We can measure rock bottom in two ways. On an absolute scale, rock bottom is winning the fewest games in history, but that minimizes the suffering of many other fan bases who can all claim to have hit rock bottom.
Then there are relative ways to measure rock bottom.
Teams that have never won an NBA Championship: Minnesota, Utah, Orlando, Denver, the Clippers, New Orleans, Phoenix, Brooklyn, Indiana, Memphis.
Or longest championship drought in years: Sacramento (67 years), Atlanta (60 years), Phoenix (50 years), Clippers (48 years), Bucks (47 years), Knicks (45 years).
Or the longest drought in reaching the playoffs: Sacramento (13 years), Phoenix (9 years), Orlando (7 years), Lakers, Knicks, Nuggest (6 years).
Or we can measure rock bottom as a function of expectations. If we do that, Knicks fans expect James Dolan and his coaching/GM merry-go-round to fail miserably. I would say the prospect of getting a shot at Zion Williamson should keep New York fans very hopeful until the draft lottery.
On the other hand, supporting a team that signs the best basketball player in the world and then falls apart in every possible way — both on and off the court — with the players, coaches, and front office all crapping the bed is a pretty good starting point to define a disappointing season. With the team playing a steal the complete opposite of what was promised during the coach’s first two years, the Lakers are a complete mess, with morale at an all-time low, and serious doubts that the institutional dysfunction will be fixed in the next 2–5 years.
I summarized their season as the seven levels of purgatory.
The NBA’s home stretch is more like an ambulance ride than a horse race.
Advanced analytics… Playoff prognostications… and tons of Lakers schadenfreude!!! Who could ask for anything more?
Also included are serious props to the Clippers, Bucks, Magic and Kings.