NBA Championship History: A List Of NBA Champions

The Lakers have won 16 NBA Championships
The Lakers have won 16 NBA Championships

Each year around June, the NBA Season and NBA Playoffs come to a close, and basketball fans everywhere tune in to watch the leagues two best teams battle it out to call themselves the NBA Champions. The NBA Championship has a rich tradition and its seven game series amost always promises excitement, high quality basketball and plenty of big name players and celebrities. Read on to find out more about the history of this prestigious trophy and find a full list of the leagues former NBA Champions.

7-Game Format

The format of the NBA Championship 7-Game Series has changed multiple times, in terms of the order of which games are played on each teams home court. In each format, the team who had the better record over the regular season gets 4 games on their home court, while the other gets 3.

  • Current Format: 2-3-2 (This format has been used multiple times throughout NBA History).
  • Previous Format: 2-2-1-1-1 (This was a popular format for quite a long time)
  • Other Formats Used: 1-2-2-1-1 and 1-1-1-1-1-1-1


The History Of The NBA Championship

In 1950, the league formerly known as the BAA (Basketball Association of America) had its name changed to the National Basketball Association, or as we affectionately know it, the NBA. Therefore, in 1950 the NBA Championship as we know it was born. The trophy up for grabs is currently the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy, named after the former NBA commissioner. Prior to that it was named the Walter A. Brown after the original owner of the Boston Celtics, a team who have been NBA Champions numerous times.

Over the years, a variety of teams have been NBA Champions, but a combined 33 of the 67 total titles have been collected by the Celtics and Lakers, making their rivalry the most heated and legendary in the history of the NBA.

NBA Champions Since 1947

(click column header to sort results)
Year  
NBA Champion  
Runner Up  
Score  
1947
Philadelphia Warriors
Chicago Stars
4-1
1948
Baltimore Bullets
Philadelphia Warriors
4-2
1949
Minneapolis Lakers
Washington Capitols
4-2
1950
Minneapolis Lakers
Syracuse Nationals
4-2
1951
Rochester Royals
New York Knicks
4-3
1952
Minneapolis Lakers
New York Knicks
4-3
1953
Minneapolis Lakers
New York Knicks
4-1
1954
Minneapolis Lakers
Syracuse Nationals
4-3
1955
Syracuse Nationals
Fort Wayne Pistons
4-3
1956
Philadelphia Warriors
Fort Wayne Pistons
4-1
1957
Boston Celtics
St. Louis Hawks
4-3
1958
St. Louis Hawks
Boston Celtics
4-2
1959
Boston Celtics
Minneapolis Lakers
4-0
1960
Boston Celtics
St. Louis Hawks
4-3
1961
Boston Celtics
St. Louis Hawks
4-1
1962
Boston Celtics
Los Angeles Lakers
4-3
1963
Boston Celtics
Los Angeles Lakers
4-2
1964
Boston Celtics
San Francisco Warriors
4-1
1965
Boston Celtics
Los Angeles Lakers
4-1
1966
Boston Celtics
Los Angeles Lakers
4-3
1967
Philadelphia 76ers
San Francisco Warriors
4-2
1968
Boston Celtics
Los Angeles Lakers
4-2
1969
Boston Celtics
Los Angeles Lakers
4-3
1970
New York Knicks
Los Angeles Lakers
4-3
1971
Milwaukee Bucks
Baltimore Bullets
4-0
1972
Los Angeles Lakers
New York Knicks
4-1
1973
New York Knicks
Los Angeles Lakers
4-1
1974
Boston Celtics
Milwaukee Bucks
4-3
1975
Golden State Warriors
Washington Bullets
4-0
1976
Boston Celtics
Phoenix Suns
4-2
1977
Portland Trail Blazers
Philadelphia 76ers
4-2
1978
Washington Bullets
Seattle Supersonics
4-3
1979
Seattle Supersonics
Washington Bullets
4-1
1980
Los Angeles Lakers
Philadelphia 76ers
4-2
1981
Boston Celtics
Houston Rockets
4-2
1982
Los Angeles Lakers
Philadelphia 76ers
4-2
1983
Philadelphia 76ers
Los Angeles Lakers
4-0
1984
Boston Celtics
Los Angeles Lakers
4-3
1985
Los Angeles Lakers
Boston Celtics
4-2
1986
Boston Celtics
Houston Rockets
4-2
1987
Los Angeles Lakers
Boston Celtics
4-2
1988
Los Angeles Lakers
Detroit Pistons
4-3
1989
Detroit Pistons
Los Angeles Lakers
4-0
1990
Detroit Pistons
Portland Trail Blazers
4-1
1991
Chicago Bulls
Los Angeles Lakers
4-1
1992
Chicago Bulls
Portland Trail Blazers
4-2
1993
Chicago Bulls
Phoenix Suns
4-2
1994
Houston Rockets
New York Knicks
4-3
1995
Houston Rockets
Orlando Magic
4-0
1996
Chicago Bulls
Seattle Supersonics
4-2
1997
Chicago Bulls
Utah Jazz
4-2
1998
Chicago Bulls
Utah Jazz
4-2
1999
San Antonio Spurs
New York Knicks
4-1
2000
Los Angeles Lakers
Indiana Pacers
4-2
2001
Los Angeles Lakers
Philadelphia 76ers
4-1
2002
Los Angeles Lakers
New Jersey Nets
4-0
2003
San Antonio Spurs
New Jersey Nets
4-2
2004
Detroit Pistons
Los Angeles Lakers
4-1
2005
San Antonio Spurs
Detroit Pistons
4-3
2006
Miami Heat
Dallas Mavericks
4-2
2007
San Antonio Spurs
Cleveland Cavaliers
4-0
2008
Boston Celtics
Los Angeles Lakers
4-2
2009
Los Angeles Lakers
Orlando Magic
4-1
2010
Los Angeles Lakers
Boston Celtics
4-3
2011
Dallas Mavericks
Miami Heat
4-2
2012
Miami Heat
Oklahoma City Thunder
4-1
2013
Miami Heat
San Antonio Spurs
4-3
A list of NBA (And BAA) Champions since the league started in 1946-47.
The 1981 NBA Champions - The Boston Celtics
The 1981 NBA Champions - The Boston Celtics | Source

Most Successful NBA Teams: Teams With The Most NBA Championships

  • Boston Celtics - 17 NBA Championships
  • Los Angeles Lakers (Minneapolis) - 16 NBA Championships
  • Chicago Bulls - 6 NBA Championships
  • San Antonio Spurs - 5 NBA Championships
  • Miami Heat - 3 NBA Championships
  • Detroit Pistons (Fort Wayne) - 3 NBA Championships
  • Philadephia 76ers (Syracuse Nationals) - 3 NBA Championships
  • Golden State Warriors (Philadelphia, San Francisco) - 3 NBA Championships

The "Three-Peat"

The term 'Three-Peat' refers to the difficult task of winning three consecutive NBA Championships, and only three teams have ever done it:

  • Los Angeles Lakers - Twice (1952-1954, 2000-2002)
  • Boston Celtics - Eight straight titles (1959-1966)
  • Chicago Bulls - Twice (1991-1993, 1996-1998)

Other Facts About the NBA Championship

  • The record for the most NBA Finals MVP (Most Valuable Player) Awards is held by Michael Jordan with 6.
  • Bill Russell has 11 NBA Championships - More than any other player in NBA History.
  • The NBA Championship has been won by the team with the best regular season record 32 times.

Michael Jordan overwhelmed with emotion after winning his first NBA Championship.
Michael Jordan overwhelmed with emotion after winning his first NBA Championship.

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2 comments

Alphadogg16 profile image

Alphadogg16 3 years ago from Texas

Nice hub jmartin1344. One of my closest friends is a Celtic fan & always throws the most titles around, my come back to that is my Bulls are the only team that has never lost in the Finals. Thumbs up on your hub


jmartin1344 profile image

jmartin1344 3 years ago from Royal Oak, Michigan Author

Thanks Alphadogg, I appreciate it! I'm a huge Bulls fan so I like hearing that! Good point! (I should add it to the hub!)

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