Youngest NBA Championship Teams

Throughout NBA history, the teams that win championships have almost always done so with the right mix of skilled players and veteran talent. Ability alone is not enough to win a title. Given this fact, the teams that are expected to win championships generally have at least few players who would be classified as "old."

This begs a few questions:

To answer these questions, we must define how the age of an entire team is classified. It would be unreasonable to simply average the ages of the teams' roster, because certain players play much more than others. What if a team has 5 players over the age of 35, but they each averaged less than 10 minutes a game? To calculate the age of a team, both the ages of the players and the number of minutes played for each player must be considered. So, the following formula will calculate the weighted age (WAGE) of a team:


where minutes is the total number of minutes played by 1 player (note: playoff minutes were used to determine the age of a team as they made their title run). So, WAGE is calculated by multiplying the age and minutes played by one player together, taking the sum of this result for all players, and dividing that sum by the total number of minutes played by the entire roster.

The following are the youngest teams to have won an NBA championship:

Championship Team Weighted Age (WAGE)
1. 1976-77 Portland Trail Blazers 24.199
2. 1955-56 Philadelphia Warriors 25.587
3. 1979-80 Los Angeles Lakers 25.710
4. 1954-55 Syracuse Nationals 25.867
5. 1951-52 Minneapolis Lakers 25.940
6. 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks 26.049
7. 1974-75 Golden State Warriors 26.386
8. 2014-15 Golden State Warriors 26.393
9. 1952-53 Minneapolis Lakers 26.485
10. 1956-57 Boston Celtics 26.556

The following are the oldest teams to have won an NBA championship:

Championship Team Weighted Age (WAGE)
1. 1997-98 Chicago Bulls 32.096
2. 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks 31.607
3. 1968-69 Boston Celtics 30.914
4. 1996-97 Chicago Bulls 30.790
5. 2006-07 San Antonio Spurs 30.759
6. 1995-96 Chicago Bulls 30.526
7. 1998-99 San Antonio Spurs 30.090
8. 2012-13 Miami Heat 30.077
9. 1967-68 Boston Celtics 30.033
10. 2013-14 San Antonio Spurs 29.617

The average WAGE for a championship team is 28.234. The youngest team (Bill Walton's 1976-77 Portland Trail Blazers) was nearly a full standard deviation younger than the next youngest team (Paul Arizin and Neil Johnston's 1955-56 Philadelphia Warriors). Michael Jordan led his 1997-98 Chicago Bulls to their 6th championship in 8 years and became the oldest team in history to win a title.