The NBA is one of the most competitive leagues in the world. Every year, all the teams select a player from the draft to try and land a superstar for the future and compete at the highest level vs. the best teams on earth.
However, there are franchises that have managed better their teams using some better internal policies, selecting managers with great strategies, signing the best free agents, and most importantly creating a good team spirit.
One of these franchises is, for sure, the Los Angeles Lakers. The team famous for wearing gold and purple is one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA accomplished to get 17 championships, tied with the Boston Celtics for the most ever. That’s why today, we’re going to honor that franchise by ranking the top 10 best teams they’ve had.
10. 1987-88 Season
The 1987-88 Los Angeles Lakers won 62 games in the regular season and defeated the infamous “bad boys” of Detroit Pistons led by Isaiah Thomas in 7 games in a very emotional NBA Finals. There, James Worthy was named Finals MVP with an amazing performance in the title-clinching game where he logged 36 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists.
9. 2001-02 Season
The 2001-02 Los Angeles Lakers team won a second title in a row at the hand of Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and legendary coach Phil Jackson. They didn’t find any opposition throughout the regular season and put the cherry on top of the sundae by knocking down the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA Finals.
8. 2008-09 Season
The 2008-09 Los Angeles Lakers had a tough time in the playoffs, beating starts of the size of Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady, Carmelo Anthony, and even a prime Dwight Howard. However, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol made sure to get the job done throughout the year, later sweeping Howard’s Orlando Magic at the ultimate stage.
7. 1979-80 Season
Well, we couldn’t leave Magic Johnson’s 1979-80 rookie season out of this list. Magic was a perfect complement for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and helped the Lakers make the Finals, even subbing in from him vs. Julius Erving and the Philadelphia 76ers and stealing the show with 42 points, 15 rebounds, and 7 assists.
6. 1999-00 Season
The 1999-00 season was a breaking point for the Los Angeles Lakers franchise. They once again took a step forward as the best team in the NBA thanks to Shaquille O’Neal’s MVP campaign, Phil Jackson’s tutelage, and an up-and-coming Kobe Bryant. They won the first of three straight titles that year.
5. 1971-72 Season
Back in the day, the Los Angeles Lakers were struggling after moving from Minneapolis to California. Those struggles came to an end in 1971-72 at the hand of Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain, who led them to the NBA Finals to beat the New York Knicks.
4. 2019-20 Season
Even though some people believe that that season should have an asterisk next to it, there’s no doubt that the 2019-20 Los Angeles Lakers deserve a high spot on this list. Led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers were the most consistent team even before the infamous ‘Covid-19 bubble’ in Orlando. They won their 17th title after a decade and in the same year of Kobe Bryant’s tragic accident.
3. 1984-85 Season
The Showtime Lakers were at their best during the 1984-85 season. Magic Johnson, James Worthy, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar led the team to a 62-20 record in the regular season and then capped off the year by beating the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.
2. 2000-01 Season
The 2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers were pretty much unstoppable during the playoffs. They finished with a nearly-flawless record of 15-1 in the postseason, with Allen Iverson handing them their only loss of the playoffs in the NBA Finals. Shaq and Kobe were just too much to handle.
1. 1986-87 Season
And last, but not least, we find the 1986-87 Los Angeles Lakers squad. Once again, the Showtime Lakers delivered all year long, leading the franchise to 67 wins in the regular season and once again beating Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.