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NBA 73 43 NBA's Top 10 worst teams ever 30947164 Worst of the worst Worst+of+the+worst NBA

The Charlotte Bobcats weren't just bad this year, they were historically awful. With 23 straight losses to end the lockout-shortened season, the Bobcats finished with a record of 7-59, the worst winning percentage (.106) ever by an NBA team. But every inept team has its own sad story. Sam Amico tells the tale of the 10 worst.

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NBA 73 43 NBA's Top 10 worst teams ever 30947163 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats (7-59) 2011-12+Charlotte+Bobcats+%287-59%29 NBA

The Bobcats didn't have much talent to begin with, not after owner Michael Jordan signed off on trades of Tyson Chandler and Gerald Wallace in recent years. But injuries to Corey Maggette and D.J. Augustin left Charlotte's cupboard nearly bare. Rookies Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo were forced into major roles, and marginal NBA players were left to battle the rest of the league. It was a mismatch. The Bobcats were outscored by nearly 14 points per game, a league record, and dropped their last 23 games. In that respect, the mercifully short season was the only good news for these 'Cats.

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NBA 73 43 NBA's Top 10 worst teams ever 27121022 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers (9-73) 1972-73+Philadelphia+76ers+%289-73%29 NBA

First sign of trouble: The 76ers fired legendary coach Jack Ramsey and replaced him with some guy named Roy Rubin. Second sign: Star forward Billy Cunningham bailed for the upstart American Basketball Association. It was nothing but bad news from there, as the Sixers started 4-47 and Rubin was fired, too — replaced by Kevin Loughery, a 32-year-old guard who acted as player-coach. Meanwhile, the MVP on that team was current NBA analyst Fred Carter (pictured), who repeatedly has said he hopes no team ever ties or beats the record. There is a certain degree of pride, Carter says, of being the best guy on the worst team.

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NBA 73 43 NBA's Top 10 worst teams ever 27121021 1997-98 Denver Nuggets (11-71) 1997-98+Denver+Nuggets+%2811-71%29 NBA

You remember Antonio McDyess, the old guy who tipped in a last-second shot to help the Spurs beat the Lakers in a game last season? Well, he was once a young Nuggets forward with loads of athleticism (like Bobby Jackson, pictured) and was considered a sure-fire longtime star. Unfortunately, Denver traded him (to Phoenix) before the season, and neither he nor the Nuggets were ever the same. At least the Nuggets weren’t until Carmelo Anthony fell into their laps in 2003. But in 1997-98, the Nuggets tied the Grizzlies’ consecutive loss streak at 23 and fired coach Bill Hanzlik after the season — opening the door for a young replacement by the name of Mike D’Antoni.

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NBA 73 43 NBA's Top 10 worst teams ever 27122106 1992-93 Dallas Mavericks (11-71) 1992-93+Dallas+Mavericks+%2811-71%29 NBA

The Mavericks' real problems started a season earlier, when star forward Roy Tarpley was banned from the league for repeated substance abuse violations. They previously acquired All-Star guard Fat Lever from Denver for a couple of first-round draft picks, but Lever missed the entire season because of a knee injury. On top of all that, leading scorer Rolando Blackman was traded to New York and first-round pick Jim Jackson (pictured, right) played in just 28 games. All that was left were no-names such as Randy White, Doug Smith, Dexter Cambridge and Walter Bond — and just four wins in the first 61 games.

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NBA 73 43 NBA's Top 10 worst teams ever 27125010 1982-83 Houston Rockets (14-68) 1982-83+Houston+Rockets+%2814-68%29 NBA

Although the 1983-84 Rockets were accused of tanking games, and later credited with forcing the NBA to create the draft lottery system, this group was even worse — as its two best players were a washed-up Calvin Murphy and an even-more-washed-up Elvin Hayes. Of course, it didn’t help that the Rockets lost Moses Malone to Philadelphia, getting Caldwell Jones in the free-agency compensation package before the season. (The 76ers went on to win the championship.) Kobe Bryant’s dad, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant (pictured with ball), also played for this team, proving that being a champion has nothing to do with your family tree.

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NBA 73 43 NBA's Top 10 worst teams ever 27121020 2009-10 New Jersey Nets (12-70) 2009-10+New+Jersey+Nets+%2812-70%29 NBA

All anyone will remember about this team are Devin Harris (right) and Brook Lopez and how they were considered two great pieces for the future. Well, that and an unlikely regular season win at eventual Eastern Conference-champion Boston. But these Nets also made the record books by becoming the only NBA team to start the season 0-18. They also posted records of 3-40 and 4-48 along the way. Today, the Nets still have Lopez, but the best thing going for them is an eccentric Russian owner and impending move to Brooklyn.

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NBA 73 43 NBA's Top 10 worst teams ever 27121019 1986-87 Los Angeles Clippers (12-70) 1986-87+Los+Angeles+Clippers+%2812-70%29 NBA

NBA legend Elgin Baylor was named the team’s general manager before the draft and was rewarded with zero first-round picks. But the team he inherited shouldn’t have been nearly so bad, with players such as Mike Woodson, Michael Cage, Benoit Benjamin (pictured) and Larry Drew on the roster. And for a while there was hope, as the Clips won three of their first six games. But things fell apart quickly, as they followed their .500 start by winning just four of their next 41. After rebuilding through the draft and remaking the team (and hiring Larry Brown as coach), the Clippers finally made the playoffs in 1992, but not before 10 straight years of at least 50 losses. This group was the worst of them all.

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NBA 73 43 NBA's Top 10 worst teams ever 27121018 2004-05 Atlanta Hawks (13-69) 2004-05+Atlanta+Hawks+%2813-69%29 NBA

When you consider how competitive the Hawks are today, it’s hard to remember that current standout Josh Smith played for this 2005 team. So did Antoine Walker (pictured), but long after he stopped doing that shimmy dance after hitting three-pointers for the Celtics. Also on this team was a 42-year-old Kevin Willis, an underrated forward and good person who certainly didn’t deserve to end his career this way. Walker eventually was traded back to the Celtics (for Gary Payton, who immediately was released and returned to Boston). In short, these Hawks were a bad mix of aging veterans, undisciplined youth and perplexing trades. As one team employee quipped at the time: “There is no winning here, only degrees of losing.”

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NBA 73 43 NBA's Top 10 worst teams ever 27121017 1995-96 Vancouver Grizzlies (15-67) 1995-96+Vancouver+Grizzlies+%2815-67%29 NBA

Unlike other expansion teams, these Grizzlies started with high hopes by winning the first two games in franchise history. That included the season opener at Portland, making the Trail Blazers the answer to the trivia question: Which team allowed both the Cavs and Grizzlies to get the first victory in franchise history on its own home court? As for these particular Grizzlies, the fun didn’t last. After opening the season 2-0, they lost 19 straight. Later, they set the NBA record with 23 straight defeats. It got so bad that 1999 lottery pick Steve Francis refused to play for them, and the franchise eventually relocated to Memphis.

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NBA 73 43 NBA's Top 10 worst teams ever 27123003 1988-89 Miami Heat (15-67) 1988-89+Miami+Heat+%2815-67%29 NBA

You know you’re off to a rough start when the first game in franchise history is a home loss to the Clippers. In fact, the expansion Heat opened with 17 straight defeats, an NBA record at the time. And perhaps these Heat were touched by the ongoing curse of Cleveland sports, as their leading scorer was none other than guard Kevin Edwards (pictured), a Cleveland product. Edwards finished the season at 13.8 points per game, one of the lowest averages for a team’s top scorer in league history. On the bright side, the Heat drafted well (Rony Seikaly, Glen Rice, Sherman Douglas) and would eventually make the playoffs four years into their existence.

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