There have been some remarkable franchises in the NBA, having success in every era, like the Lakers and Celtics (have a combined 33 NBA titles) or were so dominant in one era that they are viewed as an all-time great franchise, like the Bulls.
However, there are some franchises that are not this lucky, were they struggle no matter or what, or they just can’t seem to shake their past. So, here are the worst NBA franchises.
5. Memphis Grizzlies
Way back in 1995, the Grizzlies were in Vancouver Canada, and they were just bad. They played there for 6 seasons and they could not win more than 23 there. After this, they moved to Memphis and things got slightly better. In 2001, they drafted Spanish Superstar Pau Gasol (one of my favorite players) and he won rookie of the year yet, his first two seasons were losing seasons winning 23 and 28 games.
From 2004 to 2006 the Grizz did make it to the playoffs, despite the regular season success, they were swept out in the first round every time. Not long after, Pau was headed to Los Angeles and the Grizzlies were back to the bottom of the West. To the Grizzlies credit, they have made the playoffs every year since 2011, reaching the conference finals in 2013. The Grizzlies are on track to escape one of the worst franchises in NBA history however, with only 1 conference finals in their entirety, they are still stuck here.
4. Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets start was pretty rough, like most expansion teams. After four seasons of losing, in their fifth, they were able to get to the playoffs. From 1993 to 2002 they missed the playoff only three times, and the years they did miss it they were the ninth seed, so they were competitive. After 2 years of inactivity, they came back as the Bobcats and they sucked. Plain and Simple. Five straight losing seasons till 2010 (where they made the playoffs and got swept by the Magic). After that, they went back to losing seasons.
In 2011-12 they went 7-59 (lookout season), setting an NBA record for lowest win percentage by an NBA team. 2014 to 2016 they made the playoffs two out of those three seasons, losing in the first round to the Heat both times. This team has not reached the conference, and there all time regular and post season record is 939-1208 which is a win percentage of .437.
3. Sacramento Kings
The Kings franchises can be traced to the beginning of professional basketball in North America, and they were good. Making the playoffs in their first 6 seasons and winning an NBA championship in the 1950-51 season. However, they have had stretches where they do not make the playoffs: from 1968 to 1974, from 1987 to 1995, and most recently from 2007 till today. They have made the playoffs in between those large gaps of losing, yet they haven’t gotten to the Finals since 1951, losing to the Lakers and Rockets in their 2 conference finals appearances, since 1981. The win percentage for the Kings is .459, and they are not in any position to start changing that soon.
There has been a lot of turmoil in the Kings, screwing up draft picks, trading young talent to sign vets, an owner who thinks Hield has Curry potential (I do hope Hield becomes a star though, I want to see him succeed). While DeMarcus is an amazing talent, he couldn’t lead the kings to a 34-win season in his 7 years there. There was only 1 time in the Kings history where they could have won a title outside of 1951, and the Lakers end all hope of that happening. With the historical track of losing, a horrid front office, and no real building block (except Hield) the kings are doomed for more losing.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves
From 1997 to 2004, the Wolves made the playoffs, got to the conference finals in 2004 but, other than that, they have lost. A lot. Those are the only seasons where they have made the playoffs in their history. They had 1 other winning season and that was in 2005. The Wolves were created in the 1989-90 season and couldn’t win more than 29 games until 1997 and since 2005 haven’t had a .500 record. They won 40 games with Love in 2014, but they just cannot win.
The Wolves have had incredible players over the years, with Garnett and Love, yet their mistakes in the draft, lack of extra talent and poor free agent appeal cost them. They have a win percentage of .391 (that is just terrible, I can’t say anything more). However, with Wiggins, Towns and Lavine, things are looking for the Wolves.
1. Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers can be traced back to the 1970-71 season. At the time, they were known as the Buffalo Braves. Their first three seasons, were all losing. From 1974 to 1976 they made the playoffs, reaching the conference semi-finals in 1976. Then from 1977 to 2011, they made the playoffs only 4 times, never getting past the conference semi-finals.
They have made the playoffs every year since 2012, never reaching the Conference Finals. Their all-time win percentage is .394, and with what looks like this current Clippers roster last hoorah, there could be more losing in the Clippers future.