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5 Teams with most NBA titles since 2000

A view of the Golden State Warriors 2017-2018 Championship rings and the Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy.
A view of the Golden State Warriors 2017-2018 Championship rings and the Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy.
Victor R. Lopez M.

The LA Lakers and Boston Celtics have the joint-highest number titles in NBA history, with 17 each. The Purple and Gold matched Boston's tally with their triumph in the 2020 NBA Finals over the Miami Heat.

Though the Celtics have dominated the Lakers in their NBA Finals' matchups, Los Angeles now has 11 NBA titles since the NBA/ABA merger, the most of any franchise. Apart from the 1960s and 1990s, the LA Lakers have won NBA championships in every other decade.

There is a major gap between the duo of Boston and LA when compared to their closest challengers in terms of NBA championships. The Golden State Warriors and the Chicago Bulls (both have six Larry O'Brien trophies) are tied at second place.

Since the 2000 NBA Finals, nine franchises have taken the trophy home. In this piece, we look at the five teams with the most NBA championships since the 2000 postseason.

5 Franchises with most NBA championships since 2000

The LA Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, and Golden State Warriors have put together dynasties since 2000, apart from LeBron James' individual dynasty of his own.

Let us see how those teams rank in this article and where the LeBron James' effect produces some changes.


#5 Cleveland Cavaliers - one NBA championship since 2000

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers holds the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy after winning the 2016 NBA Finals.
LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers holds the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy after winning the 2016 NBA Finals.

Even though the Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, and Toronto Raptors have also won one NBA championship since 2000, the Cleveland Cavaliers made it to the NBA Finals five times in that stretch (third-highest since the 2000 playoffs).

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Here is where the LeBron James' effect plays a big role. 'The King' has played in 10 NBA Finals himself, and five of those came with the Cavs. James guided Cleveland to the NBA Finals in 2007 and four straight times from 2015 to 2018.

Their only triumph came against the Golden State Warriors in 2016, after coming back from a 3-1 deficit to win the franchise's only NBA title so far. James was named Finals MVP after a thrilling seven-game series.


#4 Golden State Warriors - three NBA championships since 2000

Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors holds the championship trophy.
Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors holds the championship trophy.

The Golden State Warriors were a powerhouse from the 2014-15 season until the 2019 NBA Finals. In that stretch, the franchise made it to the NBA Finals five times and took home three championships (2015, 2017, and 2018).

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Though their core remained the same, there were two very different stages to the Warriors' dynasty.

Their first two appearances in The Finals during that span came with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green leading the show.

However, Kevin Durant joined the team for the 2016-17 season, and they went on to demolish their rivals for two consecutive years until injuries hindered them in the 2019 NBA Playoffs.

#3 Miami Heat - three NBA championships since 2000

Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat smiles next to the Larry O'Brien Finals Championship trophy.
Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat smiles next to the Larry O'Brien Finals Championship trophy.

The Miami Heat have been one of the NBA's best franchises in the 21st century. Though their history is not long, they have been hugely successful since 2000.

Miami have won three NBA championships (2006, 2012, and 2013) and have played in three other NBA Finals in the 21st century.

They hit the jackpot after drafting Dwyane Wade with the fifth pick of the 2003 NBA Draft. However, the major impact came with two of the biggest acquisitions in NBA history. First, Shaquille O'Neal was traded from the LA Lakers to Miami in 2004, and LeBron James subsequently took his talents to South Beach in 2010 as a free agent.

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With O'Neal, the franchise made it to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2005 and then to the NBA Finals for the first time in 2006. With Pat Riley as the coach and Wade as the main weapon on offense, the Heat took down the Dallas Mavericks in the 2006 Finals to win their first championship (and O'Neal's fourth).

Then, with LeBron James' arrival and the formation of the Big Three with Chris Bosh and Wade, Miami played in four straight finals from 2011 to 2014 and won twice in 2012 and 2013.

In 2020, coach Erik Spoelstra and star Jimmy Butler guided an unlikely run to the NBA Finals for the fifth-seeded Heat, but they fell to the LA Lakers in six games.


#2 San Antonio Spurs - four NBA championships since 2000

The San Antonio Spurs celebrate with the Larry O'Brien trophy after defeating the Miami Heat to win the 2014 NBA Finals.
The San Antonio Spurs celebrate with the Larry O'Brien trophy after defeating the Miami Heat to win the 2014 NBA Finals.

The San Antonio Spurs won their five NBA titles between 1999 and 2014, all with Gregg Popovich coaching and with Tim Duncan leading on the court. Since 2000, the Spurs have four championships and, even though they did not win back-to-back titles, they were a dynasty.

San Antonio faced tough challenges during their runs to the Larry O'Brien trophy. They had to take down the Shaquille O'Neal-Kobe Bryant LA Lakers and the Dirk Nowitzki-Steve Nash Mavericks in 2003. Then, they faced the reigning champions Detroit Pistons in the 2005 Finals and beat them.

They also went through Steve Nash's Phoenix Suns and a young LeBron James on their way to the crown in 2007. James got in their way again in the 2013 and 2014 NBA Finals, and the Spurs took the Larry O'Brien trophy home in 2014.

Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu GinΓ³bili were the franchise's core during those four titles. Duncan (2003 and 2005), Parker (2007), and Kawhi Leonard (2014) earned Finals MVP honors during San Antonio's four championships in the 21st century.


#1 LA Lakers - six NBA championships since 2000

Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after receiving two NBA Finals Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy's from Lakers photographers.
Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after receiving two NBA Finals Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy's from Lakers photographers.

Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Phil Jackson were the most influential individuals in the LA Lakers' six NBA championships since the 2000 postseason.

After years of heart-breaking exits in the postseason, the Shaq-Kobe duo broke through in 2000, with Phil Jackson coaching the team. After beating Reggie Miller's Indiana Pacers in the 2000 Finals, they swept the Western Conference in 2001 and took a 4-1 triumph over Allen Iverson's Philadelphia 76ers in The Finals.

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Their three-peat was completed after a sweep of the New Jersey Nets in the 2002 Finals after taking down the Sacramento Kings in a legendary battle in the WCF. O'Neal won the Finals MVP award during each of those three title runs.

Their loss in the 2004 Finals against Detroit was the end of the Shaq-Kobe duo, as they imploded.

Bryant then led the LA Lakers to three consecutive appearances in the Finals from 2008 to 2010. With Jackson's coaching, they won the title in 2009 and 2010 against the Orlando Magic and their 2008 nemesis, the Boston Celtics.

At the tail end of Bryant's career, the Lakers struggled to enter the NBA Playoffs, but it all changed when LeBron James and Anthony Davis joined the team in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

James and Davis led the franchise to their record-equalling 17th NBA championship with a great run in the Orlando bubble's unconventional 2020 NBA Playoffs.


Also read: Who is on the NBA Logo?

Edited by Parimal

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