Team effort: Best sports franchises since Y2K

05/30/15 by Matthew S. Vandriak

Fifteen years have passed since the decade of Y2K arrived. On the cusp of the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals and the NBA Finals, there's a championship feeling in the air for sports fans. And we all know that championships are the mark of a successful sports team. So let's see which franchises have been the best as we take a look at the Top 15 Sports Franchises Since Y2K.
15) Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens start the list with 2 victories in 2 Super Bowl appearances. Baltimore won their first Lombardi Trophy in 2001 behind what's considered to be one of the best defenses in NFL history. The Ravens won their second ring in 2013 when they defeated San Francisco in Super XLVII.
14) Los Angeles Kings. Like the Ravens in the NFL, the Kings check in with 2 wins in 2 Stanley Cup Final appearances. The Kings raised their first Cup in franchise history by defeating New Jersey in 6 games in 2012. They'd win another 2 seasons later, sweeping the New York Rangers in 2014.

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13) Chicago Blackhawks. 2 Stanley Cup Finals appearances and 2 wins for the Hawks. Chicago won their first Cup in 39 years when they defeated Philadelphia 4 games to 2 in the 2010 finals. It only took 3 more seasons before the Hawks would raise the Cup again, as they defeated Boston in 6 games in 2013.
12) New York Giants. 3 Super Bowl appearances and 2 Lombardi Trophies. After being blown out by Baltimore in their first Super Bowl appearance, the Giants did the unthinkable in their second appearance in 2008, as they shocked the previously undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII to win their first title since 1990. The Giants and Patriots would meet again 3 seasons later, with the Giants winning again in Super Bowl XLVI.
11) Detroit Red Wings. Detroit raised the Stanley Cup in 2 of their 3 finals appearances. The Red Wings defeated Carolina in 5 games in 2002 and Pittsburgh in 6 games in 2008. They would meet the Penguins again the following season, losing in 7 games.
10) Pittsburgh Steelers. 3 Super Bowl appearances and 2 victories. The Steelers won their first Lombardi Trophy since 1980 when they defeated Seattle in 2006 in Super Bowl XL. 3 seasons later, the Steelers won their NFL best 6th Super Bowl title, defeating Arizona in Super Bowl XLV. The Steelers made their 3rd appearance in 6 seasons in Super Bowl XLV, but lost to Green Bay.
9) New York Yankees. The Yankees reached the World Series 4 times in the Y2K decade, splitting those Fall Classic trips. They defeated the NY Mets in 5 games in what was dubbed "The Subway Series" in 2000, then lost in 7 games to Arizona the following season. The Yankees would also fall to Florida in 6 games in the 2003 World Series, and defeat Philadelphia in 6 games in 2009.
8) St. Louis Cardinals. 4 appearances and 2 wins for the Cards. St. Louis was swept by Boston in 2004 before defeating Detroit in 5 games in 2006. The Cardinals would win again in 2011, defeating Texas in 7 games. They'd meet the Red Sox again two seasons later, losing in 6 games in the 2013 World Series.
7) New Jersey Devils. 4 Stanley Cup appearances and 2 victories. The Devils won the decade's first Stanley Cup in 2000, defeating Dallas in 6 games. New Jersey was back in the SCF the following season, losing to Colorado in 7 games. The Devils made their 3rd finals appearance in 4 seasons and won their 2nd Cup in 2003, defeating Anaheim in 7 games. New Jersey's 4th appearance came in 2012, when they lost to Los Angeles in 6 games.
6) Boston Red Sox. Boston is a perfect 3 for 3 in World Series appearances since Y2K. Boston swept St. Louis in 2004 and Colorado in 2007, then beat the Cardinals again in 6 games in 2013.
5) San Francisco Giants. The Giants brought home championships in 3 of their 4 Fall Classic appearances. After losing to Anaheim in 7 games in 2002, the Giants won in 2010 (4 games to 1 over Texas), 2012 (4 games to 0 over Detroit), and 2014 (4 games to 3 over Kansas City).
4) Miami Heat. 5 appearances and 3 NBA titles. Miami won their first championship in 2006 over Dallas in 6 games. The Heat would then make 4 consecutive Finals appearances, losing to Dallas in 6 games in 2011, beating Oklahoma City in 5 games in 2012, and San Antonio in 7 games in 2013. The Heat were defeated in 5 games by the Spurs in their championship series rematch in 2014.
3) San Antonio Spurs. 4 championships in 5 NBA Finals appearances. The Spurs won in 2003 (4 games to 2 over New Jersey), 2005 (4 games to 3 over Detroit), and 2007 when they swept Cleveland. The Spurs only championship loss since Y2K came in 2013 to Miami, with the Spurs getting revenge the following season.
2) New England Patriots. 6 Super Bowl appearances and 4 championships. New England won their first ever Lombardi Trophy in 2002, upsetting the heavily favored St. Louis Rams. The Patriots then won back to back titles in 2004 (over Carolina) and 2005 (over Philadelphia). After sustaining back to back losses to the Giants in 2008 and 2012, the Patriots defeated Seattle for their 4th ring this past season.
1) Los Angeles Lakers. 7 NBA Finals appearances and 5 championships. The Lakers kicked off the decade winning 3 consecutive championships in 2000 (over Indiana in 6 games), 2001 (over Philadelphia in 5 games), and 2002 (over New Jersey in 4 games). LA would lose their next 2 finals appearances, falling to Detroit in 5 games in 2004 and Boston in 6 games in 2008. That loss to the Celtics would mark 3 more consecutive Finals appearances, with the Lakers defeating Orlando in 5 games in 2009 and Boston in 7 games in 2010.

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