It is easy after a defeat to proclaim your team is as bad as they’ve ever been.
Orlando Magic didn’t make the playoffs this season for the second year. Their failure to do so wasn’t marginal either; they went 22-60 throughout the season with a 0.268 winning percentage. Doubtless, fans often left the Amway Center wondering how things could get any worse for the team.
Over in the Western Conference, things were worse for Houston Rockets. They finished 20-62, with a 0.244 winning percentage, and they missed the playoffs for a second successive season. They’re likely to be rank outsiders for the NBA Championship in Ladbrokes odds in 2023 and were worse than Orlando by two defeats. That won’t give much comfort to fans in Florida, but it does show that however bad you are, there is almost always someone worse than you. Almost always.
It’s easy to talk about the greatest NBA teams ever. Sports website Bleacher Report argues it is the 2016/17 Golden State Warriors, but the 1995/96 Chicago Bulls were also pretty special. Everyone loves to read about those teams, but what about the worst? Which teams left their fan empty week after week, game by game? We’ve picked three of the worst of all time for you to enjoy unless they’re your team!
2011/12 Charlotte Bobcats
Hornets fans might wish to look away now; under their previous guise of the Bobcats, they were pretty poor, with 2011/12 ranking as the worst season possible. The new franchise replaced the old Hornets in 2004, with the previous team reaching the playoffs seven seasons from ten before relocating. Success wasn’t as easy for the new franchise, but in 09/10, they did make the first round. It proved to be a false dawn and 7-59 season in 2011/12 ranks as the worst of any team in history. An awful roster and the shortened season made this one to forget for those in Charlotte, and something to take comfort from whenever your team does poorly; at least they’re not Charlotte Bobcats levels of awful!
1997/98 Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets started badly and got worse from there. The opening fixtures saw them go 0-12, the first of three losing streaks stretching beyond 12 games. Between December 9 and January 23, they lost 23 straight games, an appalling run that few in Denver remember. Their troubles started when they failed to re-sign Dikembe Mutombo after the 95/96 campaign, which began an erosion of their roster, ending in 98. This was the third of an eight-season absence from the playoffs, a run stretching from 1996 to 2003.
2015/16 Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers could appear on the list twice; their awful 72/73 season is still discussed today. It didn’t seem fair to basketball fans in Philly to give them two slices of pain, so we’re going to focus on their 2015/16 season. They lost 18 on the spin at the start of the season, with four defeats by 20 points or more. Overall, they went 10-72 for the season, only marginally better than the 9-73 the 1972/73 team managed. It did net them the first draft pick the following season, ensuring they bagged Ben Simmons; he was the first college player in the modern era to be selected with the first overall pick despite never playing in the NCAA Tournament. He also went on to win Rookie of the Year, one of only three 76ers to win the coveted prize. It might not be comforting for their fans, but at least something good came out of that terrible season.
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