NBA Finals History: Ranking The Last 50 Champions

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NBA Finals

Jun 12, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; General view of the Finals logo on the court prior to game four of the 2014 NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 NBA Finals have already passed us by, with a franchise outside of San Antonio, Los Angeles, or Miami actually claiming the Larry O’Brien Trophy. That’s awfully rare these days.

Throughout NBA Finals history — specifically from 1966 to our modern game — there have only been 14 different organizations to have championship parades. Fifty years … only 14 different teams.

The league has pushed for more “competitive balance” over the last handful of years, which was probably a compelling reason why David Stern shut down the Chris Paul trade from New Orleans to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers and Celtics have accounted for 33 NBA rings in their existence, with 20 coming in the last 50 years.

NBA Finals History

Jun 16, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) kisses the Larry O’Brien Trophy after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in game six of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State just brought home their second trophy, with this one feeling a bit sweeter than the 1975 title, because of the exquisite regular season and playoff performances that came before the 2015 Finals. Everyone expected the Warriors to have an easier trip to victory lane because of injuries derailing the Thunder (out West) and the Cavaliers (in the Finals).

Still, it’s incredible that so many people want to try to take something away from what the Warriors accomplished in 2014-15.

We’ve been fortunate enough to keep our eyeballs on every remarkable superstar matchup in the Finals (or the entertaining David vs. Goliath battles we sometimes get). Surely our memory hasn’t forgotten all the past champions.  The one-hit wonders.  The dynasties.  The back-to-backs.  The narratives.

Allow me to take you on a stroll through the vault, as we unravel the past 50 NBA championship teams, dating back to the late 60’s.

Which teams belong in the top 10?  Which have been vastly overrated by silly misconceptions?  Where do the current Oakland heroes belong in the pantheon of unforgettable rosters?

Let’s figure this out.

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