Talking about the NBA, so many teams have played in so many seasons, some won and some lost. Want to know which teams have not won a single NBA championship?
Read the following article to find out.
Winners are workers with luck, but what goes wrong with workers who are not winners?
If you are a basketball enthusiast you must have experienced a racing heart, a sweaty face, and eyes that are concentrated on the TV screen at the final moments of an NBA match. Oh and if you have ever supported a team that won, you must have exhibited the shouts and the happy chants that come from when you are flying amidst the clouds.
Yet that feeling is almost nothing compared to what the players experience on the grounds, their hearts jumping out of their chests, adrenaline levels at their peaks, and anticipation for victory at its final heights.
However, that too is nothing compared to what the players feel when they are crowned victorious, but that’s not what this article is about.
We’ll look at the ones history doesn’t speak of, the teams that have never secured an NBA championship win.
NBA teams that have not won the NBA championship:
In total, there are eleven NBA teams that have never won a NBA championship.
Charlotte Hornets, Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Not winning any titles can be very exhausting for the teams and their fans, sometimes posing adverse impacts on their positions, and now we shall walk through the origins, the histories, and the whats and whys of these teams that could have prevented them from gaining NBA championship victories.
They started as an expansion team in 1988 under the ownership of George Shinn. The team was re-established as Charlotte Bobcats in 2004 and then again renamed as Charlotte Hornets in 2013. The franchise had quite good teams during the 90s but it seems as though their expertise declined as time passed by.
The Hornets have not yet been able to earn themselves a single title, nor divisional, nor conference.
The owner of Charlotte Hornets since 2010, Michael Jordan, had six rings with the Chicago Bulls, but it seems that bad luck of the Hornets has overpowered his lucky charm too. Hornets have managed to make it to a total of 10 playoffs during the 30 seasons they have been a part of.
The last time Hornets won in a playoff was against Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference first round, 2002, the closest they ever came to winning a championship.
The last time they reached the playoffs was in 2016 when they lost to Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference first round. They have missed the play offs ever since, up until the playoffs of 2020. The team has constantly been around the bottom line and it seems unlikely that they’ll be able to win themselves a title any time soon.
Located in New York City, previously known as the New Jersey Nets, the Brooklyn Nets were originally an ABA team and had won the ABA championships of 1974 and 1976, lead by Julius Erving.
However, they haven’t yet been able to secure themselves a NBA championship win.
The Nets made it to the NBA championship finals in 2002 and 2003, but they were to play against the Los Angeles Lakers, which was one of the strongest teams on the league, and hence, Brooklyn Nets were defeated. Since then, they haven’t made any noticeable moves in the league, however they have made it to some playoffs, including the ones of 2019-2020 season.
Bad luck can’t chase at them forever and after the arrival of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, it seems that the time will come soon when the Nets will win themselves a title, and let’s hope the time is near.
Like the Brooklyn nets, Indiana Pacers were also part of ABA, and were quite successful in their time. They appeared in the finals five times in the league’s 90-year history and won three ABA championships in four years.
It seems that their success was short-lived and started to decline after the ABA merged into NBA in 1976.
In the 1990s, although they did make to the Eastern conference finals of the NBA championship, they lost to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. During the 2000 season, the Pacers made it to the NBA finals with Reggie Miller, but lost against the Los Angeles Lakers, who were dominating the league with Kobe Bryant and Shaquell o’Neal.
However, the team has won several divisional titles. One can only hope that the team will once again attain the same esteem and grandeur they had when they were part of the ABA.
Based in Orlando, Florida, the franchise was established as an expansion franchise in 1989, and was one of the best expansion teams, coming second best to Miami Heat in terms of success.
The team has played in NBA play offs 16 times in 31 seasons, and made to the NBA finals in 1995 and 2009. In 1995 they went to the finals with Shaq and Penny but lost to the fine Houston team with Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler.
However, being the strong team that they were, they did beat Michael Jordan’s Chicago bulls in the 1995 Eastern Conference finals. Perhaps, the victory got to their heads and they ended up losing their expertise during the championship final. In 2009, they reached the finals again after quite a long while, but sadly they couldn’t win against the Lakers, who had the legendary Kobe Bryant on their team.
Yet, there’s hope that the franchise will get its magic back, and compete for the NBA finals in the coming times.
The basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona, started out as an expansion team in 1968 and is part of the Western Conference Pacific Division.
It was an average team in the beginning with no notable performance but improved during the 1970s, especially because of Arsdale, Adams, and Westphal, who took the team to the 1976 NBA finals, but unfortunately, they lost to Boston Celtics. In 1992, Charles Barkley joined the Suns, and they won the 1993 conference title.
The franchise reached the NBA finals again in 1993, under the leadership of Charles Barkley and Kevin Johnson, but Michael Jordan and the Chicago bulls were too hard for them to overthrow, and they lost the match.
Since then, the team has been unable to get to the NBA finals. Whether its rigging or bad luck, it doesn’t seem very likely that the Phoenix Suns will be able to win the championship title any time soon.
The franchise started off in 1995 in Vancouver as Vancouver Grizzlies, an expansion team that joined the NBA in 1995-1996 season. The team was relocated to Memphis in 2001. They have struggled quite a lot even while having great players such as Paul Gasol and Shareef Abdur-Rahim, however, they did make it to some playoffs.
The grizzlies gave a hard time to many contenders during the ‘grit and grind’ era in the 2010-11 seasons. In 2011 they managed to reach the Western Conference finals which they lost to the OKC Thunder.
The grizzlies have not yet made a single entry into the NBA finals, and still don’t seem to be anywhere near to reaching the finals, let alone winning the championship.
New Orleans Pelicans:
They entered the NBA in 2002 as New Orleans Hornets and were renamed as Pelicans in 2012.
The Pelicans have earned themselves one divisional title and have won two of the seven playoffs that they were a part of. However, they never made it to the NBA championship final, still not much can be said about the matter as they are the newest team and became part of the NBA not too long ago.
Perhaps, the recent addition of Zion Williamson to the gang would pave for them a road to finals, maybe towards earning a championship victory too. it wouldn’t be wrong if we say that Williamson’s injury in the 2019-20 season was a big reason for the team’s absence in the playoffs.
Being the young and energetic team it is and with the leadership of JJ Redick and the presence of Williamson, the pelicans appear to have a great potential for reaching the NBA championship finals.
Los Angeles Clippers:
They started off as an expansion team in 1970 called the Buffalo Braves and later became Sandiego Clippers and then, the Los Angeles Clippers. They have had some good teams in recent times but have not yet ever reached beyond the Western Conference semifinals.
The acquisition of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard into the team did raise hopes for the Clippers for 2019-20 season, it seemed that they could at least reach the playoffs, but the NBA suspended the 2019-20 season due to covid-19, and another season flew by, without the clippers getting a chance at NBA finals. They must have high hopes for the coming seasons.
The team has the record of not reaching the finals for a single time since 1976, the year they joined the NBA. However, they did make it to the ABA finals in 1976, but they lost to New York Nets.
They have had a good bunch of players including Carmello Anthony, Adrian Dantley, and Alex English, but their luck just seems to expire when they come against other stronger teams in the west. Denver nuggets have won several divisional titles and also made it to the NBA Western Conference finals in the 1980s.
In 2009 they reached the Western Conference finals again but lost to Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
Although they have not yet made it to the NBA finals, they were seen in the play offs several times.
Hence, it can’t be presumed that they have no hopes for the finals in the coming future.
The nuggets have been performing pretty well recently, and are among the top teams in the West.
Perhaps they’ll soon be seen with the championship title, lest the odds are in their favor.
Although being a fairly good team, the Utah Jazz was not as strong as Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, who gave them rock-hard competition during the 90s.
Having the legendary pair of Karl Malone and John Stockton, the Jazz won the Western Conference final in 1997 and 1998. However, they were to fight against the Bulls in the 1997 and 1998 NBA finals, the odds certainly were not in their favor, as the Chicago Bulls were the most dominant team in that era and Michael Jordan was playing the last of his games.
Ever since then, Utah jazz has not been able to make a way into the NBA finals. However, recently they have been performing significantly well in the playoffs, and may one day take their flight to the NBA finals too.
They were an expansion team founded in 1989, which although started off slowly, later became very prominent after it acquired Kevin Garnette in 1995, after Garnette’s addition into the team, they made to the play offs for consecutive eight years, from 1997-2004.
In 2004, they reached the Western Conference final but were eliminated by Los Angeles Lakers. It seems that Garnette was the team’s lucky charm, as they haven’t been able to pull off any notable performances after Kevin Garnette was traded to the Boston Celtics in 2007, which however attained numerous victories afterward.
Perhaps, now the franchise is going through a rebuilding process, and it can only be hoped that we see it with the championship title.
The downside of not winning:
It is not just the titles and awards, that are won or lost during the games. Much more than that can be at stake if a team fails to secure any victories during the seasons. If the franchise performs poorly, that clearly effects its owner, and people who invested in the players.
If they keep losing the money without seeing any fruitful outcomes, they would be hesitant to spend more on a lost cause, consequently, the teams could collapse. Major players would start leaving teams if they see better incomes and potential for winning with other teams.
Sponsors also support the stars of the show, the best of sponsors and investors tend to go to the teams who seem to have most chances at winning the games, and hence the outcasts are not left with much to feast on.
The fan base also declines, when the fans only see their teams losing with consistency, further decreasing the chances of survival for the teams.
For all such reasons, the players must try to give their performance in the grounds and try to win as much matches as possible.
Victories and defeats are the most important parts of any game, both being inevitable, both being equally possible for the players. Where winning brings one team joy, losing shouldn’t make the other lose their confidence and hopes for the future.
Players are well aware of that, perhaps that is the reason why the teams mentioned above lose again and again, but always come out in the next seasons, ready to compete yet again.
It is for us, the fans, to pick from here the lesson that we don’t need to get frustrated if our team loses.
We should not curse our teams or the winners, lest our team loses. We must always hold onto hope that they’ll win one day, and we must consistently support them through their highs and lows and I will stop the rant here.
Now, you must have found out all you want to about the legendary NBA non-champs. I hope you keep them in your prayers from now on, lest you want to see them win the NBA championships in the future.