Top 5 NBA Dynasties

Posted by Custom Throwback Jerseys on 21st Nov 2022

Top 5 NBA Dynasties

Everyone loves to hate a dynasty. After all, what fun is it for the rest of the league when one squad is head and shoulders above the rest? Still, dynasties are a core part of the NBA's very structure. Without them, we'd lack some of the league's most fascinating stories, not to mention athletes turned celebrities.

To shine a light on these success stories, we've highlighted squads that put it all together to achieve immortality on a grand scale.

The First Dynasty: Minneapolis Lakers (1949-1954)

A modest organization with only twelve teams, the Basketball Association of America's final season of the 1940s would see the beginning of its first juggernaut. It all began with the Minneapolis Lakers, who were loaded with talent before receiving George Mikan's services.

As a rookie, Mikan helped produce the team's first title in 1949 while leading the league in scoring at 28 points per game. A year later, the newly named National Basketball Association and its seventeen teams simply couldn't compete against Mikan's Lakers.

After sweeping the Chicago Stags, Fort Wayne Pistons, and the Anderson Packers (who played only one NBA season before leaving the association), the Lakers finished off the Syracuse Nationals to win their second straight championship.

The Rochester Royals would temporarily halt the Lakers' momentum with a league title in 1951, but their time at the top was short-lived. Along with fellow Hall of Famers Slater Martin, Jim Pollard, and Vern Mikkelsen, Mikan and the Lakers orchestrated the NBA's first three-peat, beginning in 1952.

During their six-year run of supremacy, the Minneapolis Lakers won 67 percent of their regular season games and nearly 70 percent of their playoff games en route to five championships.

A Decade of Dominance: Boston Celtics (1958-1969)

Few people dispute that the Boston Celtics have created the most successful NBA organization. After all, this is the NBA's winningest franchise.

The Celtics' first stretch of excellence began in 1956 when a team led by Bob Cousy, Tommy Heinsohn, and rookie phenom Bill Russell defeated the St. Louis Hawks in seven games to win the Celtics' first championship.

The same two teams would match up in the Finals the following season, this time with the Hawks emerging victorious. It would be the last time a non-Celtics team won an NBA championship for nearly a decade.

From 1958 to 1966, the Celtics earned eight consecutive NBA championships. Meanwhile, four-time league MVP Bill Russell established himself as arguably the greatest defender of all time. The Philadelphia 76ers finally broke the Celtics' streak in 1967, but Boston would get revenge a year later by bouncing Philly in the 1968 Eastern Division Finals.

By the end of the Celtics' incredible run, the other NBA teams were thrilled to see Bill Russell ride off into the sunset. The Hall of Fame forward finished his career with eleven rings, while his Celtics squad averaged nearly 52 regular season wins per year.

Showtime: Los Angeles Lakers (1979-1988 and 1999-2002)

The 1979 Lakers scored the first overall pick in that year's NBA draft after winning a coin toss against the Chicago Bulls. They used that pick on transcendent Michigan State guard Earvin Johnson.

The rest is history. Earvin became Magic Johnson — and the Lakers became the team of the 1980s. Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and the Showtime Lakers would defeat the 76ers twice, Larry Bird's Celtics twice, and the Detroit Pistons on their way to five championships.

This was by no means the last time the Lakers dominated the league. Phil Jackson's arrival in Los Angeles before the 1999-2000 season brought lofty expectations. It's safe to say the Lakers exceeded those expectations.

Coach Jackson added three more rings to his repertoire while Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant formed what some consider the greatest duo in league history.

During eight championship seasons beginning in 1980, the Lakers averaged an amazing sixty wins per season. The Lakers did it with style and superstars, who live on today in the form of NBA throwback jerseys bearing the names of Johnson, O'Neal, and Bryant.

The Era of Air Jordan: Chicago Bulls (1990-1998)

Michael Jordan's Bulls won their first trio of NBA championships to kick off the 1990s. This memorable nucleus included Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, and John Paxson.

Jordan famously retired in 1993, giving the Houston Rockets a chance to form their own mini-dynasty with consecutive championships in '94 and '95. On March 18th, 1995, a two-word fax would set the next NBA dynasty into motion. It read simply. "I'm back."

Jordan's retirement ended — and his first full season back saw the Bulls finish with (at the time) the NBA's greatest regular season record at 72-10. Newly added forward Dennis Rodman provided the defense and attitude, while the shooting touch of Toni Kukoc and Steve Kerr gave the offense an added dimension.

The Bulls breezed through the playoffs and dispatched the Seattle Supersonics in the Finals, as Jordan had no trouble with pesky Sonics guard Gary Payton. The last two years of the Air Jordan Era ended similarly, with Finals victories over John Stockton, Karl Malone, and the Utah Jazz.

Jordan's second retirement (but not his last) would end the Bulls' dynasty with six titles. In those six seasons, the Bulls averaged an eye-popping 64 victories a year.

To Be Continued? Golden State Warriors (2014-2022...)

The modern NBA has seen a seismic shift away from the paint and outside the arc. No team has capitalized on this change more than the Golden State Warriors. When Steve Kerr — one of the greatest outside shooters of all time — took over the head coaching duties in 2014, the directive was clear: take the outside shot.

In Kerr's first season with the Warriors, the team increased their three-point attempts by nearly nine percent over the year before. The results led them to a championship.

Of course, it helps when you have Stephen Curry in your corner. Together, Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green formed the core of the Warriors dynasty, which took home championships in 2015 as well as 2017, 2018, and 2022.

The Warriors could have pulled off the four-peat if it wasn't for an all-time performance by LeBron James in 2016. The 2016 team finished with a 73-9 regular season record — one game better than Jordan's '95 Bulls.

There's still plenty of time for the Warriors to add more hardware to their trophy case before fan gear switches from current garb to in-demand NBA throwback jerseys. Will Curry be able to pass Jordan and make a case as the greatest shooting guard in NBA history? Only time will tell.