The Warriors are the 2017 NBA champions, and there was very little doubt all along that they'd end up hoisting the trophy when all was said and done. Golden State finished with 67 wins during the regular season and went through the playoffs 16-1 on the way to winning their second championship in the last three seasons.
Now that this season is officially in the books, it's time to place these Warriors in the context of the league's all-time great teams. Here's a (completely subjective) ranking of every championship team since the ABA/NBA merger, from 1977 on -- and be prepared to see the 2017 Warriors pretty high on our list.
1978 Washington Bullets (44-38 regular season, 14-7 playoffs)
The '78 Bullets went just 44-38 during the regular season and needed all seven games to come away with the title against a balanced SuperSonics team. Wes Unseld's defensive strengths and overall team leadership earned him Finals MVP despite Elvin Hayes leading the team in scoring and rebounding for the series.
1999 San Antonio Spurs (37-13, 15-2)
The lockout-shortened 1999 season allowed the eighth-seeded Knicks to sneak into the Finals, but give the Spurs credit for staying prepared even when the possibility of the season being canceled loomed large for several months.
1977 Portland Trail Blazers (49-33, 14-5)
Bill Walton's Blazers took care of Dr. J's 76ers in six. Walton took home Finals MVP honors after averaging 18.5 points, 19 rebounds and 3.7 blocked shots for the series, while Erving led his team with 30.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists.
2011 Dallas Mavericks (57-25, 16-5)
Dirk Nowitzki won the only title of his 19-year NBA career against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in their first year of forming a super-team in Miami. The Mavericks had the playoff leaders in points (Dirk), rebounds (Tyson Chandler) and assists (Jason Kidd) that season, which at least partially explains how they got the job done.
1990 Detroit Pistons (59-23, 15-5)
This was a relatively tight series, despite the Pistons beating the Trail Blazers it in five. Detroit won the final two games by just two and three points, but Bill Laimbeer dominated the glass all series long, and Isiah Thomas was spectacular in taking home the Finals MVP.
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1979 Seattle SuperSonics (52-30, 12-5)
Gus Williams, Dennis Johnson and Jack Sikma got revenge on the Bullets for their '78 loss in the Finals the very next season, and they only needed five games to do it. D.J. took home Finals MVP after averaging 22.6 points, six rebounds and six assists in the series.
1981 Boston Celtics (62-20, 12-5)
Kevin McHale may be the one celebrating here, but averaging less than five points per game, he wasn't yet near the height of his Hall of Fame powers. Instead it was Larry Bird and Cedric Maxwell doing the heavy lifing against Moses Malone's Rockets, with Bird averaging just one fewer rebound per game than Malone for the series and Maxwell winning Finals MVP.
1980 Los Angeles Lakers (60-22, 12-4)
This was only Magic Johnson's rookie season, but he had one of the most memorable moments of his Hall of Fame career in Game 6 of these Finals. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was sidelined with an ankle injury, so Magic stepped in and played center. All he did in the deciding Game 6 against Philadelphia was finish with 42 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists to earn the first of his five career NBA titles.
1982 Los Angeles Lakers (57-25, 12-2)
Magic won another Finals MVP against the 76ers, but this time he didn't have to do the bulk of the heavy lifting all by himself. Jamaal Wilkes, Kareem, Norm Nixon and Bob McAdoo all averaged more points per game for the series, and L.A.'s offense proved to be too much, with the Lakers winning their four games by an average of 12 points per contest.
2005 San Antonio Spurs (59-23, 16-7)
A defense-first Pistons team scored just 69, 76 and 74 points in three of its four losses in the series. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Robert Horry all stepped up in Game 7 to prevent Detroit from repeating as champions.
1984 Boston Celtics (62-20, 15-8)
This was the first time we got to see Magic and Bird square off with a championship on the line, and their respective teams did not disappoint. The series needed all seven games to be decided, and Bird's averages of 27.4 points and 14 rebounds earned him Finals MVP honors.
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1988 Los Angeles Lakers (62-20, 16-9)
The Lakers needed all seven games to eliminate a very tough Pistons team in '88, and though James Worthy took home Finals MVP honors for his 36-point, 16-rebound Game 7 performance, it was Isiah Thomas scoring 25 third-quarter points on an injured ankle in Game 6 of the series that we all remember the most.
2010 Los Angeles Lakers (57-25, 16-7)
Kobe Bryant earned the fifth and final title of his career by exacting revenge on a Celtics team that kept him from winning one in 2008. Game 7 wasn't pretty, but it was competition at its finest. And while this Lakers team wasn't nearly as dominant as some of the others, this will go down as one of the more memorable titles in the storied history of the franchise.
1994 Houston Rockets (58-24, 15-8)
A battle between Hakeem Olajuwon and New York's Patrick Ewing needed all seven games to be decided, and Olajuwon became the only player in NBA history to win league MVP, Finals MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. This series is also memorable for another reason: The O.J. Simpson police chase, which went down while Game 5 was going on.
2009 Los Angeles Lakers (65-17, 16-7)
This was Kobe Bryant's first title without Shaquille O'Neal by his side, which made it that much sweeter. L.A. vanquished the Magic in a competitive but quick five-game series, and Bryant won the first Finals MVP of his career by averaging 32.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 7.4 assists.
1997 Chicago Bulls (69-13, 15-4)
Michael Jordan's fifth NBA title came courtesy of a Steve Kerr jumper in the closing seconds of Game 6. The great part about that play is that the Bulls expected the double-team in the timeout before the possession, when Kerr told Jordan, "If he [John Stockton] comes off, I'll be ready." MJ trusted his teammate, and the rest is history.
2002 Los Angeles Lakers (58-24, 15-4)
This was still a very good Lakers squad, but we would have liked to have seen it deal with a bit more of a challenge in the Finals than a Nets team that tried to use Todd MacCullough to guard Shaq in his prime.
(Of course it was a sweep.)
2003 San Antonio Spurs (60-22, 16-8)
Tim Duncan and David Robinson took down the Nets in a six-game defensive-oriented series that only seemed close and competitive along the way. San Antonio was the far better team, and New Jersey really never had a shot.
2004 Detroit Pistons (54-28, 16-7)
A team without a legitimate superstar defeated a loaded Lakers roster that added Karl Malone and Gary Payton to Shaq and Kobe's squad. Detroit's defense was world-class all series long, and Chauncey Billups ended up with the Finals MVP after the Pistons completed the huge upset in five games.
2000 Los Angeles Lakers (67-15, 15-8)
In the first season that Staples Center was open for business in downtown L.A., the Lakers won their first title of the Kobe Bryant era. Shaquille O'Neal was dominant and took home a well-deserved Finals MVP, but Bryant's epic performance in the overtime of Game 4 was extremely important in bringing this championship home.
1998 Chicago Bulls (60-22, 15-6)
Jordan's final NBA title came with an ending so perfect that it simply doesn't seem real. The slight push-off against Bryon Russell freed him for a picture-perfect jumper in the closing seconds, one that sealed the sixth championship of his Hall of Fame career. What often goes unmentioned is Jordan's steal from Karl Malone on the previous possession that gave him the chance to win the game in the first place.
2006 Miami Heat (52-30, 16-7)
Shaq earned the fourth title of his career by teaming with Dwyane Wade in Miami, but it certainly didn't come easy. The Heat trailed the Mavericks 2-0 in the series before making their comeback, one that Mark Cuban believes wouldn't have been possible without the help of the officials.
1992 Chicago Bulls (67-15, 15-7)
Michael Jordan opened the 1992 NBA Finals with a performance for the ages, scoring 35 points and draining six threes in the first half (with an incredulous shrug after the sixth) to set the tone in a game the Bulls won by 33 points. The rest of the series was fairly competitive, with the Bulls needing six games to repeat as champions.
2012 Miami Heat (46-20, 16-7)
This was another lockout-shortened campaign, but the 66-game regular season wasn't nearly as damaging to the playoffs as the even shorter one was in 1999. LeBron won the first title of his career in his second season with Wade and Bosh in Miami, beating a Thunder team that featured Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden with four straight victories after dropping the first game of the series.
2007 San Antonio Spurs (58-24, 16-4)
LeBron James didn't have nearly enough help on his side for his first trip to the Finals. A veteran and methodical San Antonio team dismantled the Cavaliers in a sweep behind a Finals MVP performance from Tony Parker.
1993 Chicago Bulls (57-25, 15-4)
This was Charles Barkley's best chance to get a ring, and even though the series went only six games, he came very, very close. Game 6 was there for the taking for Phoenix, but the Bulls won it on a three-pointer from John Paxson with 3.9 seconds remaining, despite scoring just 12 fourth-quarter points. Michael Jordan averaged 41 points per game in the series, and it's widely regarded as one of the most entertaining Finals in NBA history.
2013 Miami Heat (66-16, 16-7)
Miami's 2013 championship came under the most improbable of circumstances. San Antonio led by three with 7.9 seconds remaining in Game 6, and the ceremonial yellow rope surrounding the court to keep the fans from storming the floor after the title was won was already in place. That's when a three-point attempt from LeBron James clanked off the iron, and had the Spurs secured the rebound, the championship would have been theirs.
But Gregg Popovich had Tim Duncan on the bench for what was supposed to be the game's final possession, and Chris Bosh came away with the offensive board. He flipped it to Ray Allen in the corner, who quickly stepped back, rose up and hit one of the most memorable shots in Finals history to send the game to OT.
Miami won Game 6 in the extra session, and LeBron and Dwyane Wade combined for 60 points in Game 7 to give the Heat a second straight title.
1995 Houston Rockets (47-35, 15-7)
This one felt like it should have been closer, but Shaquille O'Neal and Anfernee Hardaway weren't yet mature enough to deal with Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler later in their careers and still near the height of their powers. Houston didn't have a great regular-season record, but the Finals sweep over a powerful Magic team moves the Rockets up this list.
1989 Detroit Pistons (63-19, 15-2)
It isn't that the '89 Pistons weren't a great team; it's just that the Lakers were too banged-up to really give them an appropriate test. Magic Johnson played only three games because of a hamstring injury, Byron Scott didn't play at all after suffering one himself in practice before Game 1, and the Pistons ended up winning in a four-game sweep.
2015 Golden State Warriors (67-15, 16-5)
The Warriors' run to a title with Stephen Curry as the league's regular-season MVP didn't go as smoothly as expected. LeBron James had lost both Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving to injury yet was still able to lead his Cavaliers to a 2-1 lead. It was all over once Golden State inserted Andre Iguodala into the starting lineup for the next three games, however, and Iggy earned the Finals MVP award because of the way he impacted the series.
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1985 Los Angeles Lakers (62-20, 15-4)
The Celtics opened the series with a shocking 34-point beatdown of the Lakers, but L.A. had little trouble the rest of the way, winning four of the next five by an average of 13 points each. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar took home Finals MVP honors, but Kevin McHale had the highest averages in both scoring and rebounding (26.0 points, 10.7 boards) for the series.
1991 Chicago Bulls (61-21, 15-2)
This was the first of Michael Jordan's six titles, and Chicago only had to beat an aging Lakers team in five to get the job done. The real feat in this season was finally getting past the Pistons in the East, but at least we got a spectacular move from MJ along the way.
1983 Philadelphia 76ers (65-17, 12-1)
We may like to think that the formation of super-teams (like the newly crowned champion Warriors) is a relatively new concept, but the reality is it's been going on essentially since the league began. After the Sixers suffered losses in the Finals in both 1980 and '82, they acquired Moses Malone in trade from the Rockets, for nothing more than a veteran center and a first-round pick. Not surprisingly, an already very good Philadelphia team became nearly unstoppable, and lost just once in the postseason on the way to winning the title.
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2016 Cleveland Cavaliers (57-25, 16-5)
The narrative says that the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals, but the reality is that LeBron James and Kyrie Irving ripped the trophy from Golden State's hands. Yes, Draymond Green's suspension opened the door, and of course, Curry wasn't playing at 100 percent after suffering injuries earlier in the postseason. But at the end of the day, the Cavs completed a historic comeback against the team that set the record for the most wins ever in an NBA regular season.
2008 Boston Celtics (66-16, 16-10)
The first year of Boston's super-team formation of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce was the only one to yield an NBA title. The 2008 team was fantastic, however, and came back from 20 points down midway through the third quarter of Game 4 in L.A. to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. The Lakers made sure they wouldn't be eliminated at home with a Game 5 victory, but the Celtics won Game 6 back in Boston by 39 points.
2014 San Antonio Spurs (62-20, 16-7)
This Spurs team played some of the best offensive basketball the league has ever seen and got revenge on the Heat in the best way possible for defeating them the previous season. San Antonio's performance was so dominant in this series that it made LeBron James rethink his life choices -- he headed back to Cleveland to start all over with another super-team the very next season.
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1987 Los Angeles Lakers (65-17, 15-3)
The Lakers and Celtics faced off for the last time in the 1980s with a championship on the line, and L.A. ended up getting the last laugh. The Lakers took it in six and cemented their claim to the title of the decade's best team with four titles to Boston's three. (And they'd add another the following year for good measure.)
1986 Boston Celtics (67-15, 15-3)
The greatest Celtics team of the Larry Bird era was also one of the greatest of all-time. Dominant on both ends of the floor, Boston won 67 games during the regular season, and Bird earned another Finals MVP for his near triple-double average of 24 points, 9.7 rebounds and 9.5 assists in six games against the Rockets.
2001 Los Angeles Lakers (56-26, 15-1)
One of the most dominant postseason teams of all-time, this Lakers squad went 11-0 through the first three rounds of the playoffs. Only the Allen Iverson step-over late in Game 1 of the NBA Finals prevented L.A. from completing an undefeated postseason. Shaquille O'Neal had perhaps the most dominant stretch of his career, finishing with averages of 33 points, 15.8 rebounds and 3.4 blocked shots for the series.
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2017 Golden State Warriors (67-15, 16-1)
When one of the league's top five players joined an already historically great Warriors team that went to the Finals the last two years (and was coming off of a record 73-win regular season), the results were a foregone conclusion.
Kevin Durant made Golden State as unfair as everyone expected, and the Warriors went 16-1 in the playoffs on their way to winning the title, just as everyone expected.
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1996 Chicago Bulls (72-10, 15-3)
Michael Jordan returned to the NBA after almost two seasons out of the league and brought his Bulls back to the Finals for the first of three more titles. The Sonics pushed it to six after dropping the first three games of the series, but these Bulls were simply too stacked -- they set the all-time record for most wins in a regular season by finishing 72-10, a mark that stood untouched for 20 years until the Warriors went 73-9 in 2016.