The Most Pathetic Teams of the Last 10 Years
Judging a team's success takes a decade's worth of results. One disastrous season can't possibly define a club, but 10 years of mediocrity certainly can.
Here we'll trace the worst teams of the past decade, a fitting recap during a millennium that brought us slaughtered movie sequels and brain-dead pop music.
Due to inept draft decisions, short-sighted trades or pure unluckiness, these teams endured 10 years of legendary failure. Let's pay homage to their awful showings, and review the most pathetic teams of the past decade.
*Records are based off the past 10 seasons of actual play (locked out seasons are not included, except for the shortened 2011 NBA season).
20. Seattle Mariners, MLB
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Past Decade: 758-862
The end of Jay Buhner and Edgar Martinez signaled an end to a period of serious success. Since recording 116 wins in 2001, the Mariners have reeked of irrelevance.
Now that Ichiro Suzuki is gone and fireballing phenom Felix Hernandez is finding his niche, Seattle can rebuild a new era of prosperity.
19. Sacramento Kings, NBA
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Past Decade: 367-437
Like dryer without Cling Free, the NBA's Kings have been making and breaking alliances since Chris Webber's trade departure in 2004. Free agents and draft picks have come and gone, with success still far beyond the horizon.
18. Miami Dolphins, NFL
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Past Decade: 70-90
Since Dan Marino retired in 1999, the Dolphins have been searching for that proper arm to carry the load. Defensive stalwarts Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor bred brilliance but could never carry Miami over the postseason hump.
Miami fans pray that rookie signal-caller Ryan Tannehill is finally the answer under center.
17. Atlanta Hawks, NBA
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Past Decade: 353-451
After the Bucks chose Aussie center Andrew Bogut in 2005, the Hawks had a decision to make. Deron Williams, Chris Paul and Marvin Williams? Of course, Atlanta chose the latter, a raw freshman from UNC, and has been regretting it ever since.
While they enjoyed several seasons of success with guard Joe Johnson, the Hawks never even made a dent in the NBA postseason.
16. Baltimore Orioles, MLB
Past Decade: 722-897
Someone has had to take an AL East back seat to the potent Pinstripes and the usually prolific Red Sox.
The Orioles have been overshadowed since before they chose bust-bound pitcher Adam Loewen with the fourth pick in '02, but his pick detailed the team's luck.
15. Brooklyn Nets, NBA
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Past Decade: 354-450
Moving to Brooklyn may have changed the Nets tempo, but for the past 10 seasons they've been annually dismissed without hesitation.
Since reaching and losing back-to-back championships in '02 and '03 behind the Jason Kidd-Kenyon Martin duo, the Nets have headed the Eastern Conference basement.
14. Golden State Warriors, NBA
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Past Decade: 347-457
Rather than completely stink up the Western Conference, the golden Warriors have remained quietly irrelevant.
With Jason Richardson, Antawn Jamison and Gilbert Arenas heading the show in the early 2000s, the Warriors seemed like a team with a pulse.
But in the competitive Western Conference, youngsters Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, and veteran David Lee are realizing rejuvenation is no easy task.
13. Houston Texans, NFL
Bob Levey/Getty Images
Past Decade: 65-95
David Carr being sacked 76 times during the Texans' inaugural '02 season paved the way for years of uncomfortable footage in Houston.
A potent Foster-Johnson-Schaub-led offense and powerful defense, led by eater of quarterbacks J.J. Watt, are changing the Texans culture.
Promise has already arrived.
12. Toronto Raptors, NBA
Dave Sandford/Getty Images
Past Decade: 323-481
The Raptors have been searching for success since high-flying cousins Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady left in the early 2000s. Chris Bosh never could carry the club, and 2006 first-overall choice Andrea Bargnani is proving he can't, either.
The rebuilding process continues in Toronto.
11. Columbus Blue Jackets, NHL
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
Past Decade: 314-402
High first-round failures like goalie Pascal Leclaire have defined an era of anonymity for the Blue Jackets. Of course, it always takes time for expansion franchises to find success. But for the 2000-born Jackets, it's taken a bit longer than expected.
Rick Nash was their knight in shining armor until he was traded to the Big Apple.
10. Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Past Decade: 322-482
Double-double Goliath Kevin Love is quietly changing the tides in Minnesota, but for the past 10 years it's been utter disappointment for the Kevin McHale-coached-and-managed Timberwolves.
Behind Brandon Roy's NBA comeback, and promising youngsters Derrick Williams and Ricky Rubio, the 'Wolves have finally transformed into borderline postseason contenders.
9. Buffalo Bills, NFL
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Past Decade: 65-95
While tailback talents like Willis McGahee, Marshawn Lynch and now C.J. Spiller have come through the Buffalo ranks, the team's inability to find a consistent signal caller has hampered any kind of development.
Captain checkdown Trent Edwards and ineffective former first-round pick J.P. Losman couldn't change the luck of the Bills, and it seems like Amish Rifle Ryan Fitzpatrick is only a slight improvement.
8. Washington Wizards, NBA
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Past Decade: 321-483
High school phenom Kwame Brown sparked a decade's worth of futility when he was drafted first overall in '01, and he soon crumbled to pieces under the professional spotlight. The Wizards have been searching for an answer ever since.
And they may have found it in blossoming point guard John Wall.
7. Pittsburgh Pirates, MLB
Joe Sargent/Getty Images
Past Decade: 686-932
This once historic club took a turn for the worst as the turn of the millennium inched closer. With 20 consecutive losing seasons to date, it would seem as if there is no hope in sight.
However, the much-improved Pirates now have budding superstars in Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez, and they finally seem to be making strides. Reaching 79 wins last season was clearly a start.
6. Cleveland Browns, NFL
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Past Decade: 56-104
Tim Couch, Courtney Brown, Gerard Warren, plenty else. It's been a rough going for the 21st century Browns, who have been the epitome of gridiron failure since the start of the 21st century.
Offensive-line strengthening through draft picks Joe Thomas and Alex Mack was a good start, but 29-year-old rookie Brandon Weeden may not be the answer at signal caller. Trent Richardson at tailback, however, is.
5. New York Knicks, NBA
Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Past Decade: 327-477
The legendary name Isiah Thomas continues to haunt Knickerbocker fans, as the former point guard general-managed and coached an era of horrific trades, franchise-destroying free-agent signings and postseason failure. Scott Layden is a close second.
4. Kansas City Royals, MLB
Kyle Rivas/Getty Images
Past Decade: 678-942
Losing 100 games for the first time in franchise history in 2002 set a tone for the 21st century Royals that is now finally fading.
Brief periods of success were followed by youth movements and salary dumps, while prospects have come and gone without promise. Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Billy Butler, however, seem to be setting a new standard for blue-and-white baseball.
3. Oakland Raiders, NFL
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Past Decade: 56-104
LSU stud JaMarcus Russell, the first choice in the '07 draft, becoming a professional dud continues to define an utterly awful era for the silver-and-black.
Coaching changes, flashy draft picks and an unwillingness to remain patient (like trading first-rounders for couch potato Carson Palmer) have held back an otherwise promising franchise.
2. Detroit Lions, NFL
Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images
Past Decade: 47-112
Matt Millen remains the poster-GM of pure mediocrity, having constructed a team that tallied a record-worst .277 winning percentage between 2001-2007.
Draft choices like Charles Rogers, Joey Harrington and Mike Williams, as well as Millen's tendency to draft another receiver every single season, made this lacking team the joke of the league.
Millen finally hit gold with Calvin Johnson, his parting gift to the Lions.
1. Charlotte Bobcats, NBA
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Past Decade (since founded in 2004): 229-411
Headlined by a seven-win campaign during last year's lockout-shortened season, the Bobcats' tumultuous NBA introduction has been a slow-and-steady disaster.
Draft picks like solid, yet unspectacular UConn forward Emeka Okafor and bust-bound Gonzaga forward Adam Morrison couldn't do much of anything, and owner Michael Jordan has yet to find any pint of success anywhere else.