Which is the best team in NBA History? It’s a popular question and a subject of much debate. With different rules and eras, we may never get a true answer, but I’ll do my best to answer that question today.
Best Team in NBA History: 2016-17 Golden State Warriors
The best team in NBA history is the 2016-2017 Golden State Warriors. In that season, the NBA had seven players averaging more than 22 points and had effective field goal percentages of at least 56. Three of those players who came were in Golden State (Curry, Durant, and Thompson). Unlike most elite powerhouses, the Warriors didn’t undergo the typical first-year rough patches that most super teams go through.
The Warriors easily accumulated 67 victories, the best effective field-goal percentage in league history, and the fourth-best scoring system. In terms of offensive stats entering the 2016-2017 season, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry were ranked third and fifth. The Warrior’s first debut season alongside Durant was arguably the easiest transition for a superstar player in NBA history.
Every player’s game appeared to mirror one another flawlessly which caused them to reach their peak at the perfect time.
Runner-up: 1995-96 Chicago Bulls
The second-best team in NBA history is the 1995–96 Chicago Bulls. Winning 72 games appeared to be one of the most difficult and impossible records to break in sports history before the 2015–16 Golden State Warriors. The 1995-96 Chicago Bulls were the league leaders for defensive and offensive ratings.
Pointing out the obvious, Michael Jordan was the star alongside his sidekick Scottie Pippen. Jordan was averaging 30.4 points, 4.3 assists, and 2.2 steals per game. Pippen totaled 19.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 5.9 assists. In 26.0 minutes off the bench, Kukoc tallied 13.1 points and 3.5 assists while shooting 40.3 percent from outside the arc. Kerr shot 51.5 percent from the 3 every 2.8 attempts per game. Dennis Rodman also pulled down 14.9 rebounds, demolishing the glass defensive and offensive. During the playoffs, Chicago was dashed by teams by 12 points and went 15-3 in their playoff run.
Third-Best Team in NBA History
The 3rd best team in NBA history is the 2000-2001 Los Angeles Lakers. Shaq and Kobe both led the Lakers to multiple championships but this is by far their best. Los Angeles swept the Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, and top-seeded San Antonio Spurs on a run through the West, decimating every team in its path. Allen Iverson scored 48 points to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to victory in Game 1 of the Finals, but the Lakers immediately rebounded and went on to win the following four games by an average score of 10 points. Shaq averaged 33.0 points, 15.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 3.4 blocks per game in the Finals.
During their three-peat, he played in 15 Finals games and averaged 35.9 points, 15.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.9 blocks. On their path to their first title, Shaq and Kobe were undoubtedly effective together. But in 2000–01, they truly began to stake out their position as one of the greatest pairings ever.