Thanks to NBA Redditor gordontrue, we now have a visual representation of the entire history of the league that shows every team’s fluctuation in success since the 1949-1950 season. The gold line (appropriately) at the top of the image represents the the NBA Championship, while the red line below that symbolizes a playoff berth.
Of particular note is the Boston Celtics’ historic run of 11 titles in a span of 13 years between 1957 and 1969 that will likely never be duplicated. It’s also fun to watch the Celtics yo-yo back and forth with their arch nemesis the Los Angeles Lakers throughout most of the 1980s when the two teams combined to win nine of the 10 championships that decade during the immortal Magic/Bird era.
The Chicago Bulls similarly owned the 1990s during Michael Jordan’s two three-peats before the Lakers got back on top with the new Shaq/Kobe dynasty of the early aughts. Another subtle, yet extraordinarily impressive aspect of this is how the San Antonio Spurs juggernaut never dips below the playoff threshold once the Tim Duncan era began.
Long-suffering franchises might have to look on in horror as their hometown teams wallow below the playoff line year after year, but it’s also cool to watch the assorted expansion teams lift off at various points along the timeline and join the fray.
(via gordontrue on Reddit)