It takes a strong team to make it to the NBA playoffs, but it takes an even better one to have postseason success and sustain it over the years.
Here is a ranking of the top NBA dynaties of the 21st century:
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron James led the Cavs to playoff success, mostly in his second run with the team. After The King re-signed with the Cavs in 2014, they appeared in four straight NBA Finals. In the 2016 Finals, James brought the team back from a 3-1 deficit against the Golden State Warriors to give Cleveland its first NBA title.
4. Miami Heat
The Heat added LeBron and Chris Bosh in free agency in 2010 to join Dwyane Wade and start the “Big 3” era. The Big 3 led the Heat to the Finals all four years they were together and won back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013. Miami also won the title in 2006, when Wade partnered with Shaquille O’Neal.
3. Golden State Warriors
With a homegrown core of Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson -- and the later addition of two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant -- the Warriors have been the dominant team of the decade. Steve Kerr’s team has reached four straight Finals and won three of them, including 2017 and 2018. The Warriors hold the record for the best postseason run in history, going 16-1 in 2017.
2. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs dynasty had the original "Big 3" with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili winning titles in 2003, 2005 and 2007 under the leadership of Gregg Popovich. The Spurs added a fourth title of the century with Kawhi Leonard in 2014, avenging a Finals loss to the Heat the year prior. The Spurs made the playoffs in 2019 for a record 22nd consecutive season.
1. Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers had two distinct eras of dominance in the 21st century, both with the superstar exploits of Kobe Bryant and the coaching of Phil Jackson. First came the three-peat of titles with Shaq from 2000-2002, which included another Finals appearance in 2004. With Pau Gasol and a new supporting cast, the Lakers made three more Finals and won two more championships in 2009 and 2010.
By Ryan Kroll