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List of NBA Champions by Year

The NBA celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2022, which means its list of former champions is quite the roll of honor.

While the game has certainly changed since the first champions were crowned in 1947, the glory of winning it all remains the pinnacle of the sport. 

Below is a look back at all the previous NBA champions, along with a list of every winner from 1947 through to the 2023 Denver Nuggets.

Which team has won the most NBA Championships?

The record for most NBA titles is held jointly by bitter rivals: the LA Lakers and the Boston Celtics

The pair have each won 17 championships, meaning they have come out on top in almost half of the seasons in league history. They also share the record for the most frequent finals matchup, with the Celtics holding a 9-3 record across their 12 previous clashes. 

There's quite a gap between the league's two most-storied franchises and the rest, with the Golden State Warriors the third most successful side with seven titles. 

Four of those championships have come since 2015, with the Warriors marking themselves into a modern NBA dynasty. 

Of the current 30 NBA teams, 20 of them have claimed at least one championship, the latest being the Denver Nuggets, who won their first title in franchise history in 2023.

Which coach has won the most NBA Championships?

Phil Jackson is the most successful coach in NBA history, thanks to hugely successful spells in Chicago and LA. Jackson twice three-peated with the Bulls before going on to claim five titles with the Lakers between 2000 and 2010. 

His third three-peat as a coach came with the Lakers between 2000 and 2002 took him level with Red Auerbach, who led the Celtics to nine of their 17 titles between 1957 and 1966. 

Gregg Popovich is the most successful active coach, with five championships to his name. However, Steve Kerr – a five-time winner as a player – has nine total rings thanks to his spell in charge of the Golden State Warriors.

Which player has won the most NBA Championships?

The legendary Bill Russell won 11 championships in his 13 seasons with the Boston Celtics, making him the most decorated NBA player of all time. 

No active player is anywhere close to that, with LeBron James and four Warriors level on four rings to date.

View the latest odds to win the 2023/24 NBA Championship.

NBA Champions By Year

1947-49

YearWinnerScoreRunner-up
1947 Philadelphia Warriors  4-1 Chicago Stags
1948 Baltimore Bullets 4-2 Philadelphia Warriors
1949 Minneapolis Lakers 4-2 Washington Capitols

1950-59

YearWinnerScoreRunner-up
1950Minneapolis Lakers4-2Syracuse Nationals 
1951Rochester Royals4-3New York Knicks
1952Minneapolis Lakers4-3New York Knicks
1953Minneapolis Lakers4-1New York Knicks
1954Minneapolis Lakers4-3Syracuse Nationals 
1955Syracuse Nationals4-3Fort Wayne Pistons
1956Philadelphia Warriors4-1Fort Wayne Pistons
1957Boston Celtics4-3St Louis Hawks
1958St Louis Hawks4-2Boston Celtics
1959Boston Celtics4-0Minneapolis Lakers

1960-69

YearWinnerScoreRunner-up
1960Boston Celtics4-3St. Louis Hawks
1961Boston Celtics4-1St. Louis Hawks
1962Boston Celtics4-3Los Angeles Lakers
1963Boston Celtics4-2Los Angeles Lakers
1964Boston Celtics4-1San Francisco Warriors
1965Boston Celtics4-1Los Angeles Lakers
1966Boston Celtics4-3Los Angeles Lakers
1967Philadelphia 76ers4-2San Francisco Warriors
1968Boston Celtics4-2Los Angeles Lakers
1969Boston Celtics4-3Los Angeles Lakers

1970-79

YearWinnerScoreRunner-up
1970New York Knicks4-3Los Angeles Lakers
1971Milwaukee Bucks4-0Baltimore Bullets
1972Los Angeles Lakers4-1New York Knicks
1973New York Knicks4-1Los Angeles Lakers
1974Boston Celtics4-3Milwaukee Bucks
1975Golden State Warriors4-0Washington Bullets
1976Boston Celtics4-2Phoenix Suns
1977Portland Trail Blazers4-2Philadelphia 76ers
1978Washington Bullets4-3Seattle SuperSonics
1979Seattle SuperSonics4-1Washington Bullets

1980-89

YearWinnerScoreRunner-up
1980Los Angeles Lakers4-2Philadelphia 76ers
1981Boston Celtics4-2Houston Rockets
1982Los Angeles Lakers4-2Philadelphia 76ers
1983Philadelphia 76ers4-0Los Angeles Lakers
1984Boston Celtics 4-3Los Angeles Lakers
1985Los Angeles Lakers4-2Boston Celtics
1986Boston Celtics4-2Houston Rockets
1987Los Angeles Lakers4-2Boston Celtics
1988Los Angeles Lakers4-3Detroit Pistons
1989Detroit Pistons4-0Los Angeles Lakers

1990-99

YearWinnerScoreRunner-up
1990Detroit Pistons4-1Portland Trail Blazers
1991Chicago Bulls4-1Los Angeles Lakers
1992Chicago Bulls4-2Portland Trail Blazers
1993Chicago Bulls4-2Phoenix Suns
1994Houston Rockets4-3New York Knicks
1995Houston Rockets4-0Orlando Magic
1996Chicago Bulls4-2Seattle SuperSonics
1997Chicago Bulls4-2Utah Jazz
1998Chicago Bulls4-2Utah Jazz
1999San Antonio Spurs4-1New York Knicks

2000-09

YearWinnerScoreRunner-up
2000Los Angeles Lakers4-2Indiana Pacers
2001Los Angeles Lakers4-1Philadelphia 76ers
2002Los Angeles Lakers4-0New Jersey Jets
2003San Antonio Spurs4-2New Jersey Jets
2004Detroit Pistons4-1Los Angeles Lakers
2005San Antonio Spurs4-3Detroit Pistons
2006Miami Heat4-2Dallas Mavericks
2007San Antonio Spurs4-0Cleveland Cavaliers
2008Boston Celtics4-2Los Angeles Lakers
2009Los Angeles Lakers4-1Orlando Magic

2010-19

YearWinnerScoreRunner-up
2010Los Angeles Lakers4-3Boston Celtics
2011Dallas Mavericks4-2Miami Heat
2012Miami Heat4-1Oklahoma City Thunder
2013Miami Heat4-3San Antonio Spurs
2014San Antonio Spurs4-1Miami Heat
2015Golden State Warriors4-2Cleveland Cavaliers
2016Cleveland Cavaliers4-3Golden State Warriors
2017Golden State Warriors4-1Cleveland Cavaliers
2018Golden State Warriors4-0Cleveland Cavaliers
2019Toronto Raptors4-2Golden State Warriors

2020-22

YearWinnerScoreRunner-up
2020Los Angeles Lakers4-2Miami Heat
2021Milwaukee Bucks4-2Phoenix Suns
2022Golden State Warriors4-2Boston Celtics
2023Denver Nuggets4-1Miami Heat

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