Throughout the long and storied history of the NBA, only two teams have had more success than the Golden State Warriors as it pertains to winning titles. Those two teams, of course, are the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, who are tied atop the championship leaderboard with an incredible 17 each.
For a few years, the Warriors were tied with the Chicago Bulls below the Celtics and Lakers with six NBA titles but broke the tie by winning a seventh in 2022. And unlike the Bulls, who won their six in a single decade, the Warriors have spread theirs out a bit. In fact, they won the very first championship recognized by the NBA when they were still members of the BAA.
Let’s take a quick look at the seven titles won by the franchise now known as the Golden State Warriors.
The 1946-47 season was the first for the Basketball Association of America, which rebranded as the NBA three years later, and the first for the then-Philadelphia Warriors.
With a 35-25 record, the Warriors finished second in the Eastern Division behind the Washington Capitols. The NBA Playoffs were a bit different back then, so Philadelphia took on the second seed in the West, the St. Louis Bombers, to open the postseason and defeated them in the best-of-three series, 2-1.
The Warriors then swept the New York Knicks in the semifinals, 2-0, before defeating the Chicago Stags in the best-of-seven NBA Finals, 4-1. Despite this technically being a BAA championship, it is recognized as an NBA championship.
Still located in Philadelphia at this time, the Warriors had missed the playoffs in three consecutive seasons heading into the 1955-56 campaign. But led by Paul Arizin, who was an All-Star every season of his 10-year career with the franchise, the Warriors had the best record in the East at 45-27, securing a first-round bye in the playoffs.
In the semis, Philly knocked off the defending champion Syracuse Nationals, who would later take the Warriors’ place in the City of Brotherly Love as the 76ers. The Warriors then made easy work of the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals, winning the best-of-seven series in five games.
Led by All-Star Rick Barry and Rookie of the Year Jamaal Wilkes, the Golden State Warriors won the Pacific Division in 1974-75 with a 48-34 record.
As the No. 1 seed in the West, the Warriors earned a bye in the first round of the postseason and then defeated the Seattle Supersonics in six games in the semis. They got a stern test from the Chicago Bulls in the Western Conference Finals but won the series in seven. The NBA Finals proved much easier as the Warriors swept the Washington Bullets in four games.
Barry averaged 29.5 points in the series and was named NBA Finals MVP.
The Warriors returned to the NBA Finals for the first time since that 1975 championship following the 2014-15 season.
Led by Stephen Curry, who won the first of consecutive NBA MVP awards that season, Golden State won a then-franchise record 67 games, winning the Western Conference by 11 games.
In the first round of the playoffs, Curry & Co. easily swept the New Orleans Pelicans and then knocked off the Memphis Grizzlies in six in the conference semis. After disposing of the second-seeded Houston Rockets in five games in the Western Conference Finals, the Warriors defeated LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
This was the first of four consecutive meetings between the Warriors and Cavs in the NBA Finals.
A season after blowing a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals following their record-setting 73-9 regular season, the Warriors went 67-15 during the 2016-17 campaign and then breezed through the postseason.
Golden State swept the Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, and the San Antonio Spurs on the Western Conference portion of the bracket and then took care of the Cavs in five games in the title series.
The Warriors weren’t quite as dominant a season later but still won the Pacific Division with a 58-24 record.
As the No. 2 seed in the West, Golden State defeated the Spurs in five games in the first round and then did the same to the Pelicans in the conference semis. In the Western Conference Finals, they got quite a scare but ultimately defeated the top-seeded Rockets in seven games.
The Warriors then walloped Cleveland, ending LeBron’s second run with the Cavs with a four-game sweep. Kevin Durant was named NBA Finals MVP for the second straight year.
After two years of dealing with multiple injuries to their biggest stars, the Warriors got back to full strength in 2021-22 and had 53 wins in the regular season, just one short of their combined number of wins in the previous two years combined.
Golden State breezed through the Western Conference playoffs, beating the Nuggets in five, the Grizzlies in six, and the Mavericks in five. The Warriors then defeated the Celtics in six games behind the stellar play of Steph Curry, who finally won his first NBA Finals MVP, averaging 31.2 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two steals per game.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference