When ESPN and LeBron James conceived the idea of the decision, everyone knew that the Cleveland Cavaliers would slip significantly when James announced he was leaving Cleveland for Miami. No one could have conceived just how far the Cavs would fall. Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert's proclamation that the Cavs would win a title before the Heat was certainty ill conceived.
The Cavaliers current 26 game losing streak is not the first time in franchise history they have had a losing streak in the 20's. Some of the teams, players and programs on this list have recovered from their losing days, while others have continued to be bottom feeders in their sport.
The Cubs opened the 1997 season with 14 straight losses. They were out scored 78-36 and lost by one run only three times. The Cubs finished the 1997 season 68-94.
Expansion teams are rarely successful early in their existence.That was certainly true for the San Jose Sharks. They had a 13 game losing streak during their inaugural season and followed that up by tying the Washington Capitals 17 game losing streak in their second year.
The 1974-75 Capitals are arguably the worst team in NHL History. They hold the records for losses (67), most road losses (39 out of 40) and most consecutive losses (17). The following season, the Capitals went 25 games without a win.
Young lost 27 consecutive decisions from May of 1992 to July of 1993. His Earned Run Average during the streak with a respectable 4.36. He was just as much a victim of bad luck as Young did have productive moments during the streak. When Mets closer John Franco went down during the season, Young filled in as the closer and converted 12 straight saves and had a 23.2 scoreless innings streak.
The Detroit Lions had two losing streaks that stretched back a few years. On October 20, 2007, the Lions defeated the Bears at Soldier Field. That would be their last road and divisional wins for three seasons.
The Lions ended a 19 game divisional losing streak with 7-3 victory over Green Bay on December 12, 2010 (The Packers last loss of the season) and then a week later ended their 26 game road losing streak winning 23-20 at Tampa Bay in overtime. Dave Raymer hit a field goal on the final play of regulation to tie the game and then won it with a 34 yard kick in overtime.
The argument for futility for the 2010-11 season could be which is worse, the Cavaliers 26 game losing streak or the Wizards 25 game road losing streak to begin the season.The Wizards also lost their last road game of 2010, so the streak is at 26 consecutive road losses overall.
The NBA didn't exactly put out the welcome mat when the Heat entered the NBA. Similar to the way the Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered the NFL, the Heat lost the first 17 games of their existence. The 2010 New Jersey Nets also began the season with 17 straight losses, costing coach Lawrence Frank his job.
The most embarrassing thing about the current Cavaliers losing streak is that they broke the all-time record for futility of the 1981-82 and 1982-83 Cavaliers streak of 24 games. Already an abysmal 15-48, the Cavaliers lost their last 19 games of the 1981-82 season to finished 15-67. They employed 23 players and four coaches that season.
They began the 1982-83 season with five straight losses before finally ended the streak at 24 games with a 132-120 overtime victory over Golden State. The Cavs then proceeded to lose their next seven games after that. They finished the 1982-83 season slightly better at 23-59.
Tom Nissalke was coached Cleveland for the entire 1982-83 season and “only” 18 players were used.
Beck missed 46 consecutive cuts over the 1997 and 98 seasons. Beck was productive earlier in his career. He had four tour titles, 20 runners up and spent 40 weeks ranked in the top ten spanning 1988 and 1989. After leaving the PGA Tour, Beck resurfaced on the Champions Tour in 2006.
1988 Baltimore Orioles began the 1998 opened their season with an unprecedented 21 consecutive losses. They blew by the previous low of 13 straight losses to begin a season.Only three of those losses were by one run.
They ended the streak with a 9-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on April 29. The Orioles finished an abysmal 54-107
The 1961 Philadelphia Phillies are one of the worst teams in the history of major league baseball. They hit just .243, scored an average of 3.75 runs per game and had a exorbitant for that time 4.61 era. They finished the season with a 47-107 record, just a .305 winning percentage. After defeating the San Francisco Giants on July 28th,the Phillies would not win again until August 26th, a span of 23 games.
In an professional teams sport, when franchises have prolonged losing streaks, the players still get paid. Aside from appearance fees, players have to earn their way by winning. When Spadea upset the 14th seed Greg Rusedski at Wimbledon in 2003 he ended a 21 match losing streak.
Notre Dame’s domination over Navy was legendary in college football. From 1964-2006, the Midshipmen never even could gain a tie. The Fighting Irish posted 43 consecutive wins. In 2007, Notre Dame was in the midst of arguably its worst season ever. ND entered the game with the Middies 1-7, while Navy was a respectable 4-4.
Notre Dame had a chance to win the game late in regulation with field goal. Instead of attempting the 41 yard kick, ND Coach Charlie Weis attempted to go for it on fourth down. Navy sacked Irish QB Evan Sharpley on fourth and eight to take over on downs.
After Navy took the lead with a touchdown and a two point conversion in overtime,Notre Dame scored a touchdown on their possession. Navy tackled Notre Dame running back Travis Thomas short of the end zone on the conversion try and Navy finally ended the streak. Navy has won the last two meetings with ND. Their streak is now three out of four against the Irish.
7) Prairie View A&M 1989-98The Panthers 80 game losing streak eclipsed Northwestern’s 34 in a row and Columbia’s 44 in row combined.
The Senators inaugural season proved to be one to forget. They set numerous NHL record for futility. They lost 38 consecutive road games, had an 11 game home losing streak and finished the season with just one road win.
The 2008 Detroit Lions are considered by most to be the worst team in NFL History. They are the only team to finish a 16 game schedule winless. That season was the catalyst for a 19 game losing streak that spanned three seasons.
After losing the final game of the 2007 season 34-13 to Green Bay, the Lions fall began. They lost each game in 2008 by an average of 15.6 PPG. The 2008 Lions finished 27th in scoring and last in scoring defense.
They began the 2009 season by being outscored 72-40 in losses to New Orleans and Minnesota, the two eventual NFC Championship game participants. The Lions finally broke through in week three with a 19-14 win over Washington.
The Lions would conclude the 2009 season with losses in 12 of their next 13 games. The Lions opened the 2010 season 2-10. All together the Lions streak was 36 losses in 40 games.
Everyone except Dan ”We will win a title before LeBron” Gilbert expected the Cavaliers to have a drop off when King James left for South Beach when he made “The Decision”. What has happened is according to Thom Brennaman “A Recipe for Disaster”.
The Cavaliers topped their own pathetic ineptness from the 1980’s with an NBA Record 26 game losing streak. With the return of Antawn Jamison, Anthony Parker and Mo Williams, the Cavs seemed like they would at least be competitive.
Williams, Leon Powe and Anderson Varejao have all missed significant time with injuries. After a respectable 7-10 start, the Cavaliers have lost 35 of their last 36. Sandwiched around a win before the 26 game losing streak, the Cavs had a 10 game streak without a win.
In 2010, the Cavaliers would not include young big man JJ Hickson in trade with Phoenix to acquire Amare Stoudamire. Cleveland finished the 2010 regular season with 61 wins and the overall top seed for the playoffs.
LeBron’s “decision” has hindered the Cavs more than anyone could imagine. The Cavs host Washington on Sunday where something has to give. The Cavaliers losing streak or the Washington Wizards 25 game road losing streak. A few NBA players including Tracy McGrady have called for the game to be nationally televised.
Cal Tech's dalliance into College Athletics are more well known for a few pranks during the Rose Bowl than for success on the athletic field. Their basketball team is particularly pathetic. The majority of the players did not even participate in high school.
The Beavers have not won a conference game since 1985, a streak of 304 games. That’s not their only infamous streak. In January 2007, Cal Tech ended a 207 game losing streak against other NCAA Division III school when they defeated Bard College. The win over Bard also ended a 60 game overall losing streak and was their first win D3 win since 1996.
The Buccaneers first two seasons certainly rank among the highest ever in futility. They went winless in the first 26 games in franchise history. In their 1976 inaugural season, the Bucs were outscored 412-125. That’s an average of 29.8 to 8.9 per game.
They were shutout in their first two games and managed only three field goals in game three before finally getting on the scoreboard in the franchise’s fourth game ever. They would be shutout five times in 14 games in their first season.
They finally broke through with wins during the last two games of the 1977 season. They finally broke through against the hapless New Orleans Saints. The Saints finished the 1977 season 3-11 and did not have a winning season until 1987, their 21st in the NFL
For most of the 1970’s and 1980’s,Northwestern football was at best an afterthought and at worst a joke. The Wildcats lost 34 consecutive games between 1979-82. They finally ended the ignominious streak with a 31-6 win over Northern Illinois on September 25,1982. The 1981 Wildcats were outscored 505-82. Coach Rich Venturi went 1-31-1 in three seasons and was fired following the 1981 season. The program was in such disarray, that new head coach Dennis Green also went winless the following season.