List of NBA champions

List of NBA champions

National Basketball Association awards and honors
Championship
Individual awards
Honors

The National Basketball Association (NBA) (formerly Basketball Association of America (BAA) from 1946–49) Finals is the championship series for the NBA and the conclusion of the sport's postseason. All Finals have been played in a best-of-seven format, and contested between the winners of the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference (formerly Divisions before 1970), except in 1950 in which the Eastern Division champion faced the winner between the Western and Central Division champions. Prior to 1949, the playoffs were instituted a three-stage tournament where the two semifinal winners played each other in the finals.[1][2][3] The winning team of the series receives the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy.

The home-and-away format in the NBA Finals is in a 2–2–1–1–1 format (the team with the better regular season record plays on their home court in Games 1, 2, 5 and 7). It was previously in a 2–3–2 format (the team with the better regular season record plays on their home court in Games 1, 2, 6 and 7) during 1949, 19531955, and 19852013,[4][5][6][7][8][9] in a 1–1–1–1–1–1–1 format during 1956 and 1971[10][11] and in a 1–2–2–1–1 format during 1975 and 1978.[12][13]

The Eastern Conference/Division leads the Western Conference/Division in series won (37–31). The defunct Central Division won one championship. The Boston Celtics and the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers alone own almost half of the titles, having won a combined 33 of 68 championships.

Trophies

Walter A. Brown Trophy

The trophy was originally referred to as the NBA Finals trophy,[14] but was renamed in 1964 after Walter A. Brown, the original owner of the Boston Celtics who was instrumental in merging the BAA and the National Basketball League into the NBA in 1949.[15][16]

The original trophy was awarded to the BAA/NBA champions from 1947 to 1976. The trophy was kept by the winning team for one year and given to the winning team of the following year's finals, unless the previous team won again, much like the NHL's Stanley Cup, which continues that tradition to this day.

A new trophy design was created for the 1977 NBA Finals, although it retained the Walter A. Brown title. Unlike the original championship trophy, the new trophy was given permanently to the winning team and a new one was made every year.

The inaugural winners of the trophy were the Philadelphia Warriors, who defeated the Chicago Stags.[17] The Boston Celtics won the trophy 14 times, the most in league history. From 1957 to 1969, they won the NBA Finals 11 out of 13 times, including eight consecutive wins. The final recipients of the trophy were the Philadelphia 76ers, who defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1983 NBA Finals.

The Championship Trophy showcased at the 2008 NBA Playoffs Symposium in Taiwan

Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy

In 1984, the trophy was renamed to the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy, in honor of Larry O'Brien, who served as NBA commissioner from 1975 to 1983.[18]

The current trophy is made out of 14.5 pounds of sterling silver and vermeil with a 24 karat gold overlay and stands 2 feet (0.61 m) tall. It is designed to look like a basketball about to enter a net. The year and team names are engraved on the trophies, which are often prominently displayed in the winning team's arena.[19][20][21]

The Boston Celtics were the inaugural winners of the renamed trophy, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games (4–3) in the 1984 NBA Finals.[22] The Los Angeles Lakers have won the trophy eight times, the Chicago Bulls have won it six times,[23] and the San Antonio Spurs have won it five times.

Champions

Legend
Bold Winning team of the NBA Finals
dagger Had or tied for the best regular season record for that season
(1) Playoff seed

BAA champions

Year Western champion Result Eastern champion Reference
1947 Chicago Stags 1–4 Philadelphia Warriors [24]
1948 Baltimore Bullets 4–2 Philadelphia Warriors [25]
1949 Minneapolis Lakers 4–2 Washington Capitols [26]

NBA champions

Year Western champion Result Eastern champion Reference
1950 Minneapolis Lakers[1] 4–2 Syracuse Nationalsdagger [27][28]
1951 Rochester Royals (2) 4–3 New York Knicks (3) [29]
1952 Minneapolis Lakers (2) 4–3 New York Knicks (3) [30]
1953 Minneapolis Lakers (1)dagger 4–1 New York Knicks (1) [31]
1954 Minneapolis Lakers (1)dagger 4–3 Syracuse Nationals (1) [32]
1955 Fort Wayne Pistons (1)dagger 3–4 Syracuse Nationals (1)dagger [33]
1956 Fort Wayne Pistons (1) 1–4 Philadelphia Warriors (1)dagger [34]
1957 St. Louis Hawks (1) 3–4 Boston Celtics (1)dagger [35]
1958 St. Louis Hawks (1) 4–2 Boston Celtics (1)dagger [36]
1959 Minneapolis Lakers (2) 0–4 Boston Celtics (1)dagger [37]
1960 St. Louis Hawks (1) 3–4 Boston Celtics (1)dagger [38]
1961 St. Louis Hawks (1) 1–4 Boston Celtics (1)dagger [39]
1962 Los Angeles Lakers (1) 3–4 Boston Celtics (1)dagger [40]
1963 Los Angeles Lakers (1) 2–4 Boston Celtics (1)dagger [41]
1964[2] San Francisco Warriors (1) 1–4 Boston Celtics (1)dagger [42]
1965 Los Angeles Lakers (1) 1–4 Boston Celtics (1)dagger [43]
1966 Los Angeles Lakers (1) 3–4 Boston Celtics (2) [44]
1967 San Francisco Warriors (1) 2–4 Philadelphia 76ers (1)dagger [45]
1968 Los Angeles Lakers (2) 2–4 Boston Celtics (2) [46]
1969 Los Angeles Lakers (1) 3–4 Boston Celtics (4) [47]
1970 Los Angeles Lakers (2) 3–4 New York Knicks (1)dagger [48]
1971 Milwaukee Bucks (1)dagger 4–0 Baltimore Bullets (1) [49]
1972 Los Angeles Lakers (1)dagger 4–1 New York Knicks (2) [50]
1973 Los Angeles Lakers (2) 1–4 New York Knicks (2) [51]
1974 Milwaukee Bucks (1)dagger 3–4 Boston Celtics (1) [52]
1975 Golden State Warriors (1) 4–0 Washington Bullets (2)dagger [53]
1976 Phoenix Suns (3) 2–4 Boston Celtics (1) [54]
1977[3] Portland Trail Blazers (3) 4–2 Philadelphia 76ers (1) [55]
1978 Seattle SuperSonics (4) 3–4 Washington Bullets (3) [56]
1979 Seattle SuperSonics (1) 4–1 Washington Bullets (1)dagger [57]
1980 Los Angeles Lakers (1) 4–2 Philadelphia 76ers (3) [58]
1981 Houston Rockets (6) 2–4 Boston Celtics (1)dagger [59]
1982 Los Angeles Lakers (1) 4–2 Philadelphia 76ers (3) [60]
1983 Los Angeles Lakers (1) 0–4 Philadelphia 76ers (1)dagger [61]
1984[4] Los Angeles Lakers (1) 3–4 Boston Celtics (1)dagger [22]
1985 Los Angeles Lakers (1) 4–2 Boston Celtics (1)dagger [62]
1986 Houston Rockets (2) 2–4 Boston Celtics (1)dagger [63]
1987 Los Angeles Lakers (1)dagger 4–2 Boston Celtics (1) [64]
1988 Los Angeles Lakers (1)dagger 4–3 Detroit Pistons (2) [65]
1989 Los Angeles Lakers (1) 0–4 Detroit Pistons (1)dagger [66]
1990 Portland Trail Blazers (3) 1–4 Detroit Pistons (1) [67]
1991 Los Angeles Lakers (3) 1–4 Chicago Bulls (1) [68]
1992 Portland Trail Blazers (1) 2–4 Chicago Bulls (1)dagger [69]
1993 Phoenix Suns (1)dagger 2–4 Chicago Bulls (2) [70]
1994 Houston Rockets (2) 4–3 New York Knicks (2) [71]
1995 Houston Rockets (6) 4–0 Orlando Magic (1) [72]
1996 Seattle SuperSonics (1) 2–4 Chicago Bulls (1)dagger [73]
1997 Utah Jazz (1) 2–4 Chicago Bulls (1)dagger [74]
1998 Utah Jazz (1)dagger 2–4 Chicago Bulls (1)dagger [75]
1999[5] San Antonio Spurs (1)dagger 4–1 New York Knicks (8) [77]
2000 Los Angeles Lakers (1)dagger 4–2 Indiana Pacers (1) [78]
2001 Los Angeles Lakers (2) 4–1 Philadelphia 76ers (1) [79]
2002 Los Angeles Lakers (3) 4–0 New Jersey Nets (1) [80]
2003 San Antonio Spurs (1)dagger 4–2 New Jersey Nets (2) [81]
2004 Los Angeles Lakers (2) 1–4 Detroit Pistons (3) [82]
2005 San Antonio Spurs (2) 4–3 Detroit Pistons (2) [83]
2006 Dallas Mavericks (4) 2–4 Miami Heat (2) [84]
2007 San Antonio Spurs (3) 4–0 Cleveland Cavaliers (2) [85]
2008 Los Angeles Lakers (1) 2–4 Boston Celtics (1)dagger [86]
2009 Los Angeles Lakers (1) 4–1 Orlando Magic (3) [87]
2010 Los Angeles Lakers (1) 4–3 Boston Celtics (4) [88]
2011 Dallas Mavericks (3) 4–2 Miami Heat (2) [89]
2012[6] Oklahoma City Thunder (2) 1–4 Miami Heat (2) [92]
2013 San Antonio Spurs (2) 3–4 Miami Heat (1)dagger [93]
2014 San Antonio Spurs (1)dagger 4–1 Miami Heat (2) [94]
2015 Golden State Warriors (1)dagger 4–2 Cleveland Cavaliers (2) [95]

Results by teams

Teams Win Loss Total Year(s) won Year(s) lost
Boston Celtics 17 4 21 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1981, 1984, 1986, 2008 1958, 1985, 1987, 2010
Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers 16 15 31 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1972, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010 1959, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1973, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1991, 2004, 2008
Chicago Bulls 6 0 6 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998
San Antonio Spurs 5 1 6 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014 2013
Philadelphia/San Francisco/Golden State Warriors 4 3 7 1947, 1956, 1975, 2015 1948, 1964, 1967
Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers 3 6 9 1955, 1967, 1983 1950, 1954, 1977, 1980, 1982, 2001
Fort Wayne/Detroit Pistons 3 4 7 1989, 1990, 2004 1955, 1956, 1988, 2005
Miami Heat 3 2 5 2006, 2012, 2013 2011, 2014
New York Knicks 2 6 8 1970, 1973 1951, 1952, 1953, 1972, 1994, 1999
Houston Rockets 2 2 4 1994, 1995 1981, 1986
Baltimore/Washington Bullets/Washington Wizards 1 3 4 1978 1971, 1975, 1979
St. Louis/Atlanta Hawks 1 3 4 1958 1957, 1960, 1961
Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder 1 3 4 1979 1978, 1996, 2012
Portland Trail Blazers 1 2 3 1977 1990, 1992
Dallas Mavericks 1 1 2 2011 2006
Milwaukee Bucks 1 1 2 1971 1974
Rochester Royals/Sacramento Kings 1 0 1 1951
Baltimore Bullets (original) (folded in 1954)[a] 1 0 1 1948
New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets 0 2 2 2002, 2003
Cleveland Cavaliers 0 2 2 2007, 2015
Orlando Magic 0 2 2 1995, 2009
Phoenix Suns 0 2 2 1976, 1993
New Orleans/Utah Jazz 0 2 2 1997, 1998
Indiana Pacers 0 1 1 2000
Chicago Stags (folded in 1950) 0 1 1 1947
Washington Capitols (folded in 1951) 0 1 1 1949
Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets
Denver Nuggets
Buffalo Braves/San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers
Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies
Minnesota Timberwolves
New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans
Toronto Raptors

Notes

  1. ^ Due to the NBA's realignment into three divisions, the team with the best regular season record after the Divisional Finals advanced automatically to the NBA Finals while the other two teams faced off in the NBA Semifinals to determine the other finalist. Eastern Division champion Syracuse had the best regular season record among the division champions, causing Central Division (no relation to the current Central Division) champion Minneapolis to face Western Division champion Anderson Packers in the NBA Semifinals.[27]
  2. ^ The trophy was renamed for Walter A. Brown.
  3. ^ The trophy was replaced by a new design.[19][20]
  4. ^ The trophy was renamed for Larry O'Brien.
  5. ^ Due to a lockout, the season did not start until February 5, 1999, and all 29 teams played a shortened 50 game regular season schedule.[76]
  6. ^ Due to a lockout, the season did not start until December 25, 2011 and all 30 teams played a shortened 66-game regular season schedule.[90][91]

See also

References

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External links

  • NBA.com: List of champions