Best NBA Teams Who Did Not Win the Championship

Every time any NBA season is about to kick off, we play the prediction game and even wage bets depending on how a team has been formed. The regular season is very tough and making it to the finals is no means an easy feat. Besting play-off rivals and getting to the finals is even harder. Throughout the NBA history, we have witnessed great teams with phenomenal achievements fail to clinch the title once or repeatedly. I have chronologically compiled a list of some of the best NBA teams who didn’t end up winning the championships.
New York Knicks, 1994
The 1994 Knicks team came close to winning the championship. Their campaign for the title had been made easier with Michael Jordan’s retirement. With the East’s best record, Patrick Ewing played like he was in a frenzy determined to savor the taste of the NBA championship. However, in the finals against the Rockets, O.J. Simpson made 16 shot misses to deny the team the much-coveted title.
Utah Jazz, 1997-98
This great team lost their chance to beat the Bulls in the 1997 finals. The next season was marked by the team’s frenzied effort to make it up for their previous title shot loss. They dominated the regular season with 62 wins. They totally annihilated the hopes of the Rockets retaining their championship in the playoffs in a very heated match. The beat the Spurs and the Lakers and got to the finals for the second year in a row. Their title buildup suffered a terrible anticlimax with the dominance of Michael Jordan and his stoppage time brilliant shot.
Portland Trail Blazers, 2000
These guys dominated the Western Conference and picked up 59wins in the regular season. During the playoffs, the Blazers were still ahead of their Western Conference rivals by fifteen points. However, their team chemistry was weary after a series of injuries and fatigue plagued this team. They lost their best shot at winning the playoff series after the Lakers knocked them out and never had another chance as good as that in the next 14 years.
Phoenix Suns, 2005
The Phoenix Suns had been going through hard times. In the 2004 season, they had not made it to the playoffs with a disappointing 29-53 performance. The team management made a few changes to the team and brought in:
• Quentin Richardson
• Steve Nash
The changes were a stroke of genius. The team became one of the most paced offenses in the season and decade. The team averaged 110 points per game they played in the 2005 season and picked up 62 wins in the regular season. Their playoffs was a disaster because other sharp coaches noted that the Suns did not have a strong defense.
Cleveland Cavaliers, 2008-09
The Chicago Bulls put up the most solid and unparalleled defense in all NBA history. The Cavaliers were hoped to be the only team that could slice up that defense and upset the 72 win record set by the Bulls. The Cavs had King James, known for his ability to slice and dice an entire team’s spirit and morale and feed the fans with the fire to wipe out the opponents confidence. The Cans had had an outstanding regular season of 66 wins as well. However, unlike the Bulls, their wins were much more dominant. The finals had been meant to be a spectacle where NBA fans would have been treated to a superiority match between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Sadly, the Cavaliers never made it to the finals. The Orlando Magic way beat them before the finals.

5 Most Lopsided Trades in NBA History

When you think trade, you probably think equal value. History shows the NBA doesn’t use that definition though. Its teams manage to make some of the most lopsided trades in sports history, but five really went over the top. Some make excuses for the administrative decisions, citing a lack of analytical positions in the front offices at those times, but this top five doesn’t include classic missteps like the Hawks trading Bill Russell to the Celtics or the New Jersey Nets trading Julius Erving to Philadelphia. It also doesn’t count players who demanded to relocate like when the Milwaukee Bucks traded Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to the Los Angeles Lakers. The top five lopsided NBA trades show a lack of insight continues in the sport right into the 21st century.

5. In 2008, the Memphis Grizzlies traded Pau Gasol to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Grizzlies received Javaris Crittenton, Marc Gasol, Kwame Brown, a 2008 first round draft pick, and a 2010 first round draft pick. The Grizzlies made a bear of a decision, losing a star who started strong and stayed strong. Pau Gasol won Rookie of the Year and made the NBA All-Rookie First Team. They gave up a top scoring beast for Brown, who failed to differientiate himself in the game and Crittenton, who later pled guilty to manslaughter and received a 23-year prison term. Gasol, on the other hand, bonded with Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom, and the trio thrilled LA with passing and scoring sequences, and their lasting friendship.

4. Alright, there’s one case where the player made a little noise about wanting to relocate that makes the top five, simply because good sense would tell the team to offer more money and perks, but keep the player at all costs. That case hearkens back to the day in 1968 that the Philadelphia 76ers traded superstar Wilt Chamberlain to the Lakers in exchange for Jerry Chambers, Archie Clark, and Darrall Imhoff. It’s awing (and not in a good way) that after four season of Chamberlain’s dominate play, the team agreed to give him up.

3. The trade of Kevin Garnett from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Boston Celtics in exchage for (deep breath now) Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, cash considerations, and two first round draft picks, one of which was top-3 protected. You can sing it along to the tune for the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” The only thing missing in this lopsided trade was the five gold rings. Garnett shined with the Celtics, helping lead them to their first title since 1986.

2. The Milwaukee Bucks certainly learned the meaning of, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” when they traded German sensation Dirk Nowitzki and Pat Garrity to Dallas for Michigan’s Robert Traylor. Confused? The Bucks certainly were when they gave up the number nine overall draft pick of 1998 for the number six. It probably seemed like moving up a little at the time, but Traylor played only seven NBA seasons, starting in 73 games. Nowitzki played on to become the sixth all-time scorer in the league’s history. Oops.

1. In 1987, the Seattle Supersonics made a super mistake when they traded Scottie Pippen and a 1989 first round draft pick to the Chicago Bulls for draft rights to Olden Polynice, a 1988 second round draft pick, and a 1989 first round draft pick. Pippen remains a legend. He ranks in the Top 50 NBA players. He’s a six-time NBA Champion. He made the All-Defensive First Team eight times.