Pro teams to three-peat in last 50 years:

General view of Madison Square Garden before game 5 of the NHL Eastern Conference Final between the New York Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lightning on June 9, 2022.

General view of Madison Square Garden before game 5 of the NHL Eastern Conference Final between the New York Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lightning on June 9, 2022.

With Game 1 of the Stanley Cup starting Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Lightning have a chance to do something that hasn’t happened in the NHL in 39 years: three-peat.

Pat Riley coined the term and the moniker is fit only for greatness, teams that can win it all back-to-back-to-back.

A trifecta of championships is not only a rarity in ice hockey but in all other major professional sports leagues. The modern NFL still has never had a team achieve such a feat.

In the spirit of a possible three-peat this NHL season, here are all the major pro teams in the US to have achieved the prestigious landmark in the past 50 years.

OPINION: Colorado vs. Avalanche Tampa Bay Lightning is a Stanley Cup Final for the ages:

PREDICTIONS: Who will win the Stanley Cup?

NBA:

Chicago Bulls 1991-1993:

Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls won their first three-peat from 1991-1993 in victories over the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers and the Phoenix Suns. Jordan put on a historic performance in Game 1 of the 1992 NBA Finals with a record breaking six three pointers in one half against Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler and the Trail Blazers.

One memorable moment of the Bulls early dominance was in a close-out Game 6 of the NBA Finals, when forward Horace Grant kicked the ball out to guard John Paxson for a game-winning three points. The Bulls were led by the greatness of Jordan, but head coach Phil Jackson’s triangle offense was instrumental in key role players contributing to their early dominance in the 90’s.

Michael Jordan celebrates winning the NBA Championship after Game Six of the 1993 NBA Finals on June 20, 1993, at America West Arena in Phoenix.  It's seen during the ESPN documentary & quot; The Last Dance. & Quot;

Michael Jordan celebrates winning the NBA Championship after Game Six of the 1993 NBA Finals on June 20, 1993, at America West Arena in Phoenix. It’s seen during the ESPN documentary “The Last Dance.”

Chicago Bulls 1996-1998:

Jordan returned to the Bulls, after a two year retirement that led the all-time great to venture into his childhood love of baseball. With No. 23 back in the fold, the Bulls reclaimed their spot as the best team in the NBA. The Bulls continued to pummel their opponents and even won a then NBA-best 72 wins en route to their 1995-96 championship. In the Bulls “Last Dance,” Jordan hit the iconic “Last Shot,” over Utah Jazz guard Byron Russell to secure their sixth championship.

Dennis Rodman, Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan and coach Phil Jackson are joined on stage by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, second from right, during a city-wide rally to celebrate the Bulls' sixth championship in 1998.

Dennis Rodman, Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan and coach Phil Jackson are joined on stage by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, second from right, during a city-wide rally to celebrate the Bulls’ sixth championship in 1998.

Los Angeles Lakers 2000-2002:

Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant formed one of the most formidable duos in league history, which saw them collect three consecutive championships from 2000-2002. The Lakers featured several key role players in their run from the likes of Robert Horry, Derek Fisher, Rick Fox, and others. O’Neal and Bryant’s one-two punch provided the Lakers with a physically imposing presence in the nimble O’Neal and the immensely skilled Bryant.

WNBA:

Houston Comets 1997–2000:

The first true dynasty of the WNBA dominated its competition since the league’s inception in 1997. The Comets pulled the even more rare four consecutive championships thanks to its big three of Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson.

1997:  Tina Thompson, Houston Comets:

1997: Tina Thompson, Houston Comets:

MLB:

Oakland Athletics 1972–1974:

The Swingin ‘A’s were the first and only MLB franchise to string together three straight championship-winning teams besides the New York Yankees. The first two of the three-peat went the distance to Game 7 against the Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets, respectively.

Champagne drips from the face of Oakland Athletics owner Charlie O. Finley, center, as he talks to reporters with players Allan Lewis and Sal Bando, right, in the dressing room in Cincinnati, Ohio, Oct.  22, 1972. Lewis scored the winning run in the sixth inning off a center field double by Bando to give the A's the World Series victory over the Cincinnati Reds in game seven.

Champagne drips from the face of Oakland Athletics owner Charlie O. Finley, center, as he talks to reporters with players Allan Lewis and Sal Bando, right, in the dressing room in Cincinnati, Ohio, Oct. 22, 1972. Lewis scored the winning run in the sixth inning off a center field double by Bando to give the A’s the World Series victory over the Cincinnati Reds in game seven.

New York Yankees 1998-2000:

The last full-blown Yankees dynasty started in 1998 when the squad experienced historic success, winning a franchise-record – and then-AL-record – 114 games. The final world series win in the span was against the New York Mets – the first Fall Classic of New York teams since the Brooklyn Dodgers and Yankees faced in 1956.

NHL:

Montreal Canadiens 1976–1979:

The Stanley Cup has lived in Montreal more than any other city with an NHL team with 24 titles. The supremacy it had was thanks to its wealth of talent – the 1977-78 squad, for example, featured nine future Hall of Famers.

Yvan Cournoyer, captain of the Montreal Canadiens, holds the Stanley Cup as he is surrounded by teammates in Philadelphia, Pa., Sunday night, May 16, 1976. Montreal beat the Philadelphia Flyers to take the final series of the cup.

Yvan Cournoyer, captain of the Montreal Canadiens, holds the Stanley Cup as he is surrounded by teammates in Philadelphia, Pa., Sunday night, May 16, 1976. Montreal beat the Philadelphia Flyers to take the final series of the cup.

New York Islanders 1980–1983:

Once the Canadiens dynasty concluded, the Islanders picked up right where they left off with four championships of its own. The team hoisted its last Stanley Cup of the dynasty after sweeping an up-and-coming and Wayne Gretzky-led Edmonton Oilers. The New York team had 16 of the same players it had from the first title in 1980 in the last year.

Follow: Damon Brooks Jr. and: Toyloy Brown III: on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Major sports teams to three-peat in the last 50 years:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.