Which teams have never won the NBA title?
Of the 30 teams currently playing in the NBA, 11 are yet to win their first championship.
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Every season, the Larry O’Brien trophy is awarded to the team that wins the NBA title.
Of the teams that currently compete in the league, 19 have won at least one championship with the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics tied for the most with 17 each.
There are 11 teams, however, that have never managed to win it all.
The Nets won two ABA titles as the New York Nets in 1974 and 1976, but have never won a championship since the ABA and NBA merged immediately after they won that second title.
They won the Eastern Conference as the New Jersey Nets in both the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons but lost in the NBA Finals both times. The Los Angeles Lakers swept them 4-0 in 2002, before the San Antonio Spurs beat them 4-2 in 2003.
The Nets are yet to make it to the Finals since they moved to Brooklyn in 2012, but have made the playoffs in three consecutive seasons.
The Hornets joined the NBA as an expansion team in 1988 and they are yet to win a Championship – or even a Conference or Division title – in their history.
Charlotte has reached the playoffs 10 times – eight times as the Hornets and twice at the Bobcats – but has yet to make it past the second round.
The last time the Hornets made the playoffs was 2016, when they lost 4-3 to the Miami Heat in the first round.
The Nuggets have won 11 Division titles in their history – twice in the ABA and nine times in the NBA – but they’ve never finished top of the Western Conference or won the NBA title.
Denver has never made it to the NBA Finals, either, but has lost three times in the Western Conference Finals – all against the Lakers (1985, 2009 and 2020).
The Nuggets had a chance to finally reach the Finals this year with a good roster led by MVP Nikola Jokic, but they were eliminated in the second round.
The Pacers won three ABA titles but none in the NBA.
They won the Eastern Conference title in 2000 but went on to lose 4-2 to the Los Angeles Lakers.
That was the only time the Pacers have reached the NBA Finals, but they’ve been to the Conference Finals on seven other occasions. They lost to the Knicks twice, the Heat twice, the Bulls, the Pistons and the Magic.
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
The Clippers first joined the NBA as the Buffalo Braves in 1970, and have never won a title or even reached the Finals in their history.
The furthest they’ve ever gone in the playoffs is the Conference Semifinals, which they’ve reached on seven occasions.
The Clippers reached the playoffs just seven times in the first 40 years of their history but have now made the postseason in nine of the last 10 seasons, including this year.
The Grizzlies started out as an expansion team in Vancouver in 1995 but moved to Memphis after just six seasons.
They’ve yet to experience much success in the NBA but have made the playoffs 11 times, including eight times in the last 11 years.
The Grizzlies reached the Conference Finals on one occasion, losing 4-0 to the San An tonoi Spurs in 2013.
The Timberwolves have played 32 seasons since joining the NBA in 1989, making the playoffs nine times.
Eight of those postseason appearances came in a single run between 1996 and 2004, culminating in their best season ever, in which they won their division and were the top seed in the Western Conference.
The Timberwolves reached the Conference Finals that season but lost 4-2 to the Los Angeles Lakers.
NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
The Pelicans are the youngest NBA franchise, having been added as an expansion team in 2002 as the New Orleans Hornets.
They made the playoffs in their first season and have done so seven times in total in their history, including twice since they rebranded as the Pelicans in 2013.
New Orleans won its division in 2008 and reached the second round of the playoffs in that season and again in 2018, but has never gone any further.
The Suns are one of the most decorated NBA teams to have never won a title.
They’ve reached the Finals twice – losing in six games to the Boston Celtics in 1976 and the Chicago Bulls in 1993 – and reached the Western Conference Finals on seven other occasions.
The Suns won their division this season for the seventh time in their history, and they are one of the favourites to win the title in 2021.
The Magic have twice come close to winning the NBA title since coming into existence as an NBA team in 1989. They lost in the 1995 Finals to the Houston Rockets, and were swept by the Lakers in the 2009 Finals.
Orlando has also reached the Conference Finals twice, losing to the Bulls in 1996 and the Celtics in 2010.
The Magic have won six Division titles in their 32-year history, including most recently in 2019.
The Jazz were perennial contenders in the Western Conference between 1983 and 2003, making the playoffs in 20 consecutive seasons.
They reached the Finals twice during that run, losing in six games to Michael Jordan and the Bulls both times.
Utah has also lost in the Western Conference Finals four times and has 10 division titles to its name, and will have to wait a little longer for its first title after being eliminated from the 2021 playoffs.
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