We are just a few weeks away from crowning the 2022 NBA champions.
One of four teams could take home the title – the Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, or the Dallas Mavericks.
In honour of these final weeks of competition, today we want to look at the teams that have won the NBA Finals the most times.
The NBA Finals were first held in 1949 and it was won by the Philadelphia Warriors (who have since become the Golden State Warriors) who beat the Chicago Stags (who folded the following years).
Since then, there have been 75 NBA Finals and this year will be the 76th competition. There are 11 active teams that have never won the NBA Finals.
Here are the five teams that have won the NBA Finals the most times.
#5 – San Antonio Spurs – 5 Wins
1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014
Bringing up the rear on this list are the San Antonio Spurs who have won the NBA Final 5 times and have played in the Finals 6 times.
First known as the Dallas Chaparrals, then the Texas Chaparrals, before becoming the San Antonio Spurs, this team has the highest overall winning percentage in the NBA. They have only won the NBA as the Spurs.
They also hold the record for most 50 game wins in a season for the most seasons in a row – they did this for 17 seasons in a row in the early 21st century. Over the last 30 years, the team has the best winning record of any professional sporting team in North America.
This year, they missed out on a spot in the playoffs for the third season in a row, after 22 years in a row of qualification.
#4 – Chicago Bulls – 6 Wins
1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998
The Bulls have the best NBA Finals winning percentage in the league. They have played in the Finals 6 times and won all 6 of those titles.
You will notice that all 6 victories came in the same decade – the 1990s. The titles were won in two three-peat events (three wins in a row). Only the Lakers and the Celtics have matched this or done better.
The first three victories were thanks to Micheal Jordan and the team he built. He retired in 1994 (for the first time), he rejoined the NBA in 1995 and went on to help the Bulls do another three-peat.
They are the only team with multiple victories to have won every Finals they have played in.
#3 – Golden State Warriors – 6 Win
1947, 1956, 1975, 2015, 2017, 2018
The Golden State Warriors have gone through a few name and location changes throughout their history.
They were originally the Philadelphia Warriors – they won 2 NBA Finals while playing in Philadelphia.
Then they moved to California and became the San Francisco Warriors. They have no NBA Final under this name.
In 1975, they became the Golden State Warriors – they won their last 4 NBA Finals under this name. They did the double and won the Finals two years in a row from 2017 to 2018.
The Warriors are still in the running for the 2022 Finals – you can find their Odds to Win NBA Finals here. The Dallas Mavericks stand in the way of them reaching the Finals.
#2 – Boston Celtics
1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1981, 1984, 1986, 2008
The Boston Celtics have by far the most impressive NBA Finals record – particularly in the 1960s, but they won fairly consistently throughout the 20th Century. They are yet to recapture the magic this century – could this year be the start of that for them?
The Celtics won 8 NBA Finals in a row between 1959 and 1966. This is an achievement that no other team has ever come close to achieving and one that may never happen again.
They went on to win three more titles in the 1960s – they won 9 out of the 10 championships held that year.
#1 – Los Angeles Lakers – 17 Wins
1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1972, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010, 2020
We have put the Lakers first on this list, because they have won the NBA Finals more recently than the Celtics, but they have won the Finals the same amount of times.
The team was originally known as the Minneapolis Lakers between 1947-1960. They then moved to Los Angeles. They won 5 NBA Finals before they moved across the country.
The Lakers did the three-peat between 1952 and 1954. They then went 18 years before winning again. They did a second three-peat between 2000 and 2002.
Five of the best NBA players of all time have played for the Lakers – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaq O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and most recently LeBron James who is the current captain of the team.
Everyone was shocked when James and the Lakers didn’t make it into the Playoffs this year.