The most successful NBA Teams of all time

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the highest level mens professional league in the world. It’s made up of composed of 30 teams, 29 in the United States and 1 in Canada – The Toronto Raptors, who won the championship in 2019 for the first time ever.

Every year all these 30 teams compete for the elite The NBA Finals which is the is the annual championship series of the NBA. The Eastern and Western conference champions play a best-of-seven game series to determine the league champion. The winners of the Finals are then awarded the much coveted Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy

Basketball is one of the most watched sports around the world so it’s no surprise that there is huge money in the NBA, some of the teams are among the richest sports teams in the world

The NBA Finals are also one of the 5 biggest annual sport events :

  1. UEFA Champions League
  2. The Super Bowl
  3. Tour de France
  4. Wimbledon
  5. NBA Finals

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Winners of the NBA Finals since 2010


  • 2022 Golden State Warriors 
  • 2021  Milwaukee Bucks 4-2 Phoenix Suns
  • 2020 LA Lakers 4-2 Miami Heat
  • 2019  Toronto Raptor 4-2 Miami Heat
  • 2018  Golden State Warriors 4-0 Cleveland Cavaliers
  • 2017  Golden State Warriors 4-1 Cleveland Cavaliers
  • 2016  Cleveland Cavaliers 4-1 Golden State Warriors
  • 2015  Golden State Warriors 4-2 Cleveland Cavaliers
  • 2014  San Antonio Spurs 4-1 Miami Heat
  • 2013  Miami Heat 4-3 San Antonio Spurs
  • 2012 Miami Heat 4-3 San Antonio Spurs
  • 2011 Dallas Mavericks 4-2 Miami Heat
  • 2010 LA Lakers 4-3 Boston Celtic

Most successful NBA teams

Now let’s look at the 10 most successful NBA clubs determined by NBA Final appearances, wins, and conference and division titles

10. Cleveland Cavaliers

Was a tough call for #10, the Cavaliers only have one win (one less than the Houston Rockets) but they have made the finals more – 5 times, and their win was in 2016 which is much more recent than the Rockets. Both Teams have 7 division titles between them.

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9. Miami Heat

The Miami team have 3 wins out of 5 NBA finals in 2006, 2012, and 2013. They also have 13 division titles, most recently in 2018

8. New York Knicks

New York Knick Jersey
Knicks Jersey

The legendary Knicks haven’t had to much success in recent years but they still have the financial benefit of being the New York team with a big celebrity following, who play home games at Madison Square Gardens. They have made the finals 8 times since 1951 with 2 wins in 1970 and 1973. They have won 5 division titles.

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7. Detroit Pistons

With 3 wins out of 7 NBA finals, the Pistons are our #7. They won their titles in 1989, 1990 and 2004. They play in the Eastern Conference Central Division which they have won 9 times, most recently in 2008

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6. Philadelphia 76ers

The Eastern Conference Atlantic Division team have haven’t had any recent success, but have some great history in the NBA. They have made the finals an impressive 9 times and won 3 titles in 1955, 1976 and 1983. The last time they made the finals was in 2001.

5. San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs have the best win / loss record here so far with 5 wins in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014. Playing out of the AT&T Centre in San Antonio in Texas, this Western Conference Southwest Division team have a massive 22 division titles.

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4. Chicago Bulls

The hugely popular Chicago Bulls Logo

Based in Chicago, Illinois, the  Eastern Conference Central Division have probably one of the best known logos internationally. The have a 100% win record in the finals and 6 titles in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998. Add on 6 conference titles and 9 division titles.

All their titles were won in the golden years when Michael Jordan played for the bull, Scottie Pippin and Dennis Rodman were also dominating players during these years.

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3. Golden State Warriors

The Warriors started in Philly then relocated to San Francisco in 1962. They’re member of the league’s Western Conference Pacific Division and have made the NBA Finals 11 times. Winning 6 titles in 1947, 1957, 1975, and their recent wins in 2015, 2017 and 2018 make they the most successful team in recent years. The have also won 11 conference and 7 division titles, and have a valuation of 3 billion + !

The Warriors have been crowned champions of the NBA for the fourth time in eight years after beating the Boston Celtics 4-2 in the Finals.

The original Dream Team

2. Boston Celtics

This team area big step up from the rest of the list. Playing out of the Eastern Conference Atlantic Division, the Celtics dominance over in NBA began in the late 1950’s. Their first win was in 1957, this launched the Celtics into the greatest win streaks ever in NBA history, winning eight consecutive NBA championships throughout the 1960.

They dipped bit in the 70’s only winning 2 titles but resurged in the 80’s with another 3 titles in 1981, 1984 and 1986. They’re most recent win was in 2008. They have a huge rivalry with the Lakers who have played each other a record 12 times in the NBA Finals, most recently in 2008 and 2010.

Altogether the Boston Celtics have been in 22 NBA Finals and won 17 of them, they also hold 21 conference titles and 22 division titles. 

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1. LA Lakers

The Lakers have many records worthy of the history books, let’s start with the NBA Finals. The Los Angeles team have made an incredible 31 finals and won 16 of them.

The Lakers hold the record for NBA’s longest winning streak, 33 straight games, set during the 1971–72 season.  26 Hall of Famers including some of the greatest NBA players of all time – LeBron James, Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Magic Johnson have played for the Los Angeles Lakers. 4 Hall of Famers our have coached the team.

On top of their 16 championships in – 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1972, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010, and 2020.  The Lakers have won 31 Conference titles and 23 Division titles, securing them as the most successful NBA Team of all time.

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