The 10 Most Successful NBA Teams Ever

Source: Dubi Kaufmann / Flickr

People play basketball for all sorts of reasons. Because it’s fun. Because it’s a good way to exercise. Because their friends play it. Because of the sound the ball makes when it bounces off the court or the blacktop. Whatever the reason for starting, though, most basketball players play to win. To have more points on the board than the other team when time expires. To not be the 2012-2013 Charlotte Bobcats, holders of the lowest win percentage in National Basketball Association history (10 percent) and a 7-59 record.

Many of these teams are NBA champions. That correlation seems easy when you consider that the best teams are often most likely to emerge as the end-of-the-season victors, but it’s far from an absolute — some of the very best regular-season teams have come up short when it mattered most. One of these squads isn’t even a proper NBA team, but it’s still here because those athletes helped lay the groundwork for the league as we know it. None of LeBron James’s teams have made it yet, although last year’s squad came very, very close. But there are three-peaters and dynasties and record breakers.

Earlier, we wrote about recently successful NBA teams based on coaching changes, winning percentages, and the number of playoff home games. This following list is a much simpler representation of the ten most successful NBA teams of all time, ranked according to win percentage.