- The UCLA Bruins established themselves as one of the best basketball teams ever during the late 1960’s and 1970’s
- The Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls are three of best franchises in NBA history
Selecting the best basketball teams in the nation is not as easy as just comparing wins and losses. The truly best of the best were able to consistently win over an extended period of time, usually against some pretty stiff competition. Defining the best is a matter of opinion as there have been numerous teams both in the NCAA and NBA that qualify.
We’ve seen these teams light up the basketball scoreboards. Now they’re getting the recognition they deserve.
The UCLA Bruins of the 1970’s are one team that is always mentioned when discussing the best teams in the history of college basketball. Coached by the legendary John Wooden, the Bruins were led by two of the most dominant big men in college basketball; Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton. An astounding 10 championships in twelve seasons, including a record 7 straight, are just some of the records the Bruins hold. Overall, the Bruins have won a total of 11 NCAA championships, more than any other Division I college team.
As far as the people of Boston are concerned, the Celtics are one of the most storied franchises in NBA history. Of course, it helps that they won a total of 17 championships and have 33 players enshrined in the hall of fame, more than any other NBA team. From 1959 to 1966 the Celtics won 8 championships in a row. When they were finally defeated in 1967 they turned around and won back to back championships in 1968 and 1969. The 1970’s were no let down either as the Celtics brought home the championship in 1974 and 1976 as well.
The Los Angeles Lakers, with 14 NBA championships, are second only to the Celtics for the most titles in NBA history. Although the teams with Elgin Baylor and Jerry West were more than formidable, the truly great teams were the Lakers of the 1980’s. With stars such as James Worthy, Kareem Abdul-Jabar and Magic Johnson, they had a cast of future hall of famers at just about every position. Their battles with Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics during the 1980’s are considered one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports.
More recently, the Chicago Bulls, who were led by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, established their stake as one of the best basketball teams ever. Between 1991 and 1998 the Bulls brought home six NBA championships to Chicago under the direction of Phil Jackson. The last 3 championships were won after Michael Jordan returned from retirement in 1995 with that season, in particular, being especially memorable. The team led by Jordan, Pippen and Dennis Rodman won an NBA record 72 games in route to the championship.
When you look back over the years there have been some pretty dominant basketball teams in the last quarter century. The records and accomplishments of both the teams and their individual players can stand as a testament to their greatness. To be the considered among the best teams in basketball, you have to have the statistics to back it up.