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The 5 Best NBA Teams Across All Seasons


When it comes to basketball, which team was truly the greatest of all time? Arguments over the GOAT fuel a heated discussion in bars and living rooms worldwide. The conversation becomes even more complicated when it comes to teams. Some teams achieved impressive successes and incredible victories at the last minute, while others exhibited dominance all season long.

Now more than 75 years old, the history of the NBA has produced some truly incredible contenders with teams that featured multiple future Hall of Famers. When we break down the stats, the achievements, and memories, though, which teams can we confidently say were truly the best across all seasons? Here is our look at the five best teams the NBA has produced — so far.

1. The `96-`97 Chicago Bulls

For an untold number of people, the 1996 Chicago Bulls team was basketball — the team that utterly defined the sport in the decade and cemented the enduring star power of Michael Jordan. Jordan, who had his famous dalliance with playing baseball during the prior year`s NBA season, returned to the Bulls, and seemed hellbent on proving that his time was now.

The 96 Bulls put up what was at the time the best-ever regular-season record with seventy-two wins and only ten losses — a record that would stand for 20 years alongside their record for most road wins. The `15-`16 Golden State Warriors would eclipse those numbers, but only just. By the time the 96-97 season ended, the Bulls sat at the top of the heap, winning their title four games to two.

2. The `16-`17 Golden State Warriors

Despite eclipsing the incredible record set by the 96 Bulls during their 2015 season, the Golden State Warriors came up short in a heart-wrenching loss to the Cavaliers that year. That reversal of fortune was a shock to the sports world and those in the basketball betting community, but it merely set the stage for an equally impressive performance the following season. The 2016 Warriors team featured some of the best players in the game, including Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry.

That talent and the drive inspired by their loss in the previous Finals led to a solid 67-win season — and then an unprecedented playoff run. The Golden State Warriors landed a finals victory and bested the 2001 Lakers for all-time best playoff record with sixteen wins.

3. The `86-`87 Los Angeles Lakers

The 1986 season culminated in one of the most intense sports rivalries of all time — the Lakers versus the Boston Celtics. Powered by an incredible roster of talent that included notable names such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson, the 86 Lakers cruised to sixty-five wins in the regular season, then crushed the NBA playoffs’ competition. Finishing a strong first place in both the conference and division championships, a Finals match-up with the defending Celtics was set — the third time the teams had played each other for the title in the 1980s. Claiming victory 4 to 2, this team also claimed their place of greatness.

4. The `00-`01 Los Angeles Lakers

We cannot mention the greatness of the 80s Lakers teams without turning our attention to the organization’s dominance at the dawn of the new millennium. Featuring the incredible duo of Shaquille O`Neal and Kobe Bryant, both players averaged more than twenty-eight points per game. Despite a mediocre regular season of fifty-six wins and twenty-six losses, the 2000 Lakers entered the playoffs with a hunger no other team could match. Every victory in the conference round came as the result of a clean sweep. Undefeated in the playoffs going into the NBA Finals, the Lakers would lose only one game to the 76ers on their way to a title.

5. The `88-`89 Detroit Pistons

This might seem like a dark horse pick, but there is no denying the physicality and commitment of this Pistons team. Their teamwork and dedication propelled them all the way to the Finals and a Championship win with a near-sweep. Spurred along by the talents of players, including Dennis Rodman, the 88 Pistons earned a repeat victory, winning the championship for the second year in a row with a commanding performance on the court.

What Does the Future Hold for NBA Greatness?

With so many incredible teams taking the court over the years of the NBA`s existence, picking just five to single out for greatness is no easy task. That is not to mention that there is no knowing what the future may hold — the next all-time great team could emerge next season or in ten years from now. The thrill of watching it all unfold not only drives interest in basketball betting but inspires the passion that becomes a lifelong love for the sport. Who will take their place in the annals of basketball history next?

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