Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes addressed a very debatable question at the Chiefs training camp on Monday. In a media session, Mahomes was asked if the Chiefs are a dynasty. Here’s what he had to say.
“I think we're the beginning of one. I think, in dynasties, I always say you've got to win three. Our job is to do whatever we can to win as many as we can and not have any regrets when we step off the field. I think if we keep the mentality that we have, then we can look back at the end of our careers and then we can decide if we're a dynasty or not."
I find myself in between. It is difficult to think of the current success of the Chiefs (two Super Bowl wins, three appearances over the last four seasons) being in the same category as legendary teams such as the UCLA men’s basketball teams in the 60’s and 70’s, winning 10 National Championships in 12 years. Even the Chicago Bulls don’t compare to the John Wooden coached teams, ~only~ winning six NBA Championships in six NBA Finals appearances, doing it in two three-peat fashion. So, I dove into the best dynasties of the last 30 or so years, here’s my top 5:
- Los Angeles Lakers 1999-2010
I needed to address this team here to avoid the intense backlash I would receive for not putting them on this list, and rightfully so. In my head, this team was a two-era team. Five championships in seven trips to the Finals in 11 years. Truly remarkable. However, the squads were too different.
The three-peat is a dynasty alone, but it’s not as dominant as the other organizations on this list. This version of the Lakers did have similarities to their later championship teams such as head coach Phil Jackson, young Kobe Bryant, and young Derek Fisher, but Shaquille O'Neal was too much of an impact to combine these championship runs as a dynasty. The rings stay with the legacy of the late great Kobe Braynt as well as the Lakers, but the three-peat was Shaq's team. Dynasties aren't built based on individuals, but this was too drastic. I explain more on this later in the article.
1) Chicago Bulls 1990-1998
No explanation needed on this one. This was simply the most dominant a team has been in their respected sport in recent history. It probably would have been seven or eight straight championships if Michael Jordan didn’t leave for a year to go play baseball, but I'm not counting that towards dynasty points. The two three-peats earned the Bulls the top spot.
I would also like to add that this does not qualify for a “split” dynasty such as the 1999-2010 Los Angeles Lakers. The core remained the same through all of their success through MJ and Scottie Pippen who as a duo is probably the best BatmanxRobin we have seen in NBA history. Phil Jackson also led the squad as head coach for these years.
2) New England Patriots 2001-2019
Let’s not complicate this. We haven’t seen dominance like this ever before in the history of the NFL. The Kansas City Chiefs are the only team who seems that they might be on that track in the NFL with two Super Bowl wins in three appearances over the last four seasons.
Quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick led the Pats to nine Super Bowls, coming out victorious in six- one of which included the largest comeback in Super Bowl History (2017 against Atlanta Falcons).
Additionally, New England became the only the second team in NFL history to go a perfect 16-0 in the regular season, and only missed the playoffs twice in that stretch (one of which Brady was injured week one and missed the entire season).
3) New York Yankees 1996-2001
This Yankees team was the most dominant team in the MLB that we’ve seen over this thirty year stretch. Five World Series appearances, winning four of them in just six seasons. The Squad was led by ‘The Captain’ Derek Jeter, beloved Closer Mariano Rivera, and manager Joe Torre. This is also the last team to three-peat in the MLB.
4) San Antonio Spurs 1999-2014
Tim Duncan led the Spurs to six Finals appearances over the 15-year stretch, walking away with five rings. Now this is a generous time range to give for ~just~ five rings in six appearances, but this team showed consistency by making the playoffs every year over this stretch. If you try comparing them to the Lakers and use my argument against me, Tim Duncan was more impactful in his early NBA Finals series than Kobe was in his, hence the three NBA Finals MVPs in his first three trips. Obviously these teams were coached by Gregg Popovich and also featured Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili every season.
5) Golden State Warriors 2014-2022
The Warriors made it to the Finals six times over this eight year stretch, winning four titles. The core of this team remains intact with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and head coach Steve Kerr all still with the organization. However, I don’t see this team winning again, so I’m pronouncing this dynasty over. Yes, they had Kevin Durant for two of these rings. He did help them win two Finals, but the difference compared to the Lakers is that the Los Angeles three-peat team was Shaq’s team. He averaged at at least 33 points and 15 rebounds in every finals, along with being the teams leading scorer every regular season over that stretch. Even with the addition of Kevin Durant, this was still Curry’s team. Curry averaged more points than Durant and shot nearly 4,000 more shots in the 16-17 season. This gives the Warriors dynasty the edge over the Lakers.
The Dubs did miss the playoffs in back-to-back years (19-20, 20-21), but this was largely due to injuries to their core. The squad showed the dynasty wasn’t over by winning it all the season after missing the playoffs (21-22). Golden State’s last push in my eyes.
Check out BK and I’s thoughts on what qualifications you need to meet to be considered a dynasty below in the podcast below.