NBA Power Rankings: The Top Eight L.A. Lakers Championship Teams

Hayden Kim@@HayDayKimCorrespondent IIISeptember 16, 2010

NBA Power Rankings: The Top 8 Los Angeles Lakers Championship Teams

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    While the 2010-2011 NBA Season creeps closer and closer, history fades further and further away.

    When people think about NBA history, the Lakers and Celtics come to mind. There have been so many great Lakers teams, but how do they compare when facing off against each other?

    In this slide show, I will be ranking the top eight Lakers Championship teams. I will do my best to consider and respect the many different eras most of these teams played.

    Anyways, here are the top eight Lakers Championship teams!

No. 8: 2009-2010

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    Kobe has won yet another without Shaq, and the monkey on the back is gone. Beating the Celtics made the championship just that much better.

    Just this year, the Lakers repeated against the much hated rival, Boston Celtics, and this team was at its prime. This was Artest's first ring and his first single too, "Champions."

    Kobe proved the NBA world wrong. A team with NBA crazy man Ron Artest shouldn't have been successful. This Lakers squad was set up for failure, but Kobe once again proved us wrong.

    The 2009-2010 Lakers went a solid 57-25 in the regular season and they eventually met in a dream final with the enemy, Boston Celtics.

    The ring was up for grabs and everyone was ready for yet another Laker-Celtics showdown. The series went back and forth, but heading into Game 7, the Lakers had the advantage and the Staples Center could taste championship No. 15.

    Kobe and the Lakers finished off the Celtics in fashion, winning 83-79 and the fairy tale ending was in play for Ron Artest and the City of Angels.

    All in all this was a very exciting year for the Lakers.

No. 7: 1979-80

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    Magic Johnson was a rookie and the Showtime Lakers were just getting started. The 80's were arguably the best era of basketball and this Laker team eventually competed for dominance alongside the Celtics.

    This team went an unbelievable 60-22 in the regular season and in the Finals they defeated the 76ers in six games.

    We all know this was the start of a great road ahead, but this year has always been remembered as the year that Magic played all five positions.

    Imagine a 6'9'' point guard playing all five positions and carrying a team into a very hostile Philly environment as a rookie.

    Magic arguably had his best individual game of his career in Game 6 against the 76ers. Magic carried this Laker team by scoring a game high 42 points along with 15 boards, one of the greatest individual performances of all time.

No. 6: 2000-01

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    The Shaq and Kobe era continued. A young man by the name of Derek Fisher gets the starting position and Kobe Bryant was just on the rise. This team was unbeatable in the early 2000's.

    This was the first team after the Showtime Lakers that really revived the dynasty back to full strength. This team was just coming off a championship and Shaq and the Lakers were in search of a much wanted repeat. Robert Horry wasn't yet "Mr. Big Shot."

    This team went 56-26 and went on to defeat the 76ers in a five-game series. During this era, there weren't many teams that could compete with the Lakers and if only Shaq and Kobe could have got along, we'll never know.

    Having watched this team as a young kid, I really have missed the Shaq and Kobe duo, but nothing lasts forever.

No. 5: 1987-88

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    This was towards the end of Magic and the Showtime Lakers, but they were still on top.

    This team went 62-20 that year and of course Magic and Kareem led the Lakers to yet again another title by defeating Isiah Thomas and the Pistons 4-3, but the series was far from easy.

    Isiah Thomas was at his prime and while the Lakers were somewhat on the decline, the series couldn't have been any more dramatic. With the series going back an forth and the Lakers down 3-2, it was all or nothing for Magic and Kareem. The Lakers had to be perfect in every way to win Game 6 at home.

    Game 6 went down in history as Isiah Thomas's comeback story, and the Lakers weren't ready for it. During the game, Isiah went down with a severe ankle injury and if it had been any other player, they would have quit, but not Isaiah. He needed to win badly for his team. Isiah remained in the game and he ended up scoring 25 points in a quarter (NBA Finals record) and 43 points total, but Worthy's 36 points, 16 rebounds, and the Lakers just were too much to overcome.

    The Lakers ended up winning 103-102 in Game 6 and then 108-105 in Game 7, ending a very dramatic seven-game series.

    After this year, the Showtime Lakers slowly faded away. With Magic's illness and the aging of most players, this was the last run for Pat Riley and his Showtime Lakers, so they shall be remembered for their great and memorable run.

No. 4: 1981-82

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    This Lakers team was filled with young prospects such as Magic Johnson and Byron Scott. Magic was now slowly starting to share the No.1 spot with Kareem and the two obviously loved playing together.

    This really was the beginning of the yet to come chemistry between Magic, Kareem, and the rest of the Showtime Lakers and what better way to bond then by winning championships.

    The 1981-82 Lakers went 57-25 in the regular season and they eventually defeated the 76ers in the Finals, 4-2. Is it me or have the Lakers always seemed to either defeat the 76ers, Celtics, or Detroit when winning championships?

    Though I didn't have the privilege of watching this team play, according to the stories and record books, this was one heck of a team. Long live the Forum.

No. 3: 1984-85

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    Oh man, where to start. It's ironic that one of the best Lakers teams in history also has the worst loss in NBA Finals history.

    Yes, I am referring to the infamous Memorial Day Massacre that occurred May 31, 1985 during Game 1 of the NBA Finals, but let's look at how the Lakers met the Celtics yet once again.

    This Lakers team went 62-20 in the regular season and they surprisingly ended up defeating the Celtics 4-2 after losing 148-114 at the Garden.

    You would want to lean towards the team that humiliated a great team in Game 1, but that just proves how great the Showtime Lakers were. Most NBA teams would have just given up mentally, but Magic and Kareem didn't allow their team to be beaten so easily. They pushed their teammates even harder and when it was all said and done, Magic and Kareem pulled off another victory over the Celtics.

    This team was a story of a great comeback post-Memorial Day Massacre. Celtics fans may celebrate and remember May 31, but us Lakers fans can sit back and cherish our championship and comeback story.

No. 2: 1971-72

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    Before I explain myself for my reasoning, let me first tell you that I have not watched Jerry West and this Lakers team play, and I'm guessing most of you haven't either.

    Now, when reflecting back on all of the great Lakers teams, it is always a toss-up between two great teams: the 1971-72 Jerry West team and the 1986-87 Magic-Kareem team.

    Here is why I give the upper hand to Magic and Kareem's team.

    Yes, Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain dominated like no other team in the history of the league and yes, they still currently have the longest winning streak alive in the regular season, but let's not kid ourselves about the competition back in the 1970's.

    Besides the Celtics, 76ers, and Knicks, there weren't many good teams. Don't get me wrong, the Celtics, Knicks, and the 76ers were great teams, but you can't compare those three teams to arguably the best era in basketball, the 1980's.

    I just don't think you can ignore the comparison in competition between different eras, though admittedly it is difficult to compare teams with different time parameters involved.

    That being said, here are their stats. This Lakers team went 69-13 during the regular season and they went on to defeat the Knicks 4-1 to win title No. 6.

    Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain will forever be remembered.

No. 1: 1986-87

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    Here's what all of you have been waiting for, the 1986-87 Showtime Lakers, the greatest Lakers team of all time.

    What more can you say about them? They had four No. 1 overall picks and a No. 4 pick in Byron Scott. You really can't get much better. When you have Mychal Thompson and Michael Cooper coming off the bench, something's wrong.

    This team went an amazing 65-17 during the best era of basketball and also once again ended up defeating the Celtics in six games.

    There isn't much more to say about this team besides repeating the word great a million times. Mark my words, you will not get to see another team like this in your lifetime. This is not only the best team in Lakers history, but NBA history. I may sound like an arrogant little kid, but after doing much research on this team, I just can't imagine another team like this and no, the Heat won't be greater than this team.

    As a Lakers fan, it was great to reflect on 63 years of amazing Lakers basketball. Hope you had fun too.

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