Last week, the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA Title, their fourth of the decade.
This got me thinking about whether or not this made them the most dominant NBA Team of the 2000s, or even the best team in all four major sports this decade.
To quench my curiosity, I created a simple system which rated the successes and failures of each team for each year of the last 10. I, like many others, believe success is based on winning championships. It doesn’t matter whether you were the best team in the league or clinched a wild card spot on the last day of the season, a title is a title.
To win a title you have to reach the finals, and to reach the finals you need to make the playoffs. These were the three criteria I used in coming up with my positive rankings.
A championship victory was awarded five points, while a Finals, Super Bowl, or World Series appearance was awarded two points.
I also awarded the teams who showed consistent levels of success. Back-to-back appearances in the finals were awarded one bonus point, while back-to-back titles were given three bonus points.
In the NFL and MLB, a much smaller percentage of teams make the playoffs than in their NBA and NHL counterparts. As such, I awarded one point to each NFL and MLB playoff team and a half point to each postseason participant in the NBA and NHL (who did not make the finals).
I also believe that you can’t measure success without incorporating failure. Yes, the Boston Celtics won the 2008 NBA Title, but they had the worst record in the Eastern Conference the year before. In my opinion, that has to count for something. (I might still be a little bitter about the Bulls’ loss to the Celtics).
I subtracted one point for every year a team finished below .500 in the MLB, NFL, and NBA, and for each non-playoff team in the NHL since there is not really a .500 mark. I subtracted an additional point for the worst record in the conference, and took away a third point for the worst record in the league.
In the NBA, a sub-.500 playoff team was awarded no points. Frankly, I don’t even think they deserve a playoff spot, but that’s a whole other topic.
One other qualifier to mention. The Lakers won the 2008-2009 NBA Championship, so their five points go in the 2009 season column. This methodology was used for all NBA and NHL seasons. The 2009 MLB season is in progress and the 2009 NFL season is yet to begin, so teams from those two sports still have time to move up in the rankings.
So, are the Lakers the most dominant team of the decade? Read on to find out.
And if you want to see the Bottom 10 teams, check out my article here:
Worst 10 Teams of the Decade.
For all the data behind this, click here.