The following is a list of the NBA teams who lost the most games in a season. All of the teams on this list were really bad teams, and as I personally know, since I rooted for one the teams, following a team that makes this list was just a painful experience.
Almost half the teams on this list have yet to win a NBA Championship. The Atlanta Hawks have yet to win a title, but the franchise did win the NBA Championship in 1958 when they were the St. Louis Hawks.
Teams with Most Losses in a Season in NBA History
1. 1973 Philadelphia 76ers – 73 losses
The team that holds the record for most losses in a season in NBA history is the 1973 Philadelphia 76ers, who lost 73 games. The team only won nine games all season, and finished with a 9-73 record, for a putrid winning percentage of .110. That means the 1973 Philadelphia 76ers won just 11% of their games.
The Sixers started out the 1973 season with Roy Rubin as head coach. After Rubin went just 4-47, the team replaced him as coach with one of team’s players, Kevin Loughery. The Sixers improved to 5-26 under Loughery, who retired after the season as a player, and then coached the New York Nets to an ABA Championship the next season in 1974.
T-2. 1998 Denver Nuggets – 71 losses
The 1998 Denver Nuggets lost the second most games in a season in NBA history with 71. The Nuggets went 11-71, for a winning percentage of .134. Bill Hanzlik coached the team all season, and that was the only year Hanzlik ever coached in the NBA.
T-2. 1993 Dallas Mavericks – 71 losses
The 1993 Dallas Mavericks also lost 71 games. The Mavs started out the season with Richie Adubato as head coach, but after going just 2-27 to start the season, Adubato was fired and replaced by Gar Heard, who went 9-44 the rest of the season.
T-4. 2010 New Jersey Nets – 70
The 2010 New Jersey Nets had a record of 12-70. I live in New Jersey and rooted for the Nets before they moved to Brooklyn, and the 2010 season was dreadful to watch.
The Nets started out the 2010 season by going 0-16, which got head coach Lawrence Frank fired. Tom Barrise then coached the team to two more losses, before management forced Kiki Vandeweghe out of the front office to coach the Nets for the rest of the season. Vandeweghe went 12-52, and was let go after the season.
T-4. 1987 Los Angeles Clippers – 70
The 1987 Los Angeles Clippers also lost 70 games. Unlike the other four teams already mentioned on this list, the 1987 Clippers actually had a little bit of talent on the roster.
Mike Woodson, now the New York Knicks head coach, was leading scorer, while players like Larry Drew, Marques Johnson, Benoit Benjamin, and Cedric Maxwell were also on the roster. Don Chaney was head coach the entire year.
T-6. 2005 Atlanta Hawks – 69
The 2005 Atlanta Hawks went 13-69 on the season. Mike Woodson, who was the leading scorer on the 1987 Clippers team that makes this list with 70 losses, was the head coach of the 2005 Hawks squad.
T-6. 1994 Dallas Mavericks – 69
The 1994 Dallas Mavericks followed up their 1993 season of 71 losses with a 69 loss season. Quinn Buckner, who had never been a head coach in the NBA before, was brought in to turn things around, but after losing 69 games he was fired. That was Buckner’s only season as a head coach in the NBA.