Best NBA Rivalries

The Top Ten
1 Celtics vs Lakers

The '80s were the prime time for both teams.

No, it's totally the Celtics-Lakers. Bird and Magic set the standards.

Celtics-Lakers is a way better and bigger rivalry than Spurs-Lakers, come on.

2 Spurs vs Lakers
3 Lakers vs Bulls
4 Spurs vs Mavs

This is one of the most underrated rivalries in NBA history. Let me state some key factors.

5. They played each other 6 times in the playoffs from 2001-2014.
4. Back-to-back underdog playoff upsets in 2009 and 2010.
3. Both are in the Southwest division.
2. Both are in Texas, about 4 hours apart from each other, connected by the I-35 freeway.
1. Tim Duncan vs. Dirk Nowitzki. The two greatest foreign-born players in NBA history. The two greatest power forwards in NBA history. The two unanimously greatest players in each franchise. In so many ways, this is probably the greatest player rivalry we have had since the Magic-Bird rivalry.

Mavs/Spurs is a bigger rivalry than Lakers/Spurs. Either way, the Spurs suck! Go Mavs!

5 Bulls vs Pistons
6 Celtics vs Heat

I like the Heat, and my friend likes the Celtics.

This is a good rivalry. I watch them all the time.

7 Pistons vs Lakers
8 Bulls vs Knicks
9 Warriors vs Cavaliers

They played each other in the finals 4 years in a row. The teams consisted of all-time greats like Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and LeBron James. This rivalry probably would've lasted longer if LeBron had stayed in Cleveland. There was a lot of drama and action in these four finals, with the Warriors blowing a 3-1 lead, Kyrie Irving leaving the Cavs, and Kevin Durant joining the Warriors.

10 Bulls vs Cavaliers
The Contenders
11 Pacers vs Knicks

Laugh out loud. Bulls vs. Cavaliers, Celtics vs. Heat, Lakers vs. Bulls above this? Spurs vs. Lakers over Lakers vs. Celtics? Was this list made as a joke?

Reggie vs. Patrick was ridiculous. Spike Lee was in it. They still talk.

12 Heat vs Spurs
13 Rockets vs Warriors
14 Bulls vs Heat

These two teams are going to be fighting for the East for many years to come. D. Rose, MVP.

15 Rockets vs Spurs
16 Celtics vs 76ers

The fact that this is not already on here is criminal. This is the oldest rivalry in the entire NBA, dating back to when the Sixers were still based in Syracuse. The two teams often are in playoff contention, and they hold the record for the number of playoff series against each other. The two teams have the advantage of being geographically close to each other, and ask any Sixers or Celtics fan, and you will see the fiery hate they have toward the other. Easily now, and historically, one of the best rivalries in not just basketball, but all of sports!

17 Warriors vs Lakers
18 Wizards vs Cavaliers

Battle of the bad.

19 Bulls vs Jazz
20 Celtics vs Wizards

This rivalry is heating up! The funeral game and the John Wall game-winner show that this rivalry has the potential to be a great one. Another thing: Boston and D.C. are actually close to each other, with L.A. being on the opposite side of the country from Boston. Playing each other in the Finals doesn't count. People say the Warriors and the Cavs are rivals? No, they are most certainly not. Being in two totally different conferences and then meeting up in the Finals is not a true rivalry.

21 Bulls vs Celtics
22 Spurs vs Trailblazers
23 Jazz vs Clippers
24 Heat vs Magic
25 Thunder vs Warriors

Kevin Durant started it.

8Load More
PSearch List