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NBA Championship winners over the years

A list of the NBA championship winners over the years.

We will take a look at the nba champions by year. The National Basketball Association or NBA is widely regarded as the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world. It has 30 franchised clubs, including one from Canada.

The NBA Finals are played in a best-of-seven format, and have been contested between the winners of the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference, except in 1950 in which the Eastern Division champion faced the winner between the Western and Central Division champions.

The Eastern Conference leads the Western Conference in series won (37–29. The Boston Celtics and the Minneapolis / Los Angeles Lakers alone own almost half of the titles, having won a combined 33 of 67 championships.

The Boston Celtics have won the championship 17 times. LA Lakers come in second place with 15 and Chicago Bulls have gone home with 6 titles. These teams have been the most successful teams in the history of the championship.

The current NBA champions are the Miami Heat.

nba champions by year

The Victorious Miami Heat team (2012-13 season)

Here is the list of NBA Championship winners over the years. You can also find the MVP (Most valuable player) of the Finals as well as the season in the table.

YearChampionRunner-upFinals MVPSeason MVP
2012-13Miami HeatSan Antonio SpursLeBron JamesLeBron James
Miami HeatMiami Heat
2011-12Miami HeatOklahoma City ThunderLeBron JamesLeBron James
Miami HeatMiami Heat
2010-11Dallas MavericksMiami HeatDirk NowitzkiDerrick Rose
Dallas MavericksChicago Bulls
2009-10Los Angeles LakersBoston CelticsKobe BryantLeBron James
Los Angeles LakersCleveland Cavaliers
2008-09Los Angeles LakersOrlando MagicKobe BryantLeBron James
Los Angeles LakersCleveland Cavaliers
2007-08Boston CelticsLos Angeles LakersPaul PierceKobe Bryant
Boston CelticsLos Angeles Lakers
2006-07San Antonio SpursCleveland CavaliersTony ParkerDirk Nowitzki
San Antonio SpursDallas Mavericks
2005-06Miami HeatDallas MavericksDwyane WadeSteve Nash
Miami HeatPhoenix Suns
2004-05San Antonio SpursDetroit PistonsTim DuncanSteve Nash
San Antonio SpursPhoenix Suns
2003-04Detroit PistonsLos Angeles LakersChauncey BillupsKevin Garnett
Detroit PistonsMinnesota Timberwolves
2002-03San Antonio SpursNew Jersey NetsTim DuncanTim Duncan
San Antonio SpursSan Antonio Spurs
2001-02Los Angeles LakersNew Jersey NetsShaquille O’NealTim Duncan
Los Angeles LakersSan Antonio Spurs
2000-01Los Angeles LakersPhiladelphia 76ersShaquille O’NealAllen Iverson
Los Angeles LakersPhiladelphia 76ers
1999-00Los Angeles LakersIndiana PacersShaquille O’NealShaquille O’Neal
Los Angeles LakersLos Angeles Lakers
1998-99San Antonio SpursNew York KnicksTim DuncanKarl Malone
San Antonio SpursUtah Jazz
1997-98Chicago BullsUtah JazzMichael JordanMichael Jordan
Chicago BullsChicago Bulls
1996-97Chicago BullsUtah JazzMichael JordanKarl Malone
Chicago BullsUtah Jazz
1995-96Chicago BullsSeattle SupersonicsMichael JordanMichael Jordan
Chicago BullsChicago Bulls
1994-95Houston RocketsOrlando MagicHakeem OlajuwonDavid Robinson
Houston RocketsSan Antonio Spurs
1993-94Houston RocketsNew York KnicksHakeem OlajuwonHakeem Olajuwon
Houston RocketsHouston Rockets
1992-93Chicago BullsPhoenix SunsMichael JordanCharles Barkley
Chicago BullsPhoenix Suns
1991-92Chicago BullsPortland Trail BlazersMichael JordanMichael Jordan
Chicago BullsChicago Bulls
1990-91Chicago BullsLos Angeles LakersMichael JordanMichael Jordan
Chicago BullsChicago Bulls
1989-90Detroit PistonsPortland Trail BlazersIsiah ThomasMagic Johnson
Detroit PistonsLos Angeles Lakers
1988-89Detroit PistonsLos Angeles LakersJoe DumarsMagic Johnson
Detroit PistonsLos Angeles Lakers
1987-88Los Angeles LakersDetroit PistonsJames WorthyMichael Jordan
Los Angeles LakersChicago Bulls
1986-87Los Angeles LakersBoston CelticsMagic JohnsonMagic Johnson
Los Angeles LakersLos Angeles Lakers
1985-86Boston CelticsHouston RocketsLarry BirdLarry Bird
Boston CelticsBoston Celtics
1984-85Los Angeles LakersBoston CelticsKareem Abdul-JabbarLarry Bird
Los Angeles LakersBoston Celtics
1983-84Boston CelticsLos Angeles LakersLarry BirdLarry Bird
Boston CelticsBoston Celtics
1982-83Philadelphia 76ersLos Angeles LakersMoses MaloneMoses Malone
Philadelphia 76ersPhiladelphia 76ers
1981-82Los Angeles LakersPhiladelphia 76ersMagic JohnsonMoses Malone
Los Angeles LakersHouston Rockets
1980-81Boston CelticsHouston RocketsCedric MaxwellJulius Erving
Boston CelticsPhiladelphia 76ers
1979-80Los Angeles LakersPhiladelphia 76ersMagic JohnsonKareem Abdul-Jabbar
Los Angeles LakersLos Angeles Lakers
1978-79Seattle SupersonicsWashington BulletsDennis JohnsonMoses Malone
Seattle SupersonicsHouston Rockets
1977-78Washington BulletsSeattle SupersonicsWes UnseldBill Walton
Washington BulletsPortland Trail Blazers
1976-77Portland Trail BlazersPhiladelphia 76ersBill WaltonKareem Abdul-Jabbar
Portland Trail BlazersLos Angeles Lakers
1975-76Boston CelticsPhoenix SunsJo Jo WhiteKareem Abdul-Jabbar
Boston CelticsLos Angeles Lakers
1974-75Golden State WarriorsWashington BulletsRick BarryBob McAdoo
Golden State WarriorsBuffalo Braves
1973-74Boston CelticsMilwaukee BucksJohn HavlicekKareem Abdul-Jabbar
Boston CelticsMilwaukee Bucks
1972-73New York KnicksLos Angeles LakersWillis ReedDave Cowens
New York KnicksBoston Celtics
1971-72Los Angeles LakersNew York KnicksWilt ChamberlainKareem Abdul-Jabbar
Los Angeles LakersMilwaukee Bucks
1970-71Milwaukee BucksBaltimore BulletsKareem Abdul-JabbarKareem Abdul-Jabbar
Milwaukee BucksMilwaukee Bucks
1969-70New York KnicksLos Angeles LakersWillis ReedWillis Reed
New York KnicksNew York Knicks
1968-69Boston CelticsLos Angeles LakersJerry WestWes Unseld
Los Angeles LakersBaltimore Bullets
1967-68Boston CelticsLos Angeles LakersWilt Chamberlain
Philadelphia 76ers
1966-67Philadelphia 76ersSan Francisco WarriorsWilt Chamberlain
Philadelphia 76ers
1965-66Boston CelticsLos Angeles LakersWilt Chamberlain
Philadelphia 76ers
1964-65Boston CelticsLos Angeles LakersBill Russell
Boston Celtics
1963-64Boston CelticsSan Francisco WarriorsOscar Robertson
Cincinnati Royals
1962-63Boston CelticsLos Angeles LakersBill Russell
Boston Celtics
1961-62Boston CelticsLos Angeles LakersBill Russell
Boston Celtics
1960-61Boston CelticsSt. Louis HawksBill Russell
Boston Celtics
1959-60Boston CelticsSt. Louis HawksWilt Chamberlain
Philadelphia Warriors
1958-59Boston CelticsMinneapolis LakersBob Pettit
St. Louis Hawks
1957-58St. Louis HawksBoston CelticsBill Russell
Boston Celtics
1956-57Boston CelticsSt. Louis HawksBob Cousy
Boston Celtics
1955-56Philadelphia WarriorsFort Wayne PistonsBob Pettit
St. Louis Hawks
1954-55Syracuse NationalsFort Wayne Pistons
1953-54Minneapolis LakersSyracuse Nationals
1952-53Minneapolis LakersNew York Knicks
1951-52Minneapolis LakersNew York Knicks
1950-51Rochester RoyalsNew York Knicks
1949-50Minneapolis LakersSyracuse Nationals
1948-49Minneapolis LakersWashington Capitols
1947-48Baltimore Bullets (1st)Philadelphia Warriors
1946-47Philadelphia WarriorsChicago Stags

(The Finals MVP award has been in existence only since the 1968-69 season, while season MVP award was introduced in the 1955-56 season)

What does the NBA Championship winning team walk away with? Here’s a small note on the trophy at stake:

The Walter A. Brown Trophy

The trophy was originally referred to as the NBA Finals trophy, 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.

The Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy

The trophy was renamed to the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy in 1984 in honour of Larry O’Brien, who served as the NBA commissioner from 1975 to 1983. The Boston Celtics were the inaugural winners of the renamed trophy in 1984, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games (4–3) in the 1984 NBA Finals.

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