As the Lakers parade through downtown LA Wednesday, they will celebrate the team’s 10th title. But maybe more impressive is the series against Orlando was the 24th time they’ve played for the championship in the last 50 years. It made me stop and wonder if they are the best sports franchise of the last half-century. After careful consideration, here are the top teams in each sport during that span, in order of where I rank them overall, as well as some supporting facts.
- Lakers – They’ve won 10 NBA Championships since 1971-72, have lost in the NBA Finals 14 times since 1961-62, have made the playoffs 46 of the past 50 years and own the longest win streak in pro sports history (33 games in 1971-72).
- Steelers – They have 6 Super Bowl titles (more than any franchise), have 1 Super Bowl loss, have made 24 playoff appearances and have only 8 losing seasons out of 37 since 1972 and 5 wins is their fewest total in any of those seasons.
- Yankees – They have 8 World Series titles, have lost in the World Series seven other times since 1960, made 13 consecutive playoff appearances from 1995-2007 and have 23 playoff appearances and only 9 losing seasons since 1960.
- Red Wings – They have 4 Stanley Cups, have lost two other times in the Stanley Cup Finals in the last 15 years, have made playoffs 21 of last 23 seasons and racked up 15 division titles in last 20 seasons.
I know fans of the Boston Celtics are screaming bloody murder, asking why a team with 16 NBA crowns during this span isn’t on this short list. They came close, but their dry spells in the 90s and earlier this decade, including a number of losing seasons and no titles for 21 years, gave the Lakers the edge.
Which team do you think is the best of the past 50 years? Comment below and vote in the poll.
THERE IT IS!