Best All Time Pro Basketball Franchise

Selecting the best all time pro basketball franchise is a tough call between two great NBA teams historically. The two franchises that stand head and shoulders above the rest are the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. The two franchises lead all others in all-time NBA Championships. The Celtics have 17 Championship rings; the Lakers have 15. But, the Lakers won it all in 2009 and thus are the reigning National Basketball Association Champs. Most of the Celtics championships came in the Red Aurbach era when they won 8 straight and 10 of 12 in the late '50s and early '60's. After that, the Lakers have the clear edge over the Celtics.

Actually, it may be the Celtics-Lakers rivalry thatcontributes more than anything else to making these two franchises the best. The two franchises have met 10 times in the NBA finals with Boston winning 8 of them. This is really the strongest evidence to name the Celtics as the top NBA franchise ever.

It is very, very close, but, we pick the Lakers as #1.

The LA Lakers were founded in 1946 and joined NBA in 1948. They started out in Minneapolis as the Minneapolis Lakers and won 5 NBA championships there in the 1940's and 1950's. Overall, the Lakers have the highest winning percentage of any other professional basketball team at 61.5%. This shows the unsurpassedcharacter and attitude of the players, coaches and organization over the decades. Los Angeles also has the highest number of all-time wins with over 2905 and counting....

The golden era of Lakers basketball was in 1980’s when they won an incredible 5 NBA Championships and were runners-up 3 times!! Incredible. 8 out of 10 years in the NBA finals. These teams were led by Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Karim Abdul-Jabbar. '84, '85'and '87 were against Boston with LA winning 2 of the 3.

The thing about the Lakers is that wasn't it for them. After a dry run, showtime would return in 2000 when Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and head coach Phil Jackson came together at one place - the beautiful Staples Center - to form the nucleus of another great Laker team. The deadly combination of Kobe and O’Neal made the Lakers the favorite NBA team for hundreds of millions around the world. Oh, and they won 3 straight championships from 2000-2002 and lost in the NBA finals in 2004.

Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.
Game 2 Boston Celtics vs LA Lakers 2008 NBA Finals. Thanks to for the picture. Source: Adam Pieniazek

Even after Shaq left, the Lakers once again returned to prominence making the finals of the 2008 NBA championship (yes, losing to the Celtics again); but then winning it all again in 2009, beating the Orlando Magic, 4 games to 1 in the 2009 NBA finals. This time it was Kobe Bryant as the clear leader -- with a strong supporting cast -- and Phil Jackson as coach of course. Jackson may well be the best all-time NBA coach.

You can't talk about the Lakers without mentioning their hollywood fans. I'm sure you've seen Jack Nicholson at the games. But, there's alsoDyan Cannon, Arsenio Hall, Denzel Washington, Leonardo DiCaprio, Andy Garcia and many others. Clearly all that showbiz glamor adds to the international appeal of the Lakers. Certainly, the celebrities help make television ratings for the Lakers higher than for any other NBA team.

The LA Lakers are also the most valuable NBA franchise, worth $607 million according to the latest Forbes list. All in all, we are comfortable picking the Los Angeles Lakers as the best all time professional basketball team.

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The Boston Celtics are undoubtedly the best all-time Professional Basketball Franchise. There are many reasons, but really only one is needed. The reason? …

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