Making it to the NBA Finals is one of the toughest things any team could achieve. You need to be consistent in the regular season, then rise up to the occasion in the playoffs, stay healthy, and even have luck on your side.
Moreover, once a team starts falling short, it falls into a bit of a cycle. No big-name players want to join their teams, thus making it even harder to reach basketball's ultimate stage. That's why several franchises have struggled to make it to the NBA Finals over the past couple of decades.
Then again, not all bad things last forever. Take the Phoenix Suns for instance. They spent 10 seasons without making the playoffs and were one of the bottom-feeders in the Western Conference. Now, they've turned things around after just one season and are now in the NBA Finals for the first time in 28 years.
The same could be said of the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks, two teams that have struggled to take a step forward in the playoffs but that are on the verge of putting an end to their droughts.
So, get your hopes on even if your team isn't that good right now. In this article, we'll let you know about the top 10 teams with the longest Finals droughts.
10. Memphis Grizzlies - 26 Years
The Memphis Grizzlies have never made it to the NBA Finals. Their years in Vancouver were full of struggles and it took them some time to put up a competitive roster during the 'Grit-and-Grind era'.
Now, Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr, and Dillon Brooks look like the kind of young core that could make a lot of trouble in the Western Conference for years to come, so the future seems bright for them.
10. Houston Rockets - 26 Years
With the Phoenix Suns clinching their first NBA Finals berth in 28 years, now the Houston Rockets have the 10th longest drought, which is crazy considering they had James Harden around for so many years.
The last time the Rockets made it to the NBA Finals, Hakeem Olajuwon took down a young Shaquille O'Neal and the Orlando Magic to win the 2nd ring in franchise history. So yeah, it's been a while, and it doesn't seem like that'll change any time soon.
9. Portland Trail Blazers - 29 Years
The Portland Trail Blazers were also doomed by Michael Jordan. They reached the NBA Finals 29 years ago and His Airness made sure to put an end to the comparisons between him and Clyde Drexler.
Damian Lillard has already outgrown this team and some fear that he'll eventually leave to pursue a ring somewhere else. They're still several pieces away from being a legit contender.
8. Charlotte Hornets - 31 Years
The Charlotte Hornets have never been to the NBA Finals. Other than a brief passage in their history, they have never actually been a legit contender. But that could change pretty soon.
The Hornets have put together an impressive, up-and-coming team with LaMelo Ball at the helm. He's already talking about winning a championship and even though it may take a while, they're heading in the right direction.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves - 32 Years
Just like the Charlotte Hornets, the Minnesota Timberwolves have never reached basketball's ultimate stage. They have rarely been a playoff team besides Kevin Garnett's years.
And, even though the Timberwolves have had a plethora of young stars at their disposal, it still seems like they're ages away from being a true threat to go the distance.
6. Washington Wizards - 42 Years
The Washington Wizards last won an NBA Championship in 1978. They made the NBA Finals again next year but failed to take the trophy home, and it's all gone downhill for them since there.
Now, they have an interesting duo in Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook plus some promising young pieces. Then again, they're not going to make the NBA Finals any time soon.
5. Denver Nuggets - 45 Years
Even though they've had legendary players such as Alex English or Carmelo Anthony, the Denver Nuggets have never made it to the NBA Finals. Even with that homecourt advantage.
Nikola Jokic and their current squad looked poised to make a deep playoff run this season before Jamal Murray's injury. But, should they add another piece or two, you'd need to watch out for them.
4. Milwaukee Bucks - 47 Years
The Milwaukee Bucks haven't been a championship contender since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then known as Lew Alcindor) led them to a ring. Now, Giannis Antetokounmpo can put an end to that drought.
The Bucks have been a borderline playoff team in the Eastern Conference for years. This season, they're on the verge of silencing their critics and have a strong shot of winning a ring, as they could put an end to this drought this year.
3. Los Angeles Clippers - 51 Years
The Los Angeles Clippers haven't exactly been the most successful franchise around the Association. Like, ever. If anything, they've spent most of their history living at the Lakers' shadow.
But new owner Steve Ballmer has done a nice job of putting together a legit championship contender, and they'll be a huge threat as long as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are on the roster.
2. Atlanta Hawks - 61 Years
The last time the Atlanta Hawks won an NBA Championship, they didn't even play in Atlanta. And no one thought that their NBA Finals drought was going to end any time soon.
Then, all of a sudden, Trae Young and the Hawks' young core put the entire world on notice. They're up-and-coming, hungry, and will be very good for at least the next five years or so, and they can put an end to this drought this season.
1. Sacramento Kings - 70 Years
The Sacramento Kings have been far from a successful franchise throughout their history. They have had some tough luck in the playoffs but have also done a terrible job of putting their stars in a position to succeed.
Now, the Kings have a nice young core with De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton but they're still years away from being a playoff team, let alone being a true championship contender.