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

Posted on December 29, 2014, in NBA Basketball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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