(Editor’s Note: Steve is using the term dynasty very loosely in this article. The teams included herein should at least feel honored to be called such, whether they deserve the tag dynasty or not–and really, none of them do. Just know that the Clippers, Bobcats, and Timberwolves are more pathetic than these teams.)
Everyone knows the franchises that have historically dominated the NBA landscape. Los Angeles (Lakers), Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio have all built dynasties during their time in the league. But if there are great dynasties, then there have to be the terrible dynasties, here are my bottom five:
5. Seattle Supersonics
Full disclosure, I was born and raised in Seattle. But that being said, I imagine few would disagree Seattle has been a depressing basketball city. Our one championship came in 1979. In 1996 we had Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton, arguably the one the best duos of all time, but we lost to the Bulls in the finals. Shawn Kemp then was shipped off and Vin Baker with his drinking problems came in. The Sonics had terrible draft picks for the next few years (do you even remember Robert Swift?) until Kevin Durant. Few people remember that Kevin Durant was actually drafted by the Seattle Supersonics. The fans there had a full year to appreciate his abilities until the entire team was shipped off to Oklahoma. Within a couple of years the Oklahoma City Thunder became legitimate title contenders and Sonics fans simple had to grit their teeth and bear it. Our WNBA team recently won the championship, which only made us realize how much we miss having a men’s professional team.
4. Utah Jazz
Home to one of the greatest coaches of all time, one of the greatest twosomes of all time, and on pair of the shortest shorts of all time, Utah Jazz fans are also consistently the among the most disappointed. Some of the greatest players of all time played here, Pete Maravich, John Stockton, and Karl Malone. Nearly every year Jazz fans believe it is there year, but every year the get disappointed. Some people would argue that the Jazz almost always make the playoffs, how can they be one of the most pathetic franchises? It’s easier to be a fan of a bad team and just stop caring, then get excited every year just to see your team fail. Last of all, the Jazz have zero championships and had to watch their hall of fame coach, Jerry Sloan, get pushed out by a player who would just be traded.
3. Orlando Magic
Yes there was a time where Shaq was in shape, and most of it was spent with the Orlando Magic. The Magic were established in 1989 and in 1992 landed Shaq. A year later they had Penny Hardaway who gave us some of the greatest NBA commercials of all time (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URNwiRPQf1A). They became the quickest team of all time to reach the finals and were promptly swept in the finals. The next year they were swept by the Bulls in the Eastern conference finals and the first “Superman” left to the lakers. Shaq went on to a three-peat with the Lakers, while Magic fans watched their team slowly die. Hopes were finally reignited with Tracy McGrady, who led them again to the playoffs in 2003. In 2004 the city was jazzed as they won there first game, but the excitement passed quickly as they lost there next 19 games and finished with a 21-61 record. The team was dismantled and Dwight Howard was drafted. Everyone knows the story, they won one finals game, the next year didn’t make the finals, and now it looks like Dwight Howard will leave just like Shaq.
2. Sacramento Kings
The Kings have one championship, and that was when they were the Rochester Royals in 1950. There most exciting years were from 1997 to 2005 when they had Christ Webber, Vlade Divac, and Peja Stojakovic. However, over and over they lost in the playoffs and in 2002 they lost in one of the most controversial games of all time (see http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3436401.) Since then they were completely dismantled and have had to deal with the stress of not knowing whether there team will even stay in Sacramento. If there team leaves, then this list needs to be updated moving them to the number one spot
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
Founded in 1970, they are still without a championship. They are remembered for two things at this point, Lebron James leaving and Craig Ehlo being taken by Jordan. I don’t think I need to say anything more elaborate on how pathetic the situation is in Cleveland than by sharing this quote by Lebron himself “I got a goal, and it’s a huge goal, and that’s to bring an NBA championship here to Cleveland. And I won’t stop until I get it (italics added).”
Steve Nilssen wrote this article. He is a standup comedian from the great Northwest. He attends BSSFA (Bitter Seattle Supersonics Fan’s Anonymous) meetings regularly.