How the Golden State Warriors Compare to the All-Time NBA Dynasties

Just how good was this Warriors team? Here’s a look at how the Warriors compare to the all-time NBA dynasties.

NBA_NBA dynasties

HIGHLIGHTS

 The Golden State Warriors stack up against all-time great teams, with four titles in ten years.


 Keystone players like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green rival those of iconic NBA dynasties.
 The Warriors changed the game with three-point shooting, influencing current NBA trends.

The Golden State Warriors saw their season end in an NBA Play-In Tournament first-round upset. With many people now questioning the longevity of their dynasty, it’s fair to assume (as of now) that that’s a real possibility. Just how good was this Warriors team? Here’s a look at how the Warriors compare to the all-time NBA dynasties.

What Are the Best All-Time Dynasties?

Many teams have been great, but certain teams’ extended success raises them above the rest

Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan

While many teams have seen great success, and even won one or two championships, there have been a few since the league’s inception that stand as pillars in the storied history of the NBA.

The first of these great dynasties was Bill Russell’s Boston Celtics of the (primarily) 1960s. Sure, the Minneapolis Lakers saw their multiple championships in the 1950s, but the Celtics of the ’60s saw much more success, and were much more iconic. Also, Russell didn’t play the most seasons for these Celtics, but he did play over a decade and has the distinction of being the first player-coach. Considering he simultaneously coached and played for several championship teams, he’s the defining player of that dynasty.

Following these Celtics were the ‘Showtime’ Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s, led by Magic Johnson. The Celtics were just as iconic and just as significant in rejuvenating interest in the NBA (more on that later), but the Lakers indisputably saw more success in that period.

Next were the Chicago Bulls of the 1990s. Going on two three-peats and claiming over half the titles of the decade, Michael Jordan and the Bulls were the dominating team of the 90s.

Both Kobe Bryant’s Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs (anchored by Tim Duncan) started their great dynasties in the late nineties, but flourished in and defined the 2000s. While Shaquille O’Neal was a major part of most of this Lakers team’s championships, Kobe stayed longer and won more championships in purple and gold.

Finally, the most recent great dynasty is the Warriors, with four championships over the last 10 years. Just how do the Warriors’ championships stack up to these other teams’ dominant runs, though?

The Celtics Lead the Pack with 11 Banners

Although the Warriors may not square up with Russell’s Celtics, they still stack up against other great teams

Wilt-Chamberlain-and-Bill-Russell

Russell’s Celtics, with 11 Finals wins in 13 years, may forever stand as the greatest dynasty of all time. There have been other dynasties that have begun to sniff at the record, but none have come even close to reaching it.

Championships by Dynasty

Team
Championships
Finals appearances

Russell’s Celtics
10
10

Jordan’s Bulls
6
6

Showtime Lakers
6
8

Duncan’s Spurs
5
7

Bryant’s Lakers
5
7

Current Warriors
4
6

Jordan’s Bulls came the closest and maybe could have gotten even closer without Jordan’s baseball hiatus. Plus, they three-peated twice. With a 100 percent winning rate in the Finals, they established themselves as one of, if not the most iconic dynasties in NBA history.

The Showtime Lakers also won six championships and had even more finals appearances. They were thwarted a couple of times, but their consistent presence on the biggest stage etched them as the flashy, stalwart champions of the 80s.

Kobe’s Lakers and Duncan’s Spurs, with a very comparable level of success, each won a burst of championships followed by another one or two years later. They also remained competitive throughout most of the entire decade and were constantly competing for control of the West.

Between 2000 and 2010, only the 2006 finals saw a team other than the Lakers or Spurs representing the Western Conference in the NBA Finals (Dallas Mavericks).

The Warriors, although not having as many championships as these other dynasties, had just as many finals appearances as some and also had the best regular season performance of all time.

Best NBA Regular Season Records

Team (Season)
Wins
Losses
NBA Championship?

Warriors (2015-16)
73
9
No

Bulls (1995-96)
72
10
Yes

Bulls (1996-97)
69
13
Yes

However, four championships in six appearances over 10 years is nothing short of dominance. With the Warriors having the Western Conference (and for seasons the NBA) in a chokehold for most of the 2010s, they find themselves standing among the giants.

Keystone Players of Each Dynasty

The Warriors’ core rivals the all-time greats

Stephen Curry Klay Thompson Golden State Warriors

Russell’s Celtics were headed by three Hall of Famers. Playing alongside Russell, John Havlicek and Bob Cousy helped lead this team on their multitude of championship runs.

Russell’s Celtics Keystone Players

Player
Seasons with the Celtics
PPG
RPG
APG
MVPs with Celtics

Havlicek
16
20.8
6.3
4.8
0

Cousy
13
18.5
5.2
7.6
1

Russell
13
15.1
22.5
4.3
5

The Showtime Lakers, similar to Russell’s Celtics and these other dynasties, were led by multiple Hall of Famers. The great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy played alongside Johnson.

Showtime Lakers’ Keystone Players

Player
Seasons with Lakers
PPG
RPG
APG
MVPs in LA

Abdul-Jabbar
14
22.1
9.4
3.3
3

Johnson
13
19.5
7.2
11.2
3

Worthy
12
17.6
5.1
5.1
0

The Bulls, next to Jordan, were helmed by one of the best defenders of all time, Scottie Pippen, and one of the best pure rebounders of all time, Dennis Rodman.

1990s Bulls’ Keystone Players

Player
Seasons with Bulls
PPG
RPG
APG
MVPs in Chicago

Jordan
13
31.5
6.3
5.4
5

Pippen
12
17.7
6.7
5.3
0

Rodman
3
5.2
15.3
2.8
0

Bryant’s Lakers, though winning five total, had a mostly different roster in their second winning stretch, but Derek Fisher was his main counterpart for their success, along with O’Neal in the earlier seasons. Fisher doesn’t have the greatest career averages with the Lakers, but his 13 seasons weren’t all consecutive, and he played for the Lakers at different points in his career.

Kobe’s Lakers’ Keystone Players

Player
Seasons with Lakers
PPG
RPG
APG
MVPs in LA

Bryant
20
25.0


5.2
4.7
1

Fisher
13
7.9
2.1
2.9
0

O’Neal
8
27.0
11.8
3.1
1

Duncan’s Spurs, fighting for the west alongside Bryant’s Lakers, had the same core throughout the decade. With Tony Parker and Manu Ginóbili, Duncan was always surrounded by great players who put them in the best possible position to succeed. They also drafted all three players, showing their scouting prowess.

San Antonio Spurs’ Keystone Players

Player
Seasons with Spurs
PPG
RPG
APG
MVPs in SA

Duncan
19
19.0
10.8
3.0
2

Parker
17
15.8
2.8
5.7
0

Ginobili
16
13.3
3.5
3.8
0

The Warriors, similar to the Spurs, also drafted all three members of their core. Possessing the greatest shooting backcourt in NBA history in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the trio is rounded out by the always energetic (and sometimes tumultuous) Draymond Green. The squad around these three has changed over the years, but all three were major factors in each of their championship runs.

Warriors’ Keystone Players

Player
Seasons with Warriors
PPG
RPG
APG
MVPs in Golden State

Curry
15
24.8
4.7
6.4
2

Green
12
8.7
7.0
5.6
0

Thompson
11
19.6
3.5
2.3
0

The Warriors, with their three-point scoring being the signature of their playstyle, are one of the higher-scoring teams of these dynasties. The only pair of players from these teams to average more points were Bryant and O’Neal. What’s more interesting, though, is how this scoring affected the league.

The Warriors Changed How the Game is Played

Each of these teams left an indelible mark on the NBA, and the Warriors made one of the biggest splashes of the bunch

Stephen-Curry

When one team is on top for as long as these teams are, they’re bound to influence the direction and perception of the sport and league as a whole.

Russell’s Celtics showed players and fans what a real dynasty, led by all-time stars, looks like and laid the foundation for true success in the NBA. The Showtime Lakers, along with Larry Bird’s Celtics, helped bring the league back from an extremely problematic and scandal-riddled period. Their play renewed fan interest in the NBA and sparked a more modern style of play.

The next decade saw the rise of Jordan and the Bulls, as the talent and sheer star-power of Jordan put the NBA on a newer, more global scale. While Bryant and O’Neal carried the torch of redefining the kind of celebrity a basketball player can be, Duncan, Ginóbili, and Parker reinforced the importance of the fundamentals and overall tight and sound play.

Curry and Thompson, in their time on top of the league, changed the direction of the league. While NBA play had always been an extremely physical affair with most of the points coming in the paint and midrange, the Warriors dispelled the belief that three-pointers can’t win championships. As they beat the Cleveland Cavaliers for their first championship, and continued their exponential success, their let-it-rip style of shooting captured the allure of players around the world.

Average 3-Point Attempts per Game

Season
3PA

2010-11
18.0

2011-12
18.4

2012-13
20.0

2013-14
21.5

2014-15
22.4

2015-16
24.1

2016-17
27.0

2017-18
29.0

2018-19
32.0

2019-20
34.1

2020-21
34.6

2021-22
35.2

As a direct result of their style of play, more players had to take more threes in order to keep up with their scoring. Additionally, more kids started mimicking their volume and range while shooting, leading to more and more talented shooters entering the NBA every season.

Although they’re finished this season, and many believe their dynasty to be over, the Warriors can always continue adding to their accolades. Only time will tell where they end up. But as it currently stands, the modern Golden State Warriors are one of the best and most significant dynasties in the history of the NBA.

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