NBA

The NBA teams with the most NBA championships (and teams with no championships)

The NBA is the most-watched professional basketball league in the world, and the league is the highest level at which the game is played. The NBA Playoffs is when the highest competition occurs. Often just two or three plays during a game where there’s 100+ possessions a game can shape the outcome.

During the NBA’s 75-year history, several teams have lifted the Larry O’Brien trophy and were crowned NBA champions, but which franchises hold has the fullest trophy cases? In this article, we’re going to take a look at the most NBA championships by one team and give a little insight into the league’s most storied franchises.

The NBA’s biggest rivalry

If you know your NBA history, you know that the biggest rivalry in the entire league is the one between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. You couldn’t have written out a better rivalry than the Lakers and Celtics even with a fantasy sports site like the estnn website. The Celtics and Lakers have met in the NBA finals for an NBA record 12 times and separately have brought home the NBA title a record 17 times.

Most NBA Championships by Team
RANK TEAM TITLES FINALS AKA
1 Boston Celtics 17 21 N/A
1 Los Angeles Lakers 17 32 Minneapolis Lakers
3 Chicago Bulls 6 6 N/A
3 Golden State Warriors 6 10 Philadelphia/San Francisco
4 San Antonio Spurs 5 6 N/A
5 Detroit Pistons 3 7 Fort Wayne
5 Miami Heat 3 5 N/A
5 Philadelphia 76ers 3 10 Syracuse Nationals
8 Houston Rockets 2 3 N/A
8 New York Knicks 2 8 N/A
8 Milwaukee Bucks 2 3 N/A

In addition to the Celtics and Lakers, only one other franchise was able to win three NBA championships in a row (threepeat), and that is the Chicago Bulls. Let’s take a deeper look at these three franchises.

Boston Celtics (17)

The Celtics dynasty in the 1960s is considered by some to be the greatest since it won the most NBA championships ever. Between 1957 to 1969, the Celtics won 11 championships and eight in a row. The NBA was not as competitive back at that time, and fitness levels were not as standardized as they are today. Nevertheless, the Celtics dominated an entire decade behind legendary names like Bill Russell, and Red Auerbach.

Russell also happens to be the player with the most NBA championships. Russell’s rings accounts for eleven of the 17 championships that the Celtics have in their history.

Los Angeles Lakers (17)

While the Lakers didn’t have the same consistent success as the Celtics, their success is nevertheless just as relevant. The Lakers are the only team to win four or more championships in a single decade 3 separate times. So while the Celtics dominated for a single decade, the Lakers’ remained relevant and dominated 3 separate eras with Hall of Famers like Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and now Lebron James.

Chicago Bulls (6)

No matter where you stand on the GOAT debate, one thing cannot be argued…Michael Jordan is the most influential player to ever play basketball. Jordan’s Bulls won 3 consecutive titles from 1991 to 1993 and then again from 1996 to 1998. Accomplishing a threepeat in the NBA is no easy feat, by doing it twice, Jordan and the Bulls forever etched their names in the NBA history books as arguably the best basketball team in the modern era.

The Best of the Rest

The Warriors are the only other team in the NBA to have won 6 titles, while the Spurs won 5 all under the phenomenal coaching of Greg Popovich.


Both teams are considered dynasties for being able to remain relevant for such long periods of time, however, neither was able to accomplish a threepeat like the Celtics, Lakers, or Bulls. The Sixers, Pistons, and Heat each won 3 titles, while the Rockets, Knicks, and Bucks each won 2 NBA championships. There are 8 other teams that won only 1 NBA championship. The Raptors, Cavaliers, Mavericks, Supersonics/Thunder, Bullets/Wizards, Trail Blazers/Hawks, and Kings.

And the Winner is

Out of the total 30 teams competing for an NBA championship each year, 19 have won it all at least once.
When all is said and done, the Celtics and Lakers are clearly ahead of the pack when it comes to Most NBA Championships won by a team. Even though both franchises are tied at the moment, the Celtics’ current roster looks better positioned to break the tie and lift that elusive 18th banner. With the way the playoffs are shaping up this year, it could be sooner than you think.

The NBA Teams that have never won an NBA championship

Now in alphabetical order, the franchises that have never won an NBA championship. The team with the longest NBA championship drought? Let’s take a look

NBA Franchises With No Championships
TEAM YEAR SEASONS
Brooklyn Nets 1976 46
Charlotte Hornets 1988 33
Indiana Pacers 1976 46
Denver Nuggets 1976 46
Los Angeles Clippers 1970 52
Memphis Grizzlies 1995 27
Minnesota Timberwolves 1989 32
New Orleans Pelicans 2002 20
Orlando Magic 1989 32
Phoenix Suns 1968 53
Utah Jazz 1974 48

No surprise to see the Los Angeles Clippers on this list. Behind Devin Booker and Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, and Nikola Jokic, these superstars may eventually bring the franchise’s first NBA title to Phoenix, Brooklyn, and Denver.

Believe it or not, the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks have NBA championships in their history. Given both teams were in different cities and it’s been nearly 70 years. The former-Kings Rochester Royals won the NBA title waaaaaay back in 1951 and the St. Louis Hawks won behind #NBA75 player Bob Petit in 1958.

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