The NBA has been around for over 70 years, and over that time, there have been some truly great teams. These teams have inspired generations of fans and players alike, and their legacy lives on to this day. Here are the top 10 NBA teams of all time and why they deserve to be on this list.
1. 1995-96 Chicago Bulls – This team was simply dominant. Led by Michael Jordan, they won an incredible 72 games in the regular season and then went on to win their fourth championship in six years. Jordan was at his absolute best, averaging 30.4 points per game, while Scottie Pippen was an elite defender and Dennis Rodman controlled the boards.
2. 1985-86 Boston Celtics – This Celtics team was one of the most well-rounded in NBA history. Led by Larry Bird, they had a balanced scoring attack that included Kevin McHale, Danny Ainge, and Robert Parish. They went 67-15 in the regular season and then cruised through the playoffs on their way to a championship.
3. 1999-2000 Los Angeles Lakers – The Shaquille O’Neal-Kobe Bryant Lakers were one of the deadliest one-two punches in NBA history. They went 67-15 in the regular season and then went on an absolute tear in the playoffs, winning all 15 of their games and capturing the championship.
4. 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers – Led by Wilt Chamberlain, this Sixers team won an astonishing 68 games in the regular season. Chamberlain was a dominant force on both ends of the floor, and he was surrounded by talented players like Hal Greer and Billy Cunningham. They went on to win the championship, cementing their place in NBA history.
5. 1986-87 Los Angeles Lakers – The ‘Showtime’ Lakers of the 80s were known for their fast-paced, high-flying style of basketball. Led by Magic Johnson, they won 65 games in the regular season and then went on to win their second consecutive championship. Johnson was the league MVP that year, averaging 23.9 points, 12.2 assists, and 6.3 rebounds per game.
6. 2007-08 Boston Celtics – Led by a newly-formed Big Three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen, the Celtics dominated the league in their first season together. They won 66 games in the regular season, and then went on to win the championship, beating the Lakers in the finals.
7. 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers – The Lakers won an incredible 33 games in a row that season, setting an NBA record that still stands to this day. Led by Chamberlain and Jerry West, they went 69-13 in the regular season and then won the championship, cementing their place in NBA history.
8. 1991-92 Chicago Bulls – This Bulls team won their second championship in a row, and they did it in dominating fashion. Led by Jordan, they won 67 games in the regular season, and then went 15-2 in the playoffs, sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers in the finals.
9. 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks – Led by a young Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then known as Lew Alcindor), the Bucks went 66-16 in the regular season and then won their first championship in franchise history. Abdul-Jabbar was the league MVP, averaging an incredible 31.7 points and 16.0 rebounds per game.
10. 1964-65 Boston Celtics – The Celtics won their seventh championship in a row that year, a feat that has never been equaled in any major North American sports league. Led by Bill Russell, they had a deep roster that included players like Sam Jones, John Havlicek, and Tom Heinsohn.
These 10 teams stand out as the best in NBA history for a range of reasons – dominance in the regular season, playoff success, legendary players, and historical significance. They left an indelible mark on the game of basketball, and their legacy will continue to inspire future generations of fans and players for years to come.