The Milwaukee Bucks finished the 2013-14 NBA regular season with a league worst record of 15-67, generating a measly .183 win percentage. The team is celebrating its futility by mailing special NBA Draft ping pong balls featuring a Bucks logo to 10,000 of its fans.
If the ping pong balls don’t cheer up Milwaukee fans, at least they can take comfort in knowing this year’s Bucks still aren’t among the worst in league history.
With data taken from basketball-reference.com, here are the five worst teams in NBA history as measured by win percentage (not total wins-losses).
#1) .106 – Charlotte Bobcats, 2011-12
What in the name of Michael Jordan is going on here? As an owner, MJ helped assemble the absolute worst team in NBA history, a squad shoe top five minutes leaders were Gerald Henderson, a rookie in Kemba Walker, Byron Mullens, another raw rookie in Bismack Biyombo, and Derrick Brown. Fortunately for NBA fans everywhere, the lockout shortened season was only 66 games long, sparing us 16 additional unwatchable games.
#2) .110 – Philadelphia 76ers, 1972-73
The 76ers won the NBA title in 1966-67 and once again in 1982-83, but stuck somewhere in between the titles was the infamous squad that went 9-73. Three-time All-Star Tom Van Arsdale was traded mid-season, leaving the immortal Fred Carter to lead the team into oblivion.
#3-T) .134 – Dallas Mavericks, 1992-93
The Dallas Mavericks have been one of the NBA’s best teams over the last several years, making the playoffs in 13 of the last 14 seasons going back to 2000-01. But for as good as the 2000’s have been, the 1990’s were equally horrible. The 1992-93 Mavs went 11-71 with Terry Davis, Derek Harper, Sean Rooks, Mike Iuzzolino, and Walter Bond leading the team in minutes played.
#3-T) .134 – Denver Nuggets, 1997-98
It’s never good when your total points leader is Johnny Newman, your total rebounds leader is Dean Garrett, and Bobby Jackson leads the team in total assists. Yet that is exactly what happened to the 1997-98 Nuggets, and a 11-71 record was fool’s gold reward.
#5-T) .146 – New Jersey Nets, 2009-10 and Los Angeles Clippers, 1986-87
It just wouldn’t be an “worst NBA teams” list without mentioning the Nets and Clippers, right? In fitting fashion, these perennial doormats each went 12-70 in their worst seasons. The Nets have since moved to Brooklyn and spent about a gazillion dollars in player salaries to build a playoff team. The Clippers drafted Blake Griffin and were giftwrapped Chris Paul by former commissioner David Stern to change their fortunes. While they may be playoff teams today, the Nets and Clippers are still among the worst teams ever.