5 Worst Franchises in NBA History

In NBA history, a few heavyweight franchises have been massively successful compared to the rest; this discrepancy is probably larger than any other major sport. The Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs, and Chicago Bulls have won the vast majority of the championships in the league since the 1950s — roughly two-thirds of all championships, actually.

However, for all the great teams, there must be bad teams as well. These teams often consistently experience major draft busts and disappointing staff decisions. Here are the five worst franchises in NBA history.

5. Charlotte Hornets

NBA: 5 Worst Franchises in League History

Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets | Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Hornets, who were also the Charlotte Bobcats, according to their official franchise history, are a beloved franchise playing in a small market. Back in the ’90s, fans would fill an arena they affectionately called “The Hive” to watch these exciting teams, which featured a young Alonzo Mourning, Larry Johnson, and the diminutive Muggsy Bogues.

But those teams were good, not great — and that’s really the best it’s been in Charlotte. The Hornets made the playoffs seven times, winning a total of four playoff series from 19892002. They moved to New Orleans, where they eventually became the Pelicans. However, for historical purposes, the Bobcats — now the Hornets — mesh their history together with the pioneer franchise in Charlotte.

All in all, the city has seen 10 playoff appearances, four series wins, and zero division championships or trips to the Eastern Conference Finals in 26 seasons. The team has a cumulative .440 win percentage and the best player in team history, according to Value Over Replacement Player (VORP), is Gerald Wallace with 21.7.