The Five Worst Champions in NBA History

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The Five Worst Champions in NBA History

Not all NBA champions are created equal.

Some steamroll to the title, sneering at anyone that stands in their way—like the '96 Bulls or the "fo', fo', fo'" Sixers.

Some hover near the top for a decade, emerging from the pack now and then to claim the crown—like the '80s Lakers or modern-day Spurs.

And some leave you wondering, "How the heck did they pull that off?"

To be sure, the pantheon of the Association's banner-winners is dominated by powerhouses. Pro basketball is almost certainly the most dynasty-driven of all major sports: Consider that 42 of the NBA's 63 titles belong to the Celtics, Lakers, Bulls, and Spurs.

More often than not, titles come in pairs or bunches, and teams that reach the top of the food chain tend to stay there for a while.

That trend of sustained dominance, however, makes the occasional head-scratchers and party-crashers all the more fascinating. We scoured the record books for the scoop on the flash-in-the-pan champs that dot NBA history.

Before we get into the verdicts on how those teams stack up, a few notes on the criteria:

1. Regular-season record, playoff record, and point differential all count.

2. A team's body of work counts. The 1995 Rockets, for instance, got a little slack for going back-to-back, even though their 1994-95 campaign wasn't spectacular by itself.

3. Star power counts. We considered All-Stars, All-NBA selections, and Hall of Famers as mitigating circumstances for otherwise unimpressive clubs.

4. We looked as far back as the 1976 ABA-NBA merger. If you want to go further, go for it. We didn't.

With that in mind, here is a look at the five worst teams ever to be crowned the NBA's best.

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