Throughout the years, NBA franchises manage to accumulate more than one star athlete to create a super team. This line up has the skill and force to earn winning streaks, sweep teams in the playoffs and hoist up the Larry O‘Brien trophy at the very end of the season. Here are a few squads that made history as NBA super teams.
The Showtime Lakers (1979-1988)
Through trades, the franchise acquired Jamaal Wilkes and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Magic Johnson, the Michigan State sophomore was drafted to Los Angeles in 1979. Players like James Worthy, defensive specialist Michael Cooper, Kurt Rambis, and Byron Scott, would assist in the run and gun style that brought the team tremendous success. The Lakers won five championships within a span of eight years. Under the leadership of former head coach, Pat Riley, and the unorthodox owner Jerry Buss. The franchise added a dance squad and a marching band to heighten the entertainment value to home games.
The Bad Boys-Detroit Pistons (1980-1994)
Pistons then head coach Chuck Daly orchestrated a tough group of bruisers who ploughed through teams with aggression and physical intimidation. Point guard Isiah Thomas led the franchise with the unapologetic fouler Bill Laimbeer in the frontcourt. Opponents who got close to the basket would be aggressively hemmed up. The team also highlighted the talents of Mark Aguirre and Dennis Rodman. Detroit clinched two NBA championships in 1989 and 1990.
Boston Celtics (2007-2008)
1998 first-round draft pick Paul Pierce was given the help he needed when Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett arrived in Boston in 2007. The three players, along with young guard Rajon Rando, averaged in the double digits in points per game that season. They went into the Playoffs with a 66-16 overall record and defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in six games in the Finals.
Miami Heat (2010-2014)
LeBron James left the then ailing Cleveland Cavaliers for South Beach. He and Chris Bosh joined veteran Dwyane Wade, as Heat fans rejoiced and celebrated the trio long before their first game together. The talented group made it to four consecutive Finals appearances, earning two NBA Championships. James won Finals MVP in 2012 and 2013.
San Antonio Spurs (1999-2007)
In less than 10 seasons, the San Antonio Spurs acquired four championships. Tim Duncan joined Hall of Famer, David Robinson, to create an invincible twin towers team. Duncan led in scoring averages for all championship years, spanning from 20-23 points per game. San Antonio drafted Manu Ginobili in the second round in the 1999 NBA Draft and Tony Parker in 2001. Those two players helped the Spurs stay competitive throughout the 2000s.
Chicago Bulls (1990-1998)
Michael Jordan rocked the NBA during the 90’s and the franchise has yet to get a championship without him. Although Jordan averaged a staggering 31.5 points per game during the 1990-1991 season, the talents of Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant would push the franchise to championships. On the road to his third championship in the 1993 Playoffs, the Bulls swept the Atlanta Hawks in the first round and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second. Dennis Rodman brought a profound defensive style in the late 1990’s, averaging 16.1 rebounds per game in the 1996-1997 season. Chicago earned two three-peat championships in 1991-1993 and 1996-1998.
The Three-peat Lakers (1999-2002)
The then young prep phenom Kobe Bryant joined forces with NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal to restore a winning legacy in Los Angeles. O’Neal and Bryant maintained a scoring average of over 20 points per game all three seasons, which included O’Neal with 28.7 and Bryant with 28.5 during the 2000-2001 season. Derek Fisher, Glen Rice, and Rick Fox also contributed to the Lakers’ dominance. Game winning buzzer-beater shots from Robert Horry in 2002 was one of the many highlights from that era.
The super team has a way of making history and creating unforgettable moments. They also raise the bar, setting the standard for future NBA execs in crafting the next super team roster.