Thirteen NBA teams have won consecutive titles, with the Boston Celtics holding the record, winning the championship eight times between 1959 and 1966 under Hall of Fame coach Red Auerbach. Phil Jackson pulled off a triple three-peat with three consecutive NBA championships at three different times with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers.
Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson, and the 1990s Chicago Bulls dominated the 1990s with six NBA titles in eight seasons. Jordan and Jackson pulled off two separate three-peats between 1991-93 and 1996-98.
Jackson guided the LA Lakers to five titles at the start of the 21st Century. He secured a three-peat with Shaq and Kobe between 2000-2002, and then capped off his career with a repeat in 2009-10.
NBA TEAMS WITH CONSECUTIVE CHAMPIONSHIPS
1949-1950 Minneapolis Lakers (2)
1952-1954 Minneapolis Lakers (3)
1959-1966 Boston Celtics (8)
1968-1969 Boston Celtics (2)
1987-1988 Los Angeles Lakers (2)
1989-1990 Detroit Pistons (2)
1991-1993 Chicago Bulls (3)
1994-1995 Houston Rockets (2)
1996-1998 Chicago Bulls (3)
2000-2002 LA Lakers (3)
2009-2010 LA Lakers (2)
2012-2013 Miami Heat (2)
2017-2018 Golden State Warriors (2)
LeBron James and the Miami Heat won back-to-back titles before he headed back home to Cleveland to finally secure them a long-awaited championship. He’d love to add his version of the Lakers to this historic list before he retires.
Most recently, the Golden State Warriors won back-to-back championships with NBA titles in 2017 and 2018. The Warriors hoped to pull off a rare three-peat in 2019, but Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson were injured in the NBA Finals and the team was unable to stop a red-hot Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors.
Celtics Dynasty: Eight Straight
When you talk about sports dynasties, you have to include the Boston Celtics, who are arguably the most dominant franchise in any sport with 17 total NBA championship seasons. It’s not easy to win consecutive titles, let alone eight in a row. All in all, the Celtics won 11 championships inside of 13 seasons.
Red Auerbach and his trademark cigar, won the Celtics’ first title in 1957. They lost in the 1958 NBA Finals to the St. Louis Hawks, but won their second franchise championship in 1959 and started on an historic winning streak. Auerbach’s Celtics won again in 1959… in 1960… in 1961… in 1962… in 1963… in 1964… in 1965… and again in 1966.
Ex-player Bill Russell took over as head coach and guided the team to back-to-back titles in 1968 and 1969. That capped off 11 titles between 1957 and 1969.
The Celtics would win six more NBA championships between 1974 and 2008, but never more than one at a time. That included the Larry Bird, Robert Parrish, and Kevin McHale glory days in the 1980s. Led by coach KC Jones, the Celtics won three NBA titles scattered between 1981 and 1986.
OG Lakers, Showtime Lakers, Shaq/Kobe Lakers
The original Lakers were based out of Minneapolis. If you didn’t know, Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes, and that’s where the team name originated. The franchise migrated to the West Coast when the team moved to Los Angeles. The LA Lakers were born in 1960.
The legendary George Mikan led the Lakers to five NBA championships. The Minny Lakers secured the NBA’s first repeat run with titles in 1949 and 1950. The Minny Lakers also secured the first three-peat in NBA history with three titles between 1952 and 1954.
In the 1980s, the Lakers appeared in the NBA finals eight times and secured five NBA championships. The “Showtime Lakers” won four times under Pat Riley. They also secured the first back-to-back run in the NBA in 17 years when they won the title in 1987 and 1988.
Phil Jackson guided the Lakers to five NBA championships in the 2000s. Along with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, the Lakers locked up a three-peat between 2000 and 2002. Kobe won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010 with the Lakers (without Shaq) during the peak Mamba years.
NBA Champion Three-peats: Lakers, Celtics, Bulls
George Mikan and the Minneapolis Lakers made NBA history with the league’s first three-peat in the 1950s during the halcyon days of the NBA.
The Celtics secured the second three-peat in the early 1960s. Red Auberbach’s squad is also the only team to win a four-peat, five-peat, six-peat, seven-peat, and eight-peat (octo-peat).
In a 25-year period between 1966 and 1991, no NBA team won three titles in a row. The Showtime Lakers were interrupted by the Boston Celtics. The Bad Boy Detroit Pistons were thwarted by Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
NBA THREE-PEAT CHAMPIONS
1952-1954 Minneapolis Lakers
1959-1966 Boston Celtics (8)
1991-1993 Chicago Bulls
1996-1998 Chicago Bulls
2000-2002 LA Lakers
Phil Jackson used his Zen magic to help push Jordan to the first of two three-peats in Chicago. The second three-peat was chronicled in “The Last Dance” documentary on ESPN.
If Jerry Krause didn’t break up the 1990s Bulls, they could have won four or more titles. If Jordan didn’t retire after his father passed away, he could have led the Bulls to eight in a row to tie the Boston Celtics. Too bad they never had a chance to make a run at the Celtics, because it would have been close.
To prove that he could actually coach and win a title without Michael Jordan, Jackson added five more championships to his resume with the LA Lakers. Jackson also completed the triple three-peat with championships between 2000 and 2002