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Udonis Haslem Names His Top Five NBA Teams Since 2000

© Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

As an undrafted player, Udonis Haslem had a marvelous career in the NBA. He played 20 seasons, all with the Miami Heat, and was a member of three championship-winning teams. While the tail end of his career consisted of rarely seeing the court, Haslem was a vital member of those teams that won the title.

Appearing on NBA Today on ESPN, Haslem provided his choices for the top five teams in the NBA since 2000. That constitutes 25 seasons of play from 1999-00 to 2023-24. His top five provided 19 of the 25 championships and would likely be everyone’s top five in some order. The other teams to win one championship apiece since 2000 that did not make the list are the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, and Toronto Raptors.

Udonis Haslem Names His Top Five NBA Teams Since 2000

1. Los Angeles Lakers

  • NBA Championships: 6
  • NBA Finals Appearances: 8
  • Playoff Appearances: 17

The 2000s started with the dynamic duo of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. They are the last to three-peat, as they did so from 2000-02. Bryant later won back-to-back titles alongside Hall of Famer Pau Gasol in 2009 and 2010. The Lakers had a better playoff drought from 2014-19 but won the championship in the bubble in 2020 led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

2. Golden State Warriors

  • NBA Championships: 4
  • NBA Finals Appearances: 6
  • Playoff Appearances: 10

The 21st century did not start out well for the Warriors as they only made the playoffs once from 2000 to 2012. Drafting Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green (also signing Kevin Durant) changed the fortunes of the franchise. They made five straight NBA Finals appearances from 2015-19, winning three of them. Curry finally got the one thing missing from his resume (a Finals MVP) when Golden State won their most recent championship in 2022.

3. San Antonio Spurs

  • NBA Championships: 4
  • NBA Finals Appearances: 5
  • Playoff Appearances: 20

Every year from 2000 to 2019 saw the Spurs in the Western Conference Playoffs. With the Tim Duncan/Tony Parker/Manu Ginobili era coming to a close, there hasn’t been as much success as they have missed the playoffs each of the last five seasons. Amazingly, San Antonio won at least 50 games for 18 straight seasons spanning from 1999-00 to 2016-17. Their championships since 2000 came in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014.

4. Miami Heat

  • NBA Championships: 3
  • NBA Finals Appearances: 7
  • Playoff Appearances: 19

Miami hasn’t had a prolonged stretch without being a good team since 2000. The only time they missed the playoffs in back-to-back years was in 2002 and 2003. After signing LeBron James and Chris Bosh to team up with Dwyane Wade, the Heat made four straight NBA Finals from 2011 to 2014 (winning the middle two). Wade teamed up with Shaquille O’Neal to win the franchise’s first title in 2006.

5. Boston Celtics

  • NBA Championships: 2
  • NBA Finals Appearances: 4
  • Playoff Appearances: 20

It was just a few days ago that Boston won their 18th NBA title, the most in league history. It was their second since 2000, with the other championship occurring in 2008. Still relatively young (other than Al Horford), the Celtics will have the chance to move up Haslem’s list as the years go on. The Celtics have reached the Eastern Conference Finals in six of the last eight seasons.



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