Professional sports teams have won 3 titles in a row over the past 50 years
Damon Brooks Jr. and Toyloy Brown III
With Start of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup On Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Lightning have the chance to do something that hasn’t happened in the NHL for 39 years: a hat-trick.
Pat Riley coined the term and the moniker only fits greatness, teams that can win it all back to back.
A championship trio is not just a rarity in ice hockey, but in every other major professional sports league. The modern NFL has never seen a team achieve such a feat.
In the spirit of a possible hat-trick this season in the NHL, here are all the major professional teams in the United States that have achieved the prestigious record in the past 50 years.
PREDICTIONS: Who will win the Stanley Cup?
Chicago Bulls 1991-1993
Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls earned their first hat-trick from 1991-93 in wins over the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns. Jordan had a historic performance in Game 1 of the 1992 NBA Finals with a game-high six three-pointers in one half against Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler and the Trail Blazers.
A memorable moment of the Bulls’ early dominance came in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, when forward Horace Grant kicked the ball to keep John Paxson for a game-winning three-pointer. The Bulls were led by Jordan’s greatness, but head coach Phil Jackson’s triangle offense was instrumental in the key players that contributed to their early dominance in the ’90s.
Chicago Bulls 1996-1998
Jordan returned to the Bulls, after a two-year retirement that led to the all-time great venturing into his childhood love of baseball. With No. 23 back in the fold, the Bulls have reclaimed their place as the NBA’s top team. The Bulls went on to beat their opponents and even earned an NBA-best 72 wins en route to their 1995-96 championship. In the Bulls’ “Last Dance,” Jordan hit the iconic “Last Shot,” against Utah Jazz guard Byron Russell to win his sixth championship.
Los Angeles Lakers 2000-2002
Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant formed one of the most formidable duos in league history, which saw them win three consecutive championships from 2000 to 2002. The Lakers featured several key players in their run like Robert Horry, Derek Fisher, Rick Fox and others. The one-two punch from O’Neal and Bryant provided the Lakers with a physically imposing presence in the agile O’Neal and the immensely talented Bryant.
Houston Comets 1997–2000
The WNBA’s first true dynasty dominated its competition from the league’s debut in 1997. The Comets won the even rarer four consecutive championships from 1997-2000 thanks to their big three of Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson.
Oakland Athletics 1972–74
The Swingin’ A’s were the first and only MLB franchise to string three consecutive championship-winning teams besides the New York Yankees. The top two of three rounds went the distance until Game 7 against the Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets, respectively.
New York Yankees 1998-2000
The last full-fledged Yankees dynasty began in 1998 when the team enjoyed historic success, winning a franchise record—then an AL record—114 games. The last World Series win in the interim was against the New York Mets – New York’s first Fall Classic since the Dodgers and Brooklyn Yankees met in 1956.
Montreal Canadiens 1976-1979
The Stanley Cup has lived in Montreal more than in any other city with an NHL team with 24 titles. The supremacy he had was due to his wealth of talent – the 1977-78 team, for example, featured nine future Hall of Famers.
New York Islanders 1980-1983
With the Habs dynasty over, the Islanders picked up where they left off with four championships of their own. The team lifted its last Stanley Cup of the dynasty after sweeping the up-and-coming Edmonton Oilers led by Wayne Gretzky. The New York team had 16 of the same players they had since the first title in 1980 last year.