Few moments are more exhilarating than being involved in a streak. Players, teams, fans, and especially, the media all get swept up into the frenzy created by the streak and we believe that our unbridled collective passion gives us some personal responsibility in the continuation of the streak. But what happens when a streak ends? Or worse, just as Frank the Tank finally learned, what happens when the streak gets more embarrassing the longer it goes on?
Here’s a rundown of some of the all-time worst streaks of futility in basketball.
28 Consecutive Losses – 2014-2015 Philadelphia 76ers – No strangers to losing, Philly owns 3 of the NBA’s top 10 consecutive losing streaks in history. Although, this streak is particularly special as it was compiled across two seasons, each of which started their respective seasons 0-17.
19 Home Losses – 1993 Dallas Mavericks – Unofficial reports from the Dallas area in ’93, show an increase in Mavs tickets being used as stocking-stuffers during this streak spanning from November to January.
43 Road Losses – 1990-1991 Sacramento Kings – This streak includes 37 of their NBA record 40 road losses during the regretful 1990 season. Sacramento’s first victory that season, a road win versus the Washington Bullets, would be the Kings’ only road win on their way to a 1-40 road record.
2,499 Consecutive Losses to One Team – Washington Generals (<1971) – The Harlem Globetrotters primary opponent, the Generals laughably long streak ended in a gymnasium in Martin, Tennessee, when former NBA player Red Klotz, the Generals’ 5’7″, 50-year-old, founder, coach, and point guard, buried a long bucket as time expired. Klotz recalled children in the bleachers crying over the outcome and quipped it was “like killing Santa Claus.” The Generals went on to lose over 13,000 games in franchise history. (Interestingly, the 1971 season was the first year the Generals would change uniforms between games to give the appearance of more teams, despite having the same rosters. Klotz’s streak-snapping shot actually occurred while playing in a New Jersey Reds jersey.)
207 Consecutive Losses – 1996-2007 Cal Tech Beavers – Featuring several starters who did not play organized basketball prior to college, the Cal Tech Beavers are owners of the NCAA record for consecutive losses across all divisions for both men and women with a record 207 losses over an 11-year period. The Division III Beavers can also be proud of their record 21-year long streak of 259 straight conference losses that ended in 2011.
52 Consecutive Losses to One Team – California Golden Bears (1961-1985 vs. UCLA) – To be fair, the Bears’ 24-year streak versus the Bruins includes games during 10 of UCLA’s 11 NCAA Championship seasons, so pretty much everybody lost to the Bruins. Watch out! This streak is in jeopardy of being surpassed by Syracuse’s active 50-game win streak against the Colgate Raiders.
41 Consecutive Division I Losses (Men) – 2011-2012 Towson Tigers – The Tigers averaged a turnover on 30% of their possessions per game during the losing streak that started with an overtime loss to La Salle and ended with a 5-point victory over UNC Wilmington.
Has it been a while since your team won? Let us know about it in the comments and hang in there! All streaks must come to end eventually…right?
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