25. 2001-02 Los Angeles Lakers
The 2001-02 season was the final year of this era’s Lakers dynasty. They swept their way through the NBA Finals — ultimately closing out a championship three-peat. The Western Conference Finals were actually the most competitive series for this year’s Lakers, as they won Game 7 in overtime against the Sacramento Kings. The Conference Finals were one of the best playoff series in history, and Robert Horry’s buzzer-beater in Game 4 will never be forgotten. Led by Kobe and Shaq, this team was dominant. Had the duo not split up, this Lakers team could have continued to rule the NBA for years to come. But looking back on this special group of players, there is no doubt that they made up one of the greatest teams ever assembled.
24. 2012-13 Miami Heat
Winning back-to-back championships is one of the toughest feats to accomplish in professional sports. All other teams tend to be gunning for the champs after the first title-winning season. With that said, the Miami Heat were able to overcome the adversity — clinching their second-straight championship in the 2012-13 season. On the way to this title, they faced two seven-game series in a row, beating the Pacers in the Conference Finals, and then the Spurs in the NBA Finals. This team is on this list because of their refusal to quit. They were just seconds away from losing the NBA Finals in Game 6. However, Ray Allen’s clutch three sent them to overtime, and the Heat went on to force a Game 7 (which they won). Led by LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and Ray Allen, this team was remarkable to watch, and they seemed to always come up big in crunch time.
23. 2015-2016 Cleveland Cavaliers
Apparently LeBron has a knack for coming from behind to win a championship. He appears twice in a row on this list, because his 2015-16 Cavs came back from 3-1 against the Warriors to win the title. Facing a Golden State team that set a regular season record with 73 wins, nobody believed that Cleveland could come back in the series. However, clutch play from LeBron, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and J.R. Smith helped the Cavs overcome insurmountable odds to win it all. Game 7 was a must-watch, and Kyrie’s timely three sealed the deal to deliver Cleveland its first championship in its 46-year history.
22. 2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe and Shaq are back again with the team that won the second championship of their three-peat. While the duo was always dominant, this year was on another level — as they only lost one game in the entire playoffs. They swept their way to the NBA Finals, and then closed out Allen Iverson and the 76ers in just five games. Both Kobe and Shaq averaged over 28 points in the regular season, and they even increased those totals once they reached the postseason.
Derek Fisher and Rick Fox were strong pieces of the supporting cast, and with a coach like Phil Jackson, it was tough to bet against a team of this caliber. The 2000-01 Lakers appeared to be unbeatable, and they made winning back-to-back titles look easy.