What NBA Teams Have Never Been to the Finals?

Many NBA fans are familiar with the teams that have made it to the Finals multiple times, but what about the teams that have never made it?

NBA Teams

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball league in North America. The league was founded in 1946 as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). It changed its name to the NBA in 1949 after merging with the National Basketball League (NBL). The league consists of 30 teams, 29 in the United States and 1 in Canada.

List of teams that have never been to the finals

There have been many great NBA teams throughout the years that have never won a championship. These teams have come close, but ultimately fell short of their goal. Some of these teams had future Hall of Famers on their roster, but could never quite get over the hump. Here is a list of teams that have never been to the NBA Finals.

-Atlanta Hawks
-Charlotte Hornets
-Denver Nuggets
-Minnesota Timberwolves
-New Orleans Pelicans
-Oklahoma City Thunder
-Phoenix Suns

Reasons Why

There are a number of NBA teams who have never been to the Finals. Some of these teams are the Charlotte Hornets, the Denver Nuggets, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Orlando Magic. There are a few reasons why these teams have never been to the Finals. One reason is that they have never had a superstar player on their team. Another reason is that they have never had a deep playoff run.

Lack of star players

One of the main reasons why some NBA teams have never been to the Finals is a lack of star players. For example, the Minnesota Timberwolves have never had a superstar like LeBron James or Kobe Bryant on their roster. Instead, they’ve had good players like Kevin Garnett and Kevin Love, but not great players. Similarly, the Charlotte Hornets have never had a true superstar, although they did have good players like Alonzo Mourning and Glen Rice in the early 1990s.

Poor management

One of the most commonly cited reasons for why certain NBA teams have never been to the Finals is poor management. For example, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been criticized for years now over their decision-making. In the 1990s, they drafted high school players Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury instead of college standouts Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant. Both Garnett and Marbury had successful NBA careers, but neither led the Timberwolves to an NBA Finals appearance. And in recent years, the team has been accused of mishandling superstar Kevin Love, who was eventually traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Lack of fan support

One of the main reasons why some NBA teams have never been to the finals is due to a lack of fan support. For example, the Charlotte Hornets have never been to the NBA Finals in their history. In the 2014-2015 season, they only averaged attendance of 76%. That is ranked 29th out of 30 teams. They have only made the playoffs 7 times in their history and their last appearance was in 2016. Another example is the Minnesota Timberwolves. They have only been to the playoffs 11 times and their last appearance was in 2004. They ranked 28th in attendance for the 2017-2018 season averaging 78%.

What Needs to Change

There are six NBA teams who have never been to the Finals. Some of these teams have been in the league for over 30 years. The longest drought belongs to the Sacramento Kings, who last made the playoffs in 2006. What needs to change for these teams?

Improved player development

The NBA has a player development problem. In order to sustain long-term success, NBA teams need to be able to develop young talent and turn them into high-level starters or even All-Stars. Unfortunately, most NBA teams are terrible at player development.

Part of the problem is that player development is difficult to quantify. It’s hard to know how much credit or blame a coach or development staff should get when a player improves or regresses. There’s also a chicken-and-egg problem: good players are usually more coachable and easier to develop, while bad players are often less coachable and harder to develop.

As a result, many NBA teams don’t prioritize player development as much as they should. They focus on win-now moves and short-term success, rather than building for the future. This is especially true for small-market teams, who often can’t attract free agents and have to rely on the draft to build their rosters.

This needs to change if the NBA wants all 30 teams to be competitive. The league should incentivize player development by rewarding teams that do a good job of developing young talent. One way to do this would be to give these teams extra draft picks or cap space as a reward for their efforts.

This would create a strong incentive for all teams to invest in player development, which would eventually lead to more parity and more competitive balance throughout the league. We’ve seen this happen in other sports leagues like the NFL and MLB, where small-market teams have been able to compete with bigger markets because they’ve done a better job of developing their own talent.

The NBA needs to follow suit if it wants all 30 teams to be relevant and have a chance at winning an NBA championship.

Improved management

In order to have a successful team, the management needs to be on point. They are responsible for making sure that the team has the correct players, that they are being paid well, and that they are happy with their situation. They also need to be able to manage the egoes of some of the players and make sure that they are working together as a team rather than individuals.

Improved fan support

While there are many things that NBA teams need to change in order for them to have a chance at making it to the Finals, improved fan support is one of the most important.

With the exception of a few teams, most NBA teams get very little fan support. This is especially true for teams that are not considered to be one of the top contenders. In order for an NBA team to be successful, they need to have the backing of their fans.

Improved fan support will not only help to increase attendance at games, but it will also give the team the boost they need to win more games. Basketball is a sport that is very mental, and if a team knows that their fans are behind them, they are more likely to play with more confidence and cohesion.

So, if you want to see your favorite NBA team make a run at the Finals, make sure you show your support! Attend games, buy team merchandise, and cheer them on!

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