game, which he did with the Philadelphia Warriors winning over the New York Knicks (169–147) on March 2, 1962, at the Hershey Sports Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania. To this day this record is considered to be one of the greatest in sports. In recent times the Golden State Warriors era of 2015 to 2018 is likely to be one of the greatest eras in basketball and is often compared to the Chicago Bulls era of Michael Jordan.

What's The Name of that Cool NBA Championship Trophy?

The name of the trophy pictured and awarded every year by the NBA is called the "Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy." after Larry O'Brian who was the NBA commissioner (the big boss of the NBA) from 1974 to 1984. Larry O'Brian oversaw the rise of the NBA in terms of television rights, corporate sponsorship, league expansion and overall popularity of the game in the United States and worldwide. The trophy was designed and crafted by Tiffany & Co in 1977-78, is made of sterling silver with a 24 carat gold coating and is probably pretty darn expensive. One is made every year, engraved and then given to the team that wins it. Let's see if the Lakers can clinch another Championship trophy on Friday and tie the Celtics for the most NBA championship wins. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for checking out this list, don't forget to check out some of our other interesting top 5 lists.

Noel James Riggs Noel James Riggs, Madrid Spain.
Top 5 facts sources:
Top 5 of Anything Sports Research.
b. Forbes. (2020). Retrieved from: The Business Of Basketball.
Tags: Sports Statistics, Top 5 Most, The United States

Sources:  Top 5 of Anything sports research 2020.

List Notes: Data is the top 5 NBA basketball teams that have won the most NBA championship titles as of the 2020 season. Please note that the San Antonio Spurs were founded in 1967 but joined the NBA in 1976. The Los Angeles Lakers were known as the Minneapolis Lakers from 1947 to 1960.
NBA Basketball Teams with the Most NBA Championships

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