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4 clubs with the longest losing streak in NBA history

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longest losing streak in nba history
  • Bad play and subpar performance in basketball isn’t the only thing that dampens your mood
  • The pain of grappling with the longest losing streak in NBA history is worse
  • Detroit Pitsons’ losing struggles are etched in their history

If you thought that bad play and subpar performance in basketball were the only thing that dampen your mood, you haven’t seen it all. You should think about the pain of grappling with the longest losing streak in NBA history.

Basketball, just like any competitive sport, is highly emotional. Remember, it ranks among the top five richest sports in the world and the stakes are always very high. Thus, every loss takes a good hit on fans and stakeholders alike.


Surprisingly, the Philadelphia 76ers have the longest losing streak in NBA history, with a record of 28 games. The Sixers hold an unfortunate NBA record spanning the 2014–15 and 2015–16 seasons, where they stumbled for 28 straight games.  Injuries, roster turmoil, and rebuilding woes rocked the club fair and square.

Incidentally, this isn’t their only slump. They hold the single-season record with 26 losses in 2013–14 and have three streaks topping 20 games throughout their history.  The dark season of 28 losses changed the team’s narrative to the infamous “Process”. It entailed prioritizing high draft picks over wins, which landed them stars like Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

longest losing streak in nba history

Philadelphia 76ers. Photo/Fox29

Playoff success in the recent past lives on as a show of progress for a team that refused to give up to defeat.  However, the Sixers aren’t the only historymakers on the list. Below are other NBA teams that each make up a story in this debate.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland holds a double-edged sword in the longest losing streak in NBA history. They share the single-season NBA record of 26 losses, set in the 2010-11 season after LeBron James’ departure. The streak was a stark reminder of the challenges of rebuilding, marked by close calls and heartbreaking defeats.

But the Cavs aren’t just about losing – they also hold the 4th longest streak, a 24-game stretch spanning two seasons in the early 80s. These lows, however, ultimately fueled their highs. Years of struggle led to drafting Kyrie Irving and LeBron’s triumphant return, culminating in the city’s first NBA championship in 2016.

Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Summer League

Vancouver Grizzlies

The Vancouver Grizzlies’ foray into the NBA came with a touch of promise and painful losses. While their brief existence (1995-2001) didn’t yield much playoff success, they etched their name in NBA history with a brutal losing streak in their inaugural season.

From February 16th, 1996, to April 3rd, 1996, the Grizzlies endured a soul-crushing 23-game skid. This dismal stretch remains tied for the 5th longest in NBA history. NBA insiders say that this is a challenge of being a new expansion team battling it out with established opponents.

Despite the losing woes, the Grizzlies weren’t without hope. The young team, led by players like Bryant Reeves and Greg Anthony, showcased flashes of talent and built a passionate fanbase in Vancouver. However, the weight of inexperience and a tough Western Conference ultimately proved too much to overcome. The team relocated to Memphis in 2001.

Detroit Pistons

longest losing streak in nba history

Detroit Pistons. Photo/Wikipedia

Detroit Pitsons’ losing struggles are etched in their history, punctuated by a 23-game skid that shattered franchise records. They previously held the franchise record for a 21-game streak spanning 1979-80 and 1980-81, a testament to rebuilding woes and inconsistent rosters.

But the Pistons haven’t solely tasted defeat. Remembered for their “Bad Boys” era dominance in the late 80s and early 90s, they also hold the distinction of winning three NBA championships. And while the current losing streak stings, it comes during a deliberate rebuild focused on acquiring young talent.


Philadelphia 76ers take the infamous crown of the longest losing streak in NBA history in a single season. They stumbled for a brutal 26 games straight in the 2013-14 season occasioned by injuries among players and a chaotic roster.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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