NBA Updates PH – Then there were ten NBA Teams.
That settles the matter. That’s the number of squads that have yet to win the NBA title. The Denver Nuggets have withdrawn from the group from which everyone is currently attempting to resign.
It takes work to win a title. Maintaining a spot on this list is challenging in its own right. It’s tough on the fans, the organization, the reputation, and on top of everything else, it’s tough to keep falling short year after year. Don’t you always feel like luck is on your side?
You’ll find a list of ten dreamers below, along with a synopsis of the reasons it has yet to happen.
The Brooklyn Nets deserve praise for making an effort, even though their most recent strategy failed. They managed to persuade Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden to form a superteam, but the aspirations that everyone had for that group were dashed after only a year due to injuries to Kyrie and Harden. The collapse occurred then. Jason Kidd had previously led the Nets to back-to-back Finals appearances but had been stopped by Tim Duncan and Shaq each time. The Nets’ first true shot at making some serious noise in the NBA playoffs was squandered when they traded Julius Erving to the Sixers as part of the ABA-NBA merger.
While making the playoffs three times, this version of the Hornets (formerly the Bobcats and reborn in 2004) has only won three games. Emeka Okafor, Adam Morrison, Michael-Kidd Gilchrist, and Cody Zeller were all selected in the first ten picks of the draft, which didn’t help. Given his six titles as a player, Michael Jordan’s role as team governor is an odd and unsettling reflection of his accomplishments.
The turn of the century saw Reggie Miller and Rik Smits as competent players, but they were no match for Shaq and Kobe Bryant. Years later, when Paul George was a competent player, the Pacers still fell short against the Big Three of the Heat despite having George on their roster. And now, it looks like championship talk won’t return to Indiana for years, barring another “Hoosiers”-style miracle in the near future.
Injuries to Blake Griffin and Chris Paul during their prime years for the franchises turned Lob City into Robbed City a decade ago. With recent injuries to George and Kawhi Leonard, things have remained largely unchanged. The Clippers‘ habit of blowing playoff leads did not help matters. This team, originally from Buffalo but now based in San Diego, has had bad luck and poor personal judgments since its inception. It’s not even close when pitted against their Los Angeles-based twin. The Lakers have won 17 championships, while the Clippers would be satisfied with even one.
They were the first Canadian team to lose a championship, following Vancouver’s demise, and the first team to see a newer team in the league (Toronto) win a championship. Only when Tony Allen, Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, and Zach Randolph were on the squad did the Grizzlies have any chance of winning a title. They have had good regular seasons in the past few years and a promising future in Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr., but the bright lights seem to blind them.
They had Kevin Garnett for over a decade and never made it to the Finals. They blew a golden opportunity, and Garnett made out like a bandit with the Celtics the season after he departed Minnesota. The 1989-formed Wolves then went through a protracted period in which they experienced very few successes. And now, a question: Will the price of trading Rudy Gobert add more years of disappointment since they won’t be able to win a championship?
New Orleans Pelicans
The squad, formerly known as the Hornets, gets a pass because the franchise has only been around since 1988 (2002 in New Orleans). The biggest mistake they made (when in Charlotte) was handing Larry Johnson the largest contract extension in NBA history, which effectively prevented them from retaining Alonzo Mourning, who was widely regarded as the superior player. Johnson’s back problems permanently altered his career; mourning left for Miami (where he won a championship), and the team relocated to New Orleans. The Pelicans wasted Anthony Davis’ prime, and now look where they are.
Unfortunately for Orlando, despite having two powerful big men, they were still unable to celebrate with champagne. Both Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard had trouble maintaining their usual level of dominance in June. Then, when he was at his peak, Shaq left the Miami Heat for the Los Angeles Lakers and guided them to three consecutive NBA championships. This must have been a blow to his former team, at least until the point where the Magic drafted Dwight Howard first overall, only to have him follow him out the door. At least Howard waited a full decade before winning a championship, and he did so with the Lakers.
The Suns have had more very talented teams that couldn’t cash in than any other club member. Therefore, their bad luck persisted longer. The Charles Barkley-led Suns of the late 1990s, who faced Michael Jordan and, subsequently, Hakeem Olajuwon, ultimately succumbed. And the 2007 Suns team led by Steve Nash got hip-checked by Robert Horry. More recently, in 2021, Devin Booker’s Suns blew a 2-0 series lead against Giannis Antetokounmpo and Milwaukee. Now they have two-time champion Kevin Durant, but has he been saving his best for the Warriors?
You had to give it up for Karl Malone and John Stockton, the greatest duo that never won a championship. They joined in the 1990s in failing to win against Jordan. It’s incomprehensible, given the Jazz had two all-time greats on their roster and were a title contender for a decade. Utah may need to move mountains to get back into the mix, as they currently have no players on their roster at the same level as Stockton and Malone.