Every team in the NBA dreams of winning a championship, but there are some teams who have been denied for decades at a time. The Lakers, Celtics, Bulls and Spurs have won 42 championships between them, and their success leaves very little room for any other team. It comes as no shock that long title droughts are common in the NBA, but there are five teams that have been more unsuccessful than any others. This article is a tale of five teams that are seeking a championship and may never see one again.
#1: The Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers started life as the San Diego Clippers, but Donald Sterling brought the team to Los Angeles as competition for the mighty Lakers. The plan has not worked at all, and the Clippers have been as futile as any. Their drought spanning over 40 years may not be broken even with Doc Rivers as their current coach.
#2: The Suns
The Suns have been to the finals twice, but they have not performed well enough to win their first championship. They have a long history of being good instead of great, but they do not have a history of closing the deal. A span of nearly 50 years has left Suns fans hungry for a championship that Paul Westphal, Charles Barkley, Kevin Johnson and Steve Nash could not deliver.
#3: The Nuggets
Kiki Vandeweghe could not deliver a championship to the Nuggets during his playing days, and his time as an executive has not been any more fruitful. The Nuggets give way to the Broncos and Avalanche in Denver who have won several championships together. The Nuggets have had their fair share of talent, but talent does not create titles like magic. Their team’s drought of nearly five decades is one that may not be broken with a generational talent.
#4: The Hawks
The Hawks won a championship long ago with Bob Pettit, but they were in St. Louis at the time. The team drafted and traded away Bill Russell, and they moved to Atlanta. Their move to Atlanta stuck them in the same division as the Boston Celtics, and there title hunts were often stopped by the Celtics. Having Dominique Wilkins in the lineup was not enough to beat Larry Bird’s Celtics, and the teams of the present have featured many men including Steve Smith and Mookie Blaylock. Each man was good, but he was not good enough to bring the Hawks anywhere close to a title. They only recently made the conference finals, and they did not win that round.
#5: The Kings
66 years without a championship left Shaq ample reason to call the Kings “the Queens,” and their drought has left them subject to the scorn of the NBA. They are often thought of the last sun-trenched reaches of the NBA that are barren, and the tea often finds no talent because they have scared off players with a franchise history filled with futility. Their team has seen talent in Arco Arena, but they have not put together a campaign that took them far enough.
The most-brutal loss on this lost must be the demise of the 2000 Kings who lost to the Lakers in game seven of the conference finals on a Robert Horry three-pointer. Their drought them just over 50 years, but they are now so deep in mediocrity that fans have likely lost hope. Their team may have moved had it not been for Kevin Johnson, and they now are close to contraction as the NBA considered its global mission in Asia, Africa and Europe.