The Philadelphia Sixers are successfully on pace to be even worse then they were last year, but where would they rank with the all-time worst teams in the NBA? Tanking may be at new heights in the modern NBA era, but some teams in the past have successfully accomplished this difficult feat without even trying. In fact, you would be surprised at just how many bad teams there have historically been in the NBA.
And for good reason.
Tanking means that you will have more ping pong balls bounce in the draft lottery machine, ensuring that you have a higher probability of getting a better pick. This, of course, does not mean that you will get the #1 pick in the draft, but the percentages are in your favor. So, for teams that have zero shot in making the playoffs, why not just tank the season and think long term, instead of short term? Why hover around the .500 mark and end up being the 9th seed in the Western Conference, not make the playoffs, and then end up with a bad pick?
For many general managers who aren’t insecure about their jobs, it makes far more sense to tank the season and get a better draft pick. This inevitably results in a lot of bad teams, and not just bad teams, but historically bad teams. This, of course, is terrible for fans of that team who may not have the same long-term view in mind, especially if they are season ticket holders.
Additionally, this isn’t the best thing for television ratings, which the NBA gets a large chunk of their money from. The goal of the commissioner is to create more of a parity of power between the 30 teams in the NBA, but it looks like the NBA is quickly resembling the rest of our society, where the middle class is disappearing, the upper class is feasting, and the lower class is starving.
So, what are some of the worst teams in NBA history?
15 1998-99 Los Angeles Clippers (9-41)
14 1949-50 Denver Nuggets (11-51)
13 1952-53 Philadelphia Warriors (12-57)
12 1996-97 Vancouver Grizzlies (14-68)
11 1982-83 Houston Rockets (14-68)
10 1998-89 Vancouver Grizzlies (8-42)
9 2004-05 Atlanta Hawks (13-69)
8 1993-94 Dallas Mavericks (13-69)
7 2009-10 New Jersey Nets (12-70)
6 1986-87 Los Angeles Clippers (12-70)
5 1997-98 Denver Nuggets (11-71)
4 1992-93 Dallas Mavericks (11-71)
3 1947-48 Providence Steam Rollers (6-42)
2 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers (9-73)
1 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats (7-59)
In 2012, the Charlotte Bobcats had a winning percentage of .106. If there is ever a NBA team that could possibly lose to the best college team in the country, it may have been this team. Michael Jordan was receiving more and more criticism for being a terrible owner with his history of draft selections and the way that he ran the franchise. This team only averaged 87.0 points per game and averaged 14.5 turnovers per game. This led them to not only becoming a bad team, but the worst team in NBA history. Additionally, they were changing coaches faster than they were changing players. Last year, however, they had a breakthrough season, where they made the playoffs and revitalized the franchise. Furthermore, they have gone through a new facelift with the franchise by changing the name back to the Hornets.
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