NBA Power Rankings: The Ultimate All-Time Ranking Of Every NBA Franchise

Kelly Scaletta@@KellyScalettaFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2011

NBA Power Rankings: The Ultimate All-Time Ranking Of Every NBA Franchise

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers holds up the Bill Russell Finals MVP trophy alongside team owner Dr. Jerry Buss and Bryant's wife Vanessa after the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics 83-79 in Game Seven of the 2010 NB
    Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    On Nov. 1, 1946, the New York Knickerbockers defeated the hometown Toronto Huskies in the first game in the history of the NBA.

    Since then, over 50,000 NBA games have been played. There have been over 10 million points scored, 5 million rebounds grabbed, and over 2 million assists dished. Readers, that's a lot of basketball.

    Some teams have fared well, and some not so much. Some have achieved remarkably much a short period of time, others have achieved remarkably little in spite of having played for many seasons. The following slideshow is a ranking of all 30 teams according to their success. 

    In determining the rankings I considered two things. First, I took into consideration total accomplishments. Second, I took into consideration the frequency of success.

    Six playoff appearances can be either good or bad. If you've been around for 40 years, that's bad. If you've been around for six years, it's pretty good. I considered both factors evenly. 

    I took into account, how many winning seasons they had, division championships, playoff appearances, conference championships, and, of course, rings. I weighted the achievements accordingly. The results are following. 

30: Los Angeles Clippers

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 05:  Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers grabs a rebound against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on January 5, 2011  in Los Angeles, California. The Clippers won 106-93.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges a
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Seasons: 40

    Franchise Record: 1186-2097

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 36.1

    Winning Seasons: 7

    Playoff Appearances: 7

    Division Championships: 0

    Conference Championships: 0

    NBA Championships: 0

    Hall of Fame Players: 5 (12)*

    *Total combined seasons played by HOF players. 

    It's hard to wrap your head around the ineptitude that is the Los Angeles Clippers. Put it this way, if the Clippers were a person, and you asked him to look up inept in the dictionary, he wouldn't be able to do it.

    If you really want to absorb how horrible the Clippers have been over the course of their history, they are 908 games under .500 as a franchise, almost twice as much as any other team. That means they could go undefeated for 11 years and still be a below .500 franchise. 

    In the course of their history, only five players who have ever worn the uniform have made it to the Hall of Fame, and none of them have played more than half their games with the Clippers. The career leader in most categories for the Clippers is Randy Smith, who made one All-NBA Second Team roster. 

    In effect, the fact is that Blake Griffin is already on his way to becoming the greatest player in franchise history. If he finishes his first six years in a Clippers uniform, he probably will be. Is it any wonder the Clippers fans are so excited about their new young star with a history like that?

29: Memphis Grizzlies

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    LOS ANGELES - DECEMBER 28:   Pau Gasol #16 of the Memphis Grizzlies celebrates during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on December 28, 2005 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by
    Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    Seasons: 16

    Franchise Record: 421-813

    Franchise Winning Percentage: .341

    Winning Seasons: 3

    Playoff Appearances: 3 

    Division Championships: 0

    Conference Championships: 0 

    NBA Championships: 0

    Hall of Fame Players: 0 (0)


    The Grizzlies are trying to challenge the Clippers in the area of incompetence.  When it looked like they were going to actually get decent for a while, they took care of that by making sure they were on the wrong side of one of the more lopsided trades in the history of the NBA. 

    In their history they've had 10 draft choices in the first six spots. Of those ten, none are still with the team, although OJ Mayo was taken with the third choice by Minnesota and then acquired by the Grizzlies in a trade for among others, Kevin Love, the fifth pick of that same draft. It goes without saying that right now Love is looking better than Mayo. 

    Memphis is hoping that players like Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley will give them a future less "grizzly" than their past. 

28: Charlotte Bobcats

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 11:  Gerald Wallace #3 of the Charlotte Bobcats against the Boston Celtics during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on December 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that,
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Seasons: 7

    Franchise Record: 200-325

    Franchise Winning Percentage: .381 

    Winning Seasons: 1

    Playoff Appearances: 1

    Division Championships: 

    Conference Championships: 0 

    NBA Championships: 0

    Hall of Fame Players: 0 (0)

    The league's newest franchise made the playoffs last year for the first time. On the precipice of success, they promptly got rid of their point guard and head coach and went right back into the unhallowed depths of suckitude.

    Now the rumor is they're looking to trade away the franchise's greatest player in their history, Gerald Wallace. 

    If you want to make an argument for contraction, you don't look further than this. 


27: Toronto Raptors

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 16:  Chris Bosh #4 of the Toronto Raptors watches as Boris Diaw #32 of the Charlotte Bobcats grabs a rebound during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 16, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly a
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Seasons: 16

    Franchise Record: 514-720

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 41.7

    Winning Seasons: 5

    Playoff Appearances: 5 

    Division Championships: 1

    Conference Championships: 0

    NBA Championships: 0

    Hall of Fame Players: 1 (1)

    The Raptors have drafted well, the problem has been keeping the players they acquired in the draft. Had they been able to keep the players they drafted, the Raptors could have put a roster on the court featuring Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Chris Bosh and Marcus Camby. Imagine a facilitator like Jose Calderon managing a roster like that!

    Instead, their stars leave, with Bosh, the franchise leader in scoring, rebounding and blocks, being the latest departure. Toronto doesn't seem to be the place where NBA players want to spend their winter months. 

26: Minnesota Timberwolves

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    EAST RUTHERFORD , NJ - MARCH 26:  Kevin Garnett #21 of the Minnesota Timberwolves looks on during their game against the New Jersey Nets on March 26, 2005 at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  NOTE TO USER:  User expressly acknowl
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Seasons: 22

    Franchise Record: 697-1030

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 40.4

    Winning Seasons: 8

    Playoff Appearances: 14

    Division Championships: 1

    Conference Championships: 0

    NBA Championships: 0

    Hall of Fame Players: 0 (0)

    The only reason that this team isn't lower can be summed up two words: Kevin Garnett. Every playoff appearance the club has made has been with him.  

    In fact, the team has yet to play a season above .400 without him as its star. Can Kevin Love and Michael Beasley rejuvenate the franchise? It's hard to believe they can do much worse.

25: New Jersey Nets

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    BARCELONA, SPAIN - JULY 27:  Drazen Petrovic #4 of Croatia is blocked by Patrick Ewing #6 of the United States during the 1992 Olympic game on July 27, 1992 in Barcelona, Spain. The 'Dream Team' defeated Croatia 103-70. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknow
    Mike Powell/Getty Images

    Seasons: 35

    Franchise Record: 1172-1620

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 42.0

    Winning Seasons: 13

    Playoff Appearances: 16

    Division Championships: 2

    Conference Championships: 2

    NBA Championships: 0

    Hall of Fame Players: 5 (10)

    The Nets were one of the four teams that were folded in with the ABA merger. They were the original home of Julius Erving but they were forced to pay the Knicks a heavy price as a result of the merger, and to pay the bill they had to sell the rights to Erving to the 76ers.

    Although they were a two-time champ of the ABA, they have only been to the conference finals twice, and have yet to win an NBA title.

    Last year, they were one of the worst teams in the League's entire history. After the Clippers they are the furthest team below .500 in the entire NBA.

    It will be interesting to see what new owner, Mikhail Prokhorov  will do. He's made it clear he intends to do something. 

    Their most significant player, and the only one in the Hall of Fame, is probably Drazen Petrovic, whom they acquired in a trade from Portland.

    Petrovic was becoming an elite shooting guard in the NBA when his life was tragically cut short in a car accident. He is regarded as the main reason for the European influx into the NBA. 

24: Cleveland Cavaliers

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    ATLANTA - DECEMBER 29:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on December 29, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograp
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Seasons: 41

    Franchise Record: 1529-1755

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 46.6 

    Winning Seasons: 19

    Playoff Appearances: 18

    Division Championships: 3

    Conference Championships: 1

    NBA Championships: 0

    Hall of Fame Players: 3 (7)

    Is it any wonder that the Cleveland's collective heart was broken when LeBron left for South Beach? The best three-year run in franchise history was ended with his departure.

    The Cavs were good for a stretch in the from the last half of the 80s through the first half of the 90s. There they got their hearts repeatedly shattered by Michael Jordan and the Bulls.

    I suppose if there's any solace in Cleveland, it's that James didn't leave them for Chicago. 

23: New Orleans Hornets

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    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 03:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets moves the ball in the first half against the Philadelphia 76ers at New Orleans Arena on January 3, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Seasons: 23

    Franchise Record: 888-921

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 49.1

    Winning Seasons: 15

    Playoff Appearances: 11

    Division Championships: 1

    Conference Championships: 0

    NBA Championships: 0

    Hall of Fame Players: 1 (2)

    It's actually pretty impressive that the Hornets have had as much success as they have considering all the instability the franchise has suffered. They move more often than a military family.

    Now with the acquisition of the team by the NBA, it seems even more unstable. Yet the team is winning. 

    The only question regarding the team's future isn't about where they play, it's about who is playing for them.

    If he's not already the greatest player in their history, Chris Paul is on his way to becoming it, unless he isn't a part of their future. 

22: Sacramento Kings

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    FORT MITCHELL, KY - JUNE 17:  Carson Palmer,  quarterback of the Cincinnati Bengals, and basketball legend Oscar Robertson look on prior to the NASCAR Busch Series Meijer 300 on June 17, 2006 at the Kentucky Speedway in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky.  (Photo by
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Seasons: 63

    Franchise Record: 2308-2618

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 46.9

    Winning Seasons: 24

    Playoff Appearances: 29

    Division Championships: 3

    Conference Championships: 1

    NBA Championships: 1

    Hall of Fame Players: 11 (70)

    In the NBA's third season, the Rochester Royals won the NBA championship. That was 1951, and it was the last time they won it. They've had seven owners, but only three division titles. Overall, it hasn't been an impressive history. 

    They have had however, one of the greatest players in the history of the league, Oscar Robertson. He averaged a triple double with the club in the '61-'62 season.

    The team, however, was never able to win a championship with Robertson, although he went on to win one without them when he was with the Bucks when they swept Baltimore Bullets in 1971. 

21: Indiana Pacers

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    INDIANAPOLIS - MAY 19:  Reggie Miller #31 ofthe Indiana Pacers takes a shot as Tayshaun Prince #22 of the Detroit Pistons defends in Game six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2005 NBA Playoffs on May 19, 2005 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indian
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Seasons: 35

    Franchise Record: 1353-1436

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 48.5

    Winning Seasons: 17

    Playoff Appearances: 18

    Division Championships: 4

    Conference Championships: 1

    NBA Championships: 0

    Hall of Fame Players: 3 (4)

    The Pacers were the most successful team in the ABA. That success hasn't translated into NBA success.

    Sometimes, history doesn't work out right for some teams. Had things worked out a little bit differently, the Pacers could have had both Alex English and Michael Jordan playing together.

    The Pacers have made it to the finals once, where they lost to Shaq and Kobe in 2000. 

20: Dallas Mavericks

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    DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 15: Forward Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks takes a shot against Brandon Roy #7 of the Portland Trail Blazers at American Airlines Center on December 15, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Seasons: 31

    Franchise Record: 1233-1231

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 50.1

    Winning Seasons: 17

    Playoff Appearances: 16

    Division Championships: 3

    Conference Championships: 1

    NBA Championships: 0

    Hall of Fame Players: 2 (3)

    There were two periods of time, the late '80s and the last decade, where the Mavericks were among the elite teams in the NBA.

    During the '80s the Mavericks ascended to the top relatively quickly behind their first number one draft choice, Mark Aguirre. 

    Sandwiched in between those two times the Mavericks were the joke of the NBA, and at one point was considered one of the worst in the league's history, if not the absolute worst.

    Then Mark Cuban came along and determined there was just no amount of money that could be spent on an NBA team that couldn't be considered too much.

    Since then Cuban has become perhaps the best known owner in sports. The only other person in the conversation would be Jerry Jones, since George Steinbrenner has passed. The Mavericks have probably moved up considerably since they have been under his ownership. 

    It doesn't help that in Dirk Nowitzki they have found what many would consider the greatest European player in the history of the game. The Mavs though are still pursuing their first NBA championship. 

19: Washington Wizards

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    Seasons: 50

    Franchise Record: 1810-2199

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 45.1

    Winning Seasons: 19

    Playoff Appearances: 25

    Division Championships: 7

    Conference Championships: 4

    NBA Championships: 1

    Hall of Fame Players: 9 (49)

    It's hard to believe but there used to be a team in the world called the "Chicago Packers." It's not hard to understand why they changed it after a year. Eventually they became the Washington Wizards after a few name and location changes. 

    Overall, the franchise at one time was a pretty successful one. From '65 to '88 they only missed the playoffs four times. They have only made it five times since.

    Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld fill up the record books and led the franchise to their only NBA Championship. It is arguably the worst championship team in the history of the league, as they had a losing regular-season record. 

18: Denver Nuggets

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    LOS ANGELES - 1986:  Alex English #2 of the Denver Nuggets shoots a jump shot during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles, California during the 1986-87 NBA season.  (Photo by: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Seasons: 35

    Franchise Record: 1339-1452

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 48.0

    Winning Seasons: 20

    Playoff Appearances: 21

    Division Championships: 7

    Conference Championships: 0

    NBA Championships: 0

    Hall of Fame Players: 3 (28)

    While the Nuggets haven't won any championships, they've fielded some of the more exciting teams to watch. During the 1981-1982 season, the Nuggets set a scoring record with 126.5 points per game.

    Headed by future Hall of Famers Alex English and Kiki Vandeweghe at the forward positions, the Nuggets were always good for entertainment. 

17: Orlando Magic

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    ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 18:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic chases down a loose ball during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Amway Arena on December 18, 2010 in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that,
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Seasons: 22

    Franchise Record: 894-832

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 51.8

    Winning Seasons: 15

    Playoff Appearances: 12

    Division Championships: 5

    Conference Championships: 2

    NBA Championships: 0

    Hall of Fame Players: 2 (2)

    The Magic have been pretty magical since coming into the league, but they haven't been able to summon a ring.

    They've done so by drafting largely, i.e. two of the games top centers over the last 20 years in Shaquille O'Neal first, who led them to a Conference Championship, and then Dwight Howard, who had done the same.

    They even shared the moniker, "Superman." 

16: Golden State Warriors

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    7 Feb 1997:  Former Los Angeles Laker Wilt Chamberlain addresses the media at a press conference before the NBA All-Star Game at the Renaissance Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio. Mandatory Credit: Brian Bahr  /Allsport
    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Seasons: 65

    Franchise Record: 2308-2726

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 45.8

    Winning Seasons: 30

    Playoff Appearances: 28

    Division Championships: 2

    Conference Championships: 6

    NBA Championships: 2

    Hall of Fame Players: 10 (66)

    No team in the history of the NBA has more losses than the Warriors. But they also have a guy by the name of Wilt Chamberlain in their history.

    Wilt had an enormous impact on the game and even caused the NBA to change some of its rules because he was so dominant. Yet he still never won a championship with the Warriors.

    Those Warriors championships came in 1956, while they played in Philadelphia; and in 1975, when they swept the heavily favored Washington Bullets. 

    Chamberlain and Rick Barry, who led the team to the second championship, were the two greatest players in the franchise's history.

    In one of the more peculiar disputes between player and team, Barry, upset with the team for not paying him his bonus money, sat out the year after winning Rookie of  the Year sat out for one year before  he signed with team's ABA rival, the Oakland Oaks in '66. He rejoined the Warriors in '72 and led them to their second title in '74-'75.

    One can't help but wonder whether the team might have won another championship or two if they'd paid what he was due.  

15: Miami Heat

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    MILWAUKEE, WI - JANUARY 07: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat dribbles in the first quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center on January 7, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by download
    Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    Seasons: 23

    Franchise Record: 890-920

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 49.2

    Winning Seasons: 14

    Playoff Appearances: 14

    Division Championships: 7

    Conference Championships: 1

    NBA Championships: 1

    Hall of Fame Players: 0 (0)

    The Heat are the youngest franchise with an NBA championship. They won their first one when they somehow managed to land the league's most dominant player. Looks like they're trying to repeat history this year. 

    Presently the team has no Hall of Fame players, but that's likely to change soon as Alonzo Mourning will in all probability be inducted once he is eligible. They indisputably have at least two more playing for them right now. 

14: Atlanta Hawks

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    1990:  Dominique Wilkins #21 of the Atlanta Hawks collects a rebound during a 1990-1991 NBA season game against the Denver Nuggets.  (Photo by Tim DeFrisco/Getty Images)
    Tim DeFrisco/Getty Images

    Seasons: 62

    Franchise Record: 2400-2468

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 49.3

    Winning Seasons: 32

    Playoff Appearances: 39

    Division Championships: 3

    Conference Championships: 3

    NBA Championships: 1

    Hall of Fame Players: 11 (65)

    The Hawks are one of the charter members of the NBA. An interesting tidbit is that the name "Hawks" was not originally based on the bird.

    They started in Buffalo as the Bison (a bit redundant, don't you think?) with the ABL. They moved to Moline, Ill., which is one of the four cities that compose an area overlapping Iowa and Illinois known as the Quad Citiec, but in 1946 it was just the Quad Cities.

    They changed their nickname to the Blackhawks. Then, when they moved to Milwaukee, they dropped the "black" and just became the Hawks.

    Eventually they moved to St. Louis and there they became a perennial contender starting in 1957. Between then and 1973 they only missed the playoffs one time. Then after a four year absence they spent most of the next 26 years making it to post season play, making the post season 22 times. 

    They spent most of the first part of the second millennium struggling before making the playoffs the last three years. 

    In spite of their 39 post season appearances though, they've only played for the NBA championships three times and only won it once. Bob Pettit and Dominique Wilkins are the team's most notable players. 

13: Oklahoma City Thunder

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    SEATTLE - JANUARY 30:  Gary Payton #20 of the Seattle Sonics holds the ball during the game against the Sacramento Kings at Key Arena on January 30, 2003 in Seattle, Washington.  The Kings won 95-77.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees t
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Seasons: 44

    Franchise Record: 1842-1689

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 52.2

    Winning Seasons: 27

    Playoff Appearances: 23

    Division Championships: 6

    Conference Championships: 3

    NBA Championships: 1

    Hall of Fame Players: 4 (11)

    There were two periods of success in Seattle. They went to the Finals in back-to-back years, both times facing the Washington Bullets in '77 and '78.

    Then they were also one of the league's better teams through most of the 90s behind their superstars, Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp. They lost to the Chicago Bulls.

    Now in Oklahoma City for just their third season, the Sonics-turned-Thunder have only one player left from the Seattle days.

    The team is resurgent and look to have another period of success behind its two bright stars, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

12: Phoenix Suns

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    PHOENIX - JANUARY 05: Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball under pressure from Derek Fisher #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the NBA game at US Airways Center on January 5, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowled
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Seasons: 43

    Franchise Record: 1928-1518

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 55.9

    Winning Seasons: 29

    Playoff Appearances: 29

    Division Championships: 6

    Conference Championships: 2

    NBA Championships: 0

    Hall of Fame Players: 5 (15)

    On the bright side, the Suns have the fourth-best winning percentage of any franchise. On the downside, they haven't yet won the big one, although they've made it to the finals twice. 

    The Suns have an interesting history ranging from one of the near-great "Sundsherella" stories which saw the Suns start 4-18 only to finish 42-40, barely making the playoffs. Then they advanced all the way to the finals where they put up a good fight against the Celtics but came short of the title.

    Then there's the whole drug arrest story, which saw three Suns players indicted for drug use on the testimony of a fourth who was given immunity.

    There were the Barkley years, when he came but didn't win a ring. All in all, the Suns have a lot of history, with or without a ring, and have normally been a contender, at least for a playoff spot. 

11: Portland Trail Blazers

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    5 Nov 1996:  Guard Clyde Drexler of the Houston Rockets looks on during a game against the Sacramento Kings at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California.  The Rockets won the game 102-80. Mandatory Credit: Otto Greule  /Allsport
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Seasons: 41

    Franchise Record: 1753-1532

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 53.4

    Winning Seasons: 29

    Playoff Appearances: 28

    Division Championships: 4

    Conference Championships: 3

    NBA Championships: 1

    Hall of Fame Players: 5 (23)

    Portland's history is basically summed up in five phases. First when they were awarded a franchise, they struggled for five years.

    Then, after they drafted Maurice Lucas to team up with Bill Walton, they made the playoffs for the first time, and won the NBA championship in 1976. That started a 26-year run in which they missed the playoffs only one time. 

    Then came the "Jail Blazers" era when the team, composed of a lot of superstars, was constantly having players in legal problems.

    Players were getting arrested for everything from marijuana possession to dog fighting. Eventually the team was broken up because the "fans" wouldn't support them. 

    Recently the Trail Blazers made a bit of a comeback, but ongoing injury problems are potentially forcing the franchise to rebuild again. 

10: Utah Jazz

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    21 Apr 2001:  Karl Malone #32 gives John Stockton #12 of the Utah Jazz a hug after they escaped with an 88-86 win over the Dallas Mavericks during their first round playoff game at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.  <DIGITAL IMAGE> Mandatory Credi
    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Seasons: 37

    Franchise Record: 1618-1339

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 54.7

    Winning Seasons: 27

    Playoff Appearances: 24

    Division Championships: 8

    Conference Championships: 2

    NBA Championships: 0

    Hall of Fame Players: 6 (55)

    The Jazz are the best franchise that has never won a championship. They are ranked as high as they are because of their amazing consistency.

    Over the last 27 years, they have only missed the playoffs three times and only had one losing season. They lost to the Jordan-led Bulls twice in the NBA finals. 

    It is possible that the greatest two-man tandem in the history of the game, with John Stockton and Karl Malone operating their pick-and-roll better than anyone in the history of the game.

    I couldn't find the answer to this, but I'm fairly certain that no other combination in the league's history have connected more than Stockton and Malone. 

9: Houston Rockets

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    9 Dec 2000:  Hakeem Olajuwon #34 of the Houston Rockets gets ready to shoot a free throw during the game against the Seattle SuperSonics at Key Arena in Seattle, Washington. The Rockets defeated the SuperSonics 111-104.    NOTE TO USER: It is expressly un
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Seasons: 44

    Franchise Record: 1795-1735

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 50.8 

    Winning Seasons: 28

    Playoff Appearances: 26

    Division Championships: 4

    Conference Championships: 4

    NBA Championships: 2

    Hall of Fame Players: 8 (51)

    While the Houston Rockets have been most noteworthy for their big men, Hakeem Olajuwon and Yao Ming, the other side of the spectrum is represented by the Houston franchise as well.

    Calvin Murphy at a less than robust five foot nine inches, is the shortest NBA player in the Hall of Fame, and has scored more points, 17,949, than any player under six feet. 

    While Murphy, along with Moses Malone, was able to lead the team to the finals in 1981, he was never able to win a championship for Houston.

    That eventually came under one the greatest centers in the league's history, Hakeem, during the "retirement" years of Michael Jordan.

8: Milwaukee Bucks

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    WESTWOOD, CA - JUNE 26, 2010:  Former UCLA and NBA player Kareem Abdul Jabbar delivers remarks during the memorial service for former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden on June 26, 2010 at Pauley Pavilion on the University of California Los Angeles campus
    Pool/Getty Images

    Seasons: 43

    Franchise Record: 1803-1643

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 52.3

    Winning Seasons: 25

    Playoff Appearances: 26

    Division Championships: 13

    Conference Championships: 2

    NBA Championships: 1

    Hall of Fame Players: 9 (23)

    Doubtless some will wonder how in the heck the Bucks are this high. The Bucks have been anywhere from poor to marginally decent over the last 20 years, but prior to that they were perennial contenders. In fact they were one of the fastest teams in professional sports to rise to prominence. 

    In 1971, behind two players not normally associated with the Bucks, Lew Alcindor (Karee Abdul-Jabbar) and Oscar Robertson, the Bucks won their first, and to date only, NBA championship in only their third season.

    In just their second season they posted 56 wins, and after that only missed the post season twice before 1990. Since then they've only reached the postseason six times, and only survived past the first round once. 

7: New York Kinickerbockers

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    30 Apr 2000:  Forward Antonio Davis #33 of the Toronto Raptors drives to the basket past center Patrick Ewing #33 of the New York Knicks in Game 3 of the NBA First Round playoffs at the Air Canada Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Knicks won the gam
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Seasons: 65

    Franchise Record: 2504-2530

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 49.7

    Winning Seasons: 35

    Playoff Appearances: 39

    Division Championships: 4

    Conference Championships: 8

    NBA Championships: 2

    Hall of Fame Players: 14 (95) 

    The Knicks have had something of a yo-yo history. They were among the best teams in the NBA for their first decade. Then they were one of the worst for the next.

    Then, behind their stars Walt Frazier and Bill Bradley, the Knicks rose to prominence again for the next decade and won their two NBA championships in that span. 

    After that for another decade, they were somewhere between below average and slightly above average before they were able to draft Patrick Ewing, probably the best player in the team's history. While Ewing never won a ring for the team, they were constantly among the league's elite. 

    After his retirement, the Knicks went from worse to worst.. Management decisions and bad trades seemed to keep the Knicks from even approaching mediocrity.

    Then this year they signed Amar'e Stoudemire and the team is on the map again. It seems previously it's been the big men that have brought success to the Big Apple. New Yorkers are hoping history repeats itself.  

6: Detroit Pistons

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    11 May 1994: DETROIT POINT GUARD ISIAH THOMAS AT FREE THROW LINE DURING THE PISTONS GAME AT THE DENVER NUGGETS.
    Tim DeFrisco/Getty Images

    Seasons: 63

    Franchise Record: 2438-2489

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 49.5

    Winning Seasons: 28

    Playoff Appearances: 40 

    Division Championships: 13

    Conference Championships:  7

    NBA Championships: 3

    Hall of Fame Players: 15 (83)

    Only three teams, Boston, the Lakers and San Antonio, have won their division more times than Detroit.

    They are also one of the few teams to have won championships with completely unique teams. The first two championships came during the "Bad Boys" era when thy were led by Bill Laimbeer and Isiah Thomas.

    They were dubbed the "Bad Boys" because of their physical play. That collection of players won two NBA Championships. 

    In their third championship, they were one of the unique teams in the history of the game, in that there were no obvious Hall of Fame players on the team.

    This was compounded by the fact that the Lakers, whom they beat in five games, had potentially four future Hall of Fame quality players on their roster in Karl Malone, Gary Payton, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal.

5: Chicago Bulls

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    17 Dec 1997:  Guard Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls in action against the Los Angeles Lakers during a game at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.  The Bulls defeated the Lakers 104-83. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel  /Allsport
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Seasons: 45

    Franchise Record: 1841-1769

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 51.0

    Winning Seasons: 24

    Playoff Appearances: 29

    Division Championships: 7

    Conference Championships: 6

    NBA Championships: 6

    Hall of Fame Players: 5 (29)

    Bull history can more or less be summed up in two words, "Michael Jordan." They do have some other significant players in their history, but apart from they Jordan era, they were rarely a threat to win it all.

    There were a couple of years where they made it to the Western Conference finals when Bob Love was their big star. 

    Still, when it comes to the Bulls, the Jordan era is what places them this high. The Jordan-led Bulls were the most dominant dynasty in the free agent era. 

4: Philadelphia 76ers

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 14:  Julius Erving arrives at the 2010 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 14, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
    Jason Merritt/Getty Images

    Seasons: 62

    Franchise Record: 2584-2280

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 53.1

    Winning Seasons: 39

    Playoff Appearances: 45

    Division Championships: 5

    Conference Championships: 11

    NBA Championships: 3

    Hall of Fame Players: 12 (81)

    The 76ers boast one of the richest histories of any team in the NBA. Their legends include Wilt Chamberlain, Hal Greer, Moses Malone, Julius Erving and Charles Barkley.

    They have two of the best teams of all time in their '66-'67 team which finally ended the Celtics eight year run, and the "Fo, fo, fo" team featuring Moses Malone and Dr. J. in '82-'83.

    Malone had predicted the 76ers would win sweep all three of their series "fo, fo, fo" (four, four, four). But for one loss to the Bucks, his prophesy would have come true. 

    It remains the best postseason record in NBA history. The '66-'67 was named the best team in league history. 

3: San Antonio Spurs

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    BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 05:  Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs reacts to a traveling call against him in the first half against the Boston Celtics on January 5, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges a
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Seasons: 35

    Franchise Record: 1683-1109

    Franchise Winning Percentage: 60.3

    Winning Seasons: 29

    Playoff Appearances: 30

    Division Championships: 16

    Conference Championships: 4

    NBA Championships: 4

    Hall of Fame Players: 5 (31)

    The Spurs are far and away the most successful of the former ABA teams, which is ironic, because they were the least successful as an ABA team.

    Their 30 playoff appearances in their 35 seasons of play has them making the playoffs 85 percent of the time. That's the most of any franchise in the NBA.

    Their four championships are behind only the Bulls, Celtics and Lakers. Their 60 percent winning percentage overall trails only the Celtics. 

    In short this has been one consistent team since the merger, and that's the primary reason they are No. 3 on this list. 

2: Boston Celtics

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    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 30:  Former MLB player Kurt Schilling and former NBA player Bill Russell attend the 2010 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Celebration at IAC Building on November 30, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Andy Kropa/Getty Images
    Andy Kropa/Getty Images

    Seasons: 65

    Franchise Record: 3000-2038

    Franchise Winning Percentage: .595

    Winning Seasons: 47

    Playoff Appearances: 48

    Division Championships: 19

    Conference Championships: 21

    NBA Championships: 17

    Hall of Fame Players: 25 (179)

    And Celtics nation is enraged, I know. You have the most banners. Really, there's no one else in the conversation for No. 1.

    So why is LA ahead? They've played for the finals 11 more times than the Celtics and have more wins. In the end, it just seemed that was worth the one banner. 

    Still the difference between the Celtics and the rest of the league after that is vast. This is one of the three or four best franchises in major sports history.

    They also field the most dominant dynasty in the history of basketball. From 1957-1969 the Celtics failed to make the finals only once, and failed to win the championship only twice.

    Over that span a total of 12 Hall of Famers played for the team, and on two separate occasions, they had a roster featuring eight at the same time. 

    When basically you're entire rotation is Hall of Famers, you're going to win a lot of rings. 

    However, the Celtics only have one ring in the last 25 years, and as a result the Lakers have caught and passed them as the greatest franchise in league history. 

1: Los Angeles Lakers

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 29:  Los Angeles Lakers legend Jerry West and Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrate after the Lakers defeated the San Antonio Spurs in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals during the 2008 NBA Playoffs on May 29, 2
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Seasons: 63

    Franchise Record: 3053-1877

    Franchise Winning Percentage: .619

    Winning Seasons: 51

    Playoff Appearances: 57

    Division Championships: 21

    Conference Championships: 31

    NBA Championships: 16

    Hall of Fame Players: 16 (125)

    There is so much to say about what makes the Lakers great, be it the incredible players that adorn their history or the banners that adorn Staples center, but why bother?

    You can say it all by merely pointing to one awe-inspiring fact. In their 63 seasons of play, they've been in the NBA finals 31 times. What else needs to be said?

    And there ends our Los Angeles sandwich. The city hosts the greatest franchise in history and the worst, and the rest are in between. 

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