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New York Knicks and Every NBA Team’s Longest Losing Streak (All-Time and Single-Season)

Derek Fisher And Carmelo Anthony, Making History (But Not The Good Kind)

Derek Fisher And Carmelo Anthony, Making History (But Not The Good Kind)

How woeful are the New York Knicks? They are actually smack in the middle of their longest single-season losing streak ever – an icy 12-game skid.

With the recent ‘give up on the season move,’ surrendering J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert in a trade for essentially “three…nonguaranteed contracts,” and rumors the Knicks will sit a resistant Carmelo Anthony for the rest of 2014-15, it’s possible New York can top its all-time losing streak of 20…and keep going.

Today, let’s look at every team’s all-time and single-season longest losing streaks.

At the top are the two overall longest: the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers (that first season without LeBron James) and the equally hideous 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers (hard to believe the even more hideous 2014-15 Sixers haven’t broken the record). Both lost 26 in a row within a season.

What about the brighter side of losing streaks?

The Los Angeles Lakers, going all the way back through 1948-49 and Minneapolis, have never lost more than 10 games in a row. That’s 67 seasons and over 5,200 games. Impressive.

The Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs, both ABA originals, have kept consecutive losses under relative control throughout their NBA histories, too.

Now note this is not a list of the all-time longest losing streaks – you can find those here, and also at my source, basketball-reference.com, where you can look up any losing streak (NBA or ABA) using their Team Streak Finder.

TEAM ALL-TIME LOSING STREAK SEASON(S) SINGLE-SEASON LOSING STREAK SEASON AS*
1. Cleveland Cavaliers 26 2010-11      
1. Philadelphia 76ers 26 2013-14      
3. Charlotte Hornets 23 2011-12*     Charlotte Bobcats
3. Denver Nuggets 23 1997-98      
3. Memphis Grizzlies 23 1995-96*     Vancouver Grizzlies
6. Detroit Pistons 21 1979-80 / 1980-81 14 1993-94  
7. Dallas Mavericks 20 1993-94      
7. Los Angeles Clippers 20 1993-94 / 1994-95 19 1981-82*, 1988-89 San Diego Clippers
7. New York Knicks 20 1984-85 / 1985-86 12 2014-15 (CURRENT)
10. Brooklyn Nets 19 2008-09* / 2009-10* 16 1977-78* New Jersey Nets
10. Orlando Magic 19 2003-04      
12. Boston Celtics 18 2006-07      
12. Minnesota Timberwolves 18 2010-11 / 2011-12 16 1991-92, 2009-10
12. Utah Jazz 18 1981-82      
15. Golden State Warriors 17 1964-65*     San Francisco Warriors
15. Houston Rockets 17 1967-68*     San Diego Rockets
15. Miami Heat 17 1988-89      
15. Toronto Raptors 17 1997-98      
19. Atlanta Hawks 16 1975-76      
19. Chicago Bulls 16 2000-01      
19. Washington Wizards 16 2009-10      
22. Milwaukee Bucks 15 1995-96      
23. Oklahoma City Thunder 14 2007-08*, 2008-09    
23. Phoenix Suns 14 1995-96 / 1996-97 12 1968-69, 1976-77
23. Portland Trail Blazers 14 2012-13 / 2013-14 13 1971-72  
23. Sacramento Kings 14 1959-60*, 1971-72*   Cincinnati Royals
27. San Antonio Spurs 13 1988-89      
28. Indiana Pacers 12 1982-83, 1984-85, 1988-89  
29. New Orleans Pelicans 11 2004-05*, 2012-13*   New Orleans Hornets
30. Los Angeles Lakers 10 1993-94      

*

TEAM ALL-TIME LOSING STREAK SEASON(S) SINGLE-SEASON LOSING STREAK SEASON
19. Golden State Warriors 16 1984-85
22. Memphis Grizzlies 15 2001-02 / 2002-03 12 2008-09
22. Houston Rockets 15 2001-02
27. Sacramento Kings 13 1989-90 / 1990-91 12 1997-98
28. Charlotte Hornets 12 1989-90
30. New Orleans Pelicans 8 2013-14 (3 times)
30. Brooklyn Nets 5 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15

Photo: Corey Sipkin via nydailynews.com

The Worst Teams in NBA History (Most All-Time Losses and Most Losses Per Season)

The Los Angeles Clippers Are The Worst Franchise In NBA History

The Los Angeles Clippers Are The Worst Franchise In NBA History

What a coincidence. The Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks have exactly the same number of losses: 2,687. But the Pistons did it in two fewer seasons, giving them a worse “losses-per-season” ratio.

The Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings have the one-two most losses in NBA history, but neither they, nor the Pistons nor Knicks, come that close to the title of “worst team ever.”

All four of those franchises have been around since the beginning (1946-47) or two years off of it.

So, what is the worst franchise of all time, by average number of losses per season (a pretty darn good historical measure)?

It’s the Los Angeles Clippers, who over 45 seasons have on average lost more (a fair amount more) than they’ve won – more than 49 losses a year. That translates to just 32/33 wins a pop. The NBA has scheduled at least 80 games per team a season since 1961-62 (for the most part) and the schedule has been 82 games since 1967-68, before the Clippers even existed.

After the Clippers, somewhat understandably, you have four losers who’ve “only” been around between 20-26 seasons.

They and the next four – the “top” nine losers all together – historically have lost more than they have won. Oh well, the Kings and Warriors do show up here.

You know who definitely doesn’t? The San Antonio Spurs. God man, they have only lost an average of 26.6 games their whole NBA history. Now that is a number.

The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics follow (naturally).

MOST ALL-TIME LOSSES

TEAM / FRANCHISE LOSSES SEASONS
1. Golden State Warriors 2,865 69
2. Sacramento Kings 2,821 67
3. Detroit Pistons 2,687 67
3. New York Knicks 2,687 69
5. Atlanta Hawks 2,608 66
6. Philadelphia 76ers 2,467 66
7. Washington Wizards 2,378 54
8. Los Angeles Clippers 2,211 45
9. Boston Celtics 2,199 69
10. Los Angeles Lakers 2,030 67
11. Cleveland Cavaliers 1,954 45
12. Chicago Bulls 1,873 49
13. Houston Rockets 1,860 48
14. Milwaukee Bucks 1,831 47
15. Oklahoma City Thunder 1,784 48
16. Brooklyn Nets 1,783 45
17. Phoenix Suns 1,678 47
18. Portland Trail Blazers 1,671 45
19. Denver Nuggets 1,586 45
20. Indiana Pacers 1,565 45
21. Utah Jazz 1,516 41
22. Dallas Mavericks 1,360 35
23. Minnesota Timberwolves 1,224 26
24. San Antonio Spurs 1,197 45
25. Charlotte Hornets 1,107 25
26. Orlando Magic 1,021 26
27. Miami Heat 1,017 27
28. Memphis Grizzlies 921 20
29. Toronto Raptors 888 20
30. New Orleans Pelicans 530 13

*

MOST LOSSES PER SEASON

TEAM / FRANCHISE LOSSES PER SEASON LOSSES SEASONS
1. Los Angeles Clippers 49.13 2,211 45
2. Minnesota Timberwolves 47.08 1,224 26
3. Memphis Grizzlies 46.05 921 20
4. Toronto Raptors 44.40 888 20
5. Charlotte Hornets 44.28 1,107 25
6. Washington Wizards 44.04 2,378 54
7. Cleveland Cavaliers 43.42 1,954 45
8. Sacramento Kings 42.10 2,821 67
9. Golden State Warriors 41.52 2,865 69
10. New Orleans Pelicans 40.77 530 13
11. Detroit Pistons 40.10 2,687 67
12. Brooklyn Nets 39.62 1,783 45
13. Atlanta Hawks 39.52 2,608 66
14. Orlando Magic 39.27 1,021 26
15. Milwaukee Bucks 38.96 1,831 47
16. New York Knicks 38.94 2,687 69
17. Dallas Mavericks 38.86 1,360 35
18. Houston Rockets 38.75 1,860 48
19. Chicago Bulls 38.22 1,873 49
20. Miami Heat 37.67 1,017 27
21. Philadelphia 76ers 37.38 2,467 66
22. Oklahoma City Thunder 37.17 1,784 48
23. Portland Trail Blazers 37.13 1,671 45
24. Utah Jazz 36.98 1,516 41
25. Phoenix Suns 35.70 1,678 47
26. Denver Nuggets 35.24 1,586 45
27. Indiana Pacers 34.78 1,565 45
28. Boston Celtics 31.87 2,199 69
29. Los Angeles Lakers 30.30 2,030 67
30. San Antonio Spurs 26.60 1,197 45

Losses tallied across all teams though the start of the 2014-15 season at the date of this post, Dec 29, 2014.

Losses include all for franchise. So, for example, for the Golden State Warriors, “Philadelphia Warriors” and “San Francisco Warriors” losses are included. Follow all franchise name changes and moves here.

ABA losses not included.

Photo: Jae C. Hong, AP via foxnews.com

NBA: Worst Single-Season W-L Records of Every Team

The 2014-15 Philadelphia 76ers And New York Knicks Might Make Some (Not So Good) History

The 2014-15 Philadelphia 76ers And New York Knicks Might Make Some (Not So Good) History

The 2014-15 New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers are the “inspirations” for today’s post.

Both teams are on the way, possibly, to their worst single-season W-L records ever. Quite a feat, considering both franchises have been around forever – the Knicks since year 1, 1946-47, and the Sixers since 1949-50.

The Knicks are one of only five franchises that have never won fewer than 20 games in a season. They stand at 5-21 as of today. The Sixers already own the worst 82-game record of all time (9-73). Could they top it? Right now, after losing the first 17 games of the season, they are at 2-21.

Below are the worst single-season records of every team sorted alphabetically and then by W-L percentage, with several franchise caveats (*) explained at the bottom.

Also looking for the best single-season records of every team? Find it here.

WORST SINGLE-SEASON RECORDS (BY TEAM)

TEAM W L W-L PCT. SEASON FRANCHISE NOTES
Atlanta Hawks 13 69 .159 2004-05  
Boston Celtics 15 67 .183 1996-97  
Brooklyn Nets* 12 70 .146 2009-10 as New Jersey Nets
Charlotte Hornets* 7 59 .106 2011-12 as Charlotte Bobcats
Chicago Bulls 15 67 .183 2000-01  
Cleveland Cavaliers 15 67 .183 1970-71  
  15 67 .183 1981-82  
Dallas Mavericks 11 71 .134 1992-93  
Denver Nuggets 11 71 .134 1997-98  
Detroit Pistons 16 66 .195 1979-80  
Golden State Warriors* 12 57 .174 1952-53 as Philadelphia Warriors
Houston Rockets 14 68 .171 1982-83  
Indiana Pacers 20 62 .244 1982-83  
Los Angeles Clippers 12 70 .146 1986-87  
Los Angeles Lakers* 19 53 .264 1957-58 as Minneapolis Lakers
Memphis Grizzlies* 8 42 .160 1998-99 as Vancouver Grizzlies
Miami Heat 15 67 .183 1988-89  
  15 67 .183 2007-08  
Milwaukee Bucks 15 67 .183 2013-14  
Minnesota Timberwolves 15 67 .183 1991-92  
  15 67 .183 2009-10  
New Orleans Pelicans 18 64 .220 2004-05 as New Orleans Hornets
New York Knicks* 21 59 .263 1962-63  
Oklahoma City Thunder* 20 62 .244 2007-08 as Seattle SuperSonics
Orlando Magic 18 64 .220 1989-90  
Philadelphia 76ers 9 73 .110 1972-73  
Phoenix Suns 16 66 .195 1968-69  
Portland Trail Blazers 18 64 .220 1971-72  
Sacramento Kings 17 65 .207 2008-09  
San Antonio Spurs 20 62 .244 1996-97  
Toronto Raptors 16 66 .195 1997-98  
Utah Jazz* 23 59 .280 1974-75 as New Orleans Jazz
Washington Wizards* 18 62 .225 1961-62 as Chicago Packers

*

WORST SINGLE-SEASON RECORDS PER TEAM (BY W-L PCT)

  TEAM W L W-L PCT. SEASON FRANCHISE NOTES
1. Charlotte Hornets* 7 59 .106 2011-12 as Charlotte Bobcats
2. Philadelphia 76ers 9 73 .110 1972-73  
3. Dallas Mavericks 11 71 .134 1992-93  
3. Denver Nuggets 11 71 .134 1997-98  
5. Brooklyn Nets* 12 70 .146 2009-10 as New Jersey Nets
5. Los Angeles Clippers 12 70 .146 1986-87  
7. Atlanta Hawks 13 69 .159 2004-05  
8. Memphis Grizzlies* 8 42 .160 1998-99 as Vancouver Grizzlies
9. Houston Rockets 14 68 .171 1982-83  
10. Golden State Warriors* 12 57 .174 1952-53 as Philadelphia Warriors
11. Boston Celtics 15 67 .183 1996-97  
11. Chicago Bulls 15 67 .183 2000-01  
11. Cleveland Cavaliers 15 67 .183 1970-71  
11. Cleveland Cavaliers 15 67 .183 1981-82  
11. Miami Heat 15 67 .183 1988-89  
11. Miami Heat 15 67 .183 2007-08  
11. Milwaukee Bucks 15 67 .183 2013-14  
11. Minnesota Timberwolves 15 67 .183 1991-92  
11. Minnesota Timberwolves 15 67 .183 2009-10  
20. Detroit Pistons 16 66 .195 1979-80  
20. Phoenix Suns 16 66 .195 1968-69  
20. Toronto Raptors 16 66 .195 1997-98  
23. Sacramento Kings 17 65 .207 2008-09  
24. New Orleans Pelicans 18 64 .220 2004-05 as New Orleans Hornets
24. Orlando Magic 18 64 .220 1989-90  
24. Portland Trail Blazers 18 64 .220 1971-72  
27. Washington Wizards* 18 62 .225 1961-62 as Chicago Packers
28. Indiana Pacers 20 62 .244 1982-83  
28. Oklahoma City Thunder* 20 62 .244 2007-08 as Seattle SuperSonics
28. San Antonio Spurs 20 62 .244 1996-97  
31. New York Knicks* 21 59 .263 1962-63  
32. Los Angeles Lakers* 19 53 .264 1957-58 as Minneapolis Lakers
33. Utah Jazz* 23 59 .280 1974-75 as New Orleans Jazz

* The “Brooklyn” Nets’ “worst record” was 44-38 (.537) in 2013-14. They’ve only been around for two full seasons.

* The Charlotte Hornets’ record listed here was during the strike-shortened 2011-12 season. That franchise’s worst 82-game record was also as the Bobcats in 2004-05 (18-64, .220). As the “Hornets,” in 1989-90 (19-63, .232).

* The “Golden State” Warriors’ worst record was 17-65 (.207) in 2000-01.

* The “Los Angeles” Lakers’ worst record was last season (2013-14) without Kobe, 27-55 (.329).

* The “Memphis” Grizzlies’ worst record was 22-60 (.268), back-to-back in 2006-07 and 2007-08.

* The New York Knicks’ 82-game worst record was 23-59 (.280), three times: 1985-86, 2005-06 and 2007-08.

* The “Oklahoma City Thunder’s”‘ worst record was 23-59 (.280) in 2008-09.

* The “Utah” Jazz’ worst record was 24-58 (.293) in 1979-80. They, too, may break the franchise record this season, at 6-18 currently.

* The “Washington Wizards”‘ worst 82-game record was 19-63 (.232) in 2000-01 and 2008-09.

Photos: Scott Halleran, Getty Images via philly.com / Maddie Meyer, Getty Images via espn.com

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