Ranking the NBA's 3-Peaters

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Ranking the NBA's 3-Peaters
Lou Capozzola/Getty Images

Ah, the illustrious three-peat. 

Thousands of teams have tried to win championships over the six-plus decades of NBA history, and only a select few have managed to do that. Even fewer still have emerged victoriously from three consecutive seasons, thereby claiming that elusive three-peat. 

The Minneapolis Lakers were the first to do so, as George Mikan led his team to victory over and over during the early 1950s. At the end of the decade, a different team claimed the throne and refused to give it up for eight seasons in a row. Those were Bill Russell's Boston Celtics. 

After that, there was a prolonged drought. 

Plenty of squads won back-to-back titles, but it wasn't until Michael Jordan came around that anyone joined the ultra-exclusive club. And MJ, never one to do anything halfway, joined it twice. 

The Los Angeles Lakers became the final squad to gain entry into the three-peat fraternity when Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant celebrated Y2K in prolonged fashion, winning in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

But no one has won three in a row since then. 

Now, LeBron James and the Miami Heat stand on the precipice of history, needing only a series victory against the San Antonio Spurs in order to achieve the impossible. That's a tall task, but it's possible they could join some of the most storied groups of champions in NBA history. 

Assuming they win, where would their three-peat stack up? Better yet, how have all of them passed the test of time? 


Note: All statistics, unless otherwise indicated, come from Basketball-Reference.com and are accurate heading into the 2014 NBA Finals. 

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