Which NBA fan bases have it the worst right now? It's a question that the Sports Misery Index tackled, and while we did an article on the top 25 in all sports, it's time to delve deeper into which NBA fans feel good about life and which are, quite frankly, miserable.
The Index takes into account five factors: championships, playoff berths, playoff wins, heartbreaks and rival comparison, with recent events being weighted more than events that took place decades ago. We'll identify how each NBA team rates in each category. In this exercise, the higher the ranking, the greater the misery.
Total score: 27.1
All-sport rank: 1
Ranking by category: championships, 12; playoff berths, 1; playoff wins, 4; heartbreaks, 15 (tie); rival comparison, 1
Where they're especially miserable: Where do we start? The Kings have the longest playoff drought (12 seasons) in the NBA, haven't won a playoff series since 2004 and were the victims of one of the most curiously officiated playoff games in memory in Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference finals. Oh yeah, they also have to deal with Lakers fans and the current Warriors dynasty. This is why they're the most miserable fans in sports.
Rays of hope: It's really hard to think of one, but at least fans who are in their early 20s or older can remember the Chris Webber/Mike Bibby/Peja Stojakovic days, as the Kings made the playoffs eight consecutive years from 1999-2006. Better than talking about the present.
2. Phoenix Suns
Total score: 18.25
All-sport rank: 14
Ranking by category: championships, 1 (tie); playoff berths, 3; playoff wins, 8 (tie); heartbreaks, 28; rival comparison, 2
Where they're especially miserable: The Suns have a lot of the rival angst that the Kings do, as they've had to watch the Lakers and Warriors win eight titles since 2000. Phoenix hasn't made the playoffs (or won a playoff series) since 2010, and when they were good, they were always blocked out by superior teams.
Rays of hope: The Suns have either fallen just short (or fallen really hard) but at least their fans have seen fun basketball. From Steve Nash and Amar'e Stoudemire earlier this decade to Kevin Johnson and Sir Charles back in the day, Suns basketball has had streaks of entertainment woven into their miserable existence.
Total score: 16.95
All-sport rank: 19
Ranking by category: championships, 18; playoff berths, 6; playoff wins, 2; heartbreaks, 19; rival comparison, 4
Where they're especially miserable: Things weren't awesome before the Hornets left for New Orleans in 2002, as they never made it past the second round of the playoffs. But that's prolific success compared to the 14 seasons after they came back, as the Hornets haven't won a playoff series. They've made the postseason only three times and had the worst win percentage in NBA history in 2011-12.
Rays of hope: Kemba Walker is a fun player for current fans to follow and the Hornets have had some of the snazziest uniforms in the league during their tenure. It's also fun to watch Larry Johnson's "Grandmama" commercials on YouTube during a nostalgia kick.
Trend: Not looking great. The Hornets are in the undesirable "good enough not to be terrible but not good enough to be legitimate" stage and Walker could walk in free agency. Might be another rebuild coming.
4. LA Clippers
Total score: 15.95
All-sport rank: 25
Ranking by category: championships, 8; playoff berths, 13; playoff wins, 10; heartbreaks, 5; rival comparison, 3
Where they're especially miserable: Sharing a town with the Lakers is bad enough, as the Lake Show has won eight titles since the Clippers arrived in Los Angeles, but they can't even take advantage of downturns. They've never advanced past the second round, and their 2015 collapse against the Rockets -- when they blew a 3-1 series lead and a 19-point third-quarter lead in Game 6 -- was one for the books.
Rays of hope: They've had their best run of success during the last seven seasons, making the playoffs six years in a row before barely missing out last season. They won three playoff series during that time. In comparison, the Clippers made the playoffs four times and won only one series from 1984-2011.
Trend: Going down. The big three of Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan are gone, and it's hard to say which direction the Clippers will go from here. And they're almost certainly going to be little brother in L.A. again.
Total score: 15.3
All-sport rank: 28
Ranking by category: championships, 3; playoff berths, 4; playoff wins, 7; heartbreaks, 26; rival comparison, 6
Where they're especially miserable: The names James Dolan, Isiah Thomas and Eddy Curry will give Knicks fans the shakes, but no more than their track record since 2001. The Knicks have made the playoffs only four times in the last 17 seasons, including missing the last five seasons. The Knicks have won only one playoff series in that time and haven't won the NBA title since 1973.
Rays of hope: The heartbreaks of the 1990s, from Charles Smith missing putbacks to Reggie Miller's feud with Spike Lee to Patrick Ewing missing a series-winning runner against the Pacers in 1995, are well in the past. And the Knicks finally have a young star to build around in Kristaps Porzingis, if he returns from his torn ACL.
Trend: Hope is on the horizon after this season, as the Knicks will have plenty of cap room to bring reinforcements next summer. The question, as it always is, is whether they'll spend their money wisely.
Total score: 14.83
All-sport rank: 29
Ranking by category: championships, 13 (tie); playoff berths, 2; playoff wins, 1; heartbreaks, 30; rival comparison, 10
Where they're especially miserable: The Timberwolves missed the postseason 14 years in a row before breaking that drought this past season. They've won only two playoff series in franchise history, both of which came in 2004. Minnesota fans also had to watch the best player in franchise history, Kevin Garnett, win an NBA title the season after he was traded away from the team.
Rays of hope: The T-Wolves broke that awful playoff drought and have one of the league's budding young stars in Karl-Anthony Towns and an All-Star in Jimmy Butler (for now). Minnesota also rates low in the heartbreak category, as it hasn't had the stomach-punch losses that other franchises have.
Trend: Cloudy. Butler's long-term future in Minnesota is in serious jeopardy, as he hasn't meshed well with Towns and Andrew Wiggins. They need to keep their core together if they hope for more playoff appearances.
Total score: 12.85
All-sport rank: 39
Ranking by category: championships, 13 (tie); playoff berths, 5; playoff wins, 11; heartbreaks, 25; rival comparison, 8
Where they're especially miserable: The Magic have had some superstars pass through in their 29 seasons of existence, from Shaquille O'Neal to Penny Hardaway to Dwight Howard. Not only haven't they won a title, but all of those players left Orlando prematurely. The Magic have ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries dedicated to their misery while the cross-state Heat have three NBA titles. And don't mention Nick Anderson.
Rays of hope: The Magic have had some great players in the names above, plus Tracy McGrady. They've been to the NBA Finals twice, in 1995 and 2009, and made the playoffs 14 times from 1993-2012. That's why they didn't crack the top 25.
Trend: The Magic have missed the playoffs six years in a row and there doesn't seem to be a clear avenue toward respectability. But at least their fans get to watch Aaron Gordon dunk.
Total score: 11.36
All-sport rank: 43
Ranking by category: championships, 4 (tie); playoff berths, 8 (tie); playoff wins, 5; heartbreaks, 15 (tie); rival comparison, 16
Where they're especially miserable: The Nuggets not only are in the midst of a five-year playoff drought, but they missed the playoffs on the final day last season via an overtime loss to the Timberwolves in a win-or-go-home situation. Denver hasn't won a playoff series since 2009 and has never made it to the NBA Finals. The Nuggets were also left high-and-dry by Carmelo Anthony.
Rays of hope: If you like high scoring, the Nuggets have been a great team to follow, as they've been in three of the four highest-scoring games in NBA history. Denver was also the first No. 8 seed to knock off a No. 1 in the playoffs, as Dikembe Mutombo and Jalen Rose helped topple the Sonics in 1994. The Nuggets also made the postseason 10 years in a row, from 2004-13.
Trend: The Nuggets were on the cusp of the postseason last season and have a pretty intriguing assembly of talent. Perhaps Denver can finish the job and get back in the playoffs next season.
Total score: 11.1
All-sport rank: 44
Ranking by category: championships, 21; playoff berths, 7; playoff wins, 17; heartbreaks, 24; rival comparison, 7
Where they're especially miserable: It has been rough in Detroit, as the Pistons have not won a playoff series since the 2008 Eastern Conference semifinals and have made the playoffs only once in nine seasons. They've also had to watch the Cavaliers and Bulls go on long runs of success in the last 25 years, and LeBron James' performance in Game 5 in 2007 still causes horrors.
Rays of hope: The Pistons have had two really good runs in their history, as they won two championships during the "Bad Boys" era of the late 1980s-early 1990s and won another championship during the "Deeeetroit Basketball!!" era in the 2000s. The Pistons made the Eastern Conference finals six years in a row from 2003-08.
Trend: The Pistons have a couple stars in Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond, but that might not be enough to get them playoff wins. But hey, at least they don't have to watch LeBron in Cleveland anymore.
10. Milwaukee Bucks
Total score: 10.83
All-sport rank: 47
Ranking by category: championships, 9; playoff berths, 16 (tie); playoff wins, 3; heartbreaks, 11; rival comparison, 11
Where they're especially miserable: The Bucks have the third-worst playoff wins score, as they haven't won a playoff series since the 2001 Eastern Conference semifinals. Milwaukee has dropped nine consecutive playoff series since, starting with a seven-game loss to the 76ers in the 2001 Eastern Conference finals and ending with a seven-game loss to the Celtics this past season.
Rays of hope: Even though the Bucks haven't won a playoff series, they have been in the postseason a decent amount lately, as they've made the playoffs the last two years and four of the last six. Milwaukee is also blessed with one of the best young stars in the game in Giannis Antetokounmpo, which makes the Bucks must-see TV.
Trend: The Bucks were extremely close to breaking their postseason losing streak this past season. With Antetokounmpo in the fold and LeBron out of the Central Division, this might be the time for the Bucks to make a big move.
11. Brooklyn Nets
Total score: 9.36
All-sport rank: 55
Ranking by category: championships, 4 (tie); playoff berths, 8 (tie); playoff wins, 12; heartbreaks, 22; rival comparison, 15
Where they're especially miserable: The Nets bet big and lost on late-career Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, which not only left them without an elusive championship, but put them in a big hole with no draft picks to fill it. The Nets have missed the playoffs the last three seasons and have won only one playoff series since the 2007-08 season.
Rays of hope: The Nets were pretty spunky in the latter portion of their New Jersey days, as they made the NBA Finals in back-to-back years, in 2002 and 2003. They made the playoffs six seasons in a row in the 2000s and won nine postseason series behind the likes of Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson. That's more than the crosstown Knicks can say.
Trend: Not looking great in the near future. The Nets will finally have a first-round draft pick next season (and maybe two), but they have a long way to go to get back to playoff contention in the Eastern Conference.
Total score: 8.28
All-sport rank: 58
Ranking by category: championships, 22; playoff berths, 10; playoff wins, 6; heartbreaks, 29; rival comparison, 13
Where they're especially miserable: The Hornets/Pelicans haven't exactly torn it up in the Big Easy, as they've won only two playoff series despite making the playoffs seven times in 16 seasons. They've won the division only once, in 2007-08, and that season saw them blow a 3-2 lead to the Spurs in the Western Conference semifinals.
Rays of hope: One of the two playoff series victories came this past season, as the Pelicans swept the Trail Blazers before losing to the Warriors in the conference semis. The Pelicans also have one of the best players in the NBA in Anthony Davis, and the loss to the Spurs in 2008 is their only real heartbreak since arriving in New Orleans.
Trend: Looking up. Davis is a superstar and the Pelicans seem to be surrounding him with good parts. With the Spurs in transition, New Orleans might be the team to challenge the Rockets in the Southwest Division.
Total score: 7.31
All-sport rank: 61
Ranking by category: championships, 15; playoff berths, 11; playoff wins, 15; heartbreaks, 20; rival comparison, 14
Where they're especially miserable: It has been 35 years since Dr. J & Co. swept the Lakers to win the 1983 NBA championship. The 76ers have been back to the NBA Finals only once since, in 2001. Philadelphia also went through a brutal "process" that saw it miss the playoffs five years in a row and saw its GM resign after his burner Twitter account was discovered.
Rays of hope: "The Process" began to bear fruit last season, as Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons spearheaded a 52-win team that not only saw the Sixers make the playoffs, but win their first postseason series since 2012. Getting to watch Allen Iverson dazzle in the late 1990s and early 2000s was a treat for Philly fans, too.
Trend: Looking great. Not only is "The Process" starting to yield success, the Eastern Conference became more open with the departure of LeBron to L.A. Philly's opening is getting wider by the day.
Total score: 6.69
All-sport rank: 66
Ranking by category: championships, 4 (tie); playoff berths, 15; playoff wins, 16; heartbreaks, 17; rival comparison, 12
Where they're especially miserable: It's bad enough that it has been 40 years since the Wizards (who were the Bullets then) won their only NBA championship, in 1978. Even worse is that Washington hasn't been past the conference semis since losing in the 1979 NBA Finals, as the Wizards have lost five straight in that round, including a seven-game heartbreaker to the Celtics in 2017.
Rays of hope: The Wizards have gone from being a consistent lottery team to being almost a playoff mainstay, as they've made the postseason four times in the last five years. Washington has won three playoff series since 2014 after having not won a series since 2005 and only two series from 1980 to 2013.
Trend: At a bit of a crossroads. There are thoughts that the John Wall-Bradley Beal combination might have already peaked after the Wizards were bounced in the first round this past season. The upcoming season will be telling.
15. Toronto Raptors
Total score: 5.88
All-sport rank: 68
Ranking by category: championships, 17; playoff berths, 19; playoff wins, 20; heartbreaks, 10; rival comparison, 9
Where they're especially miserable: When playing the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs have been the Raptors' kryptonite the last three seasons. Toronto lost to Cleveland in the Eastern Conference finals in 2016 and was swept by the Cavs in the semis the last two seasons. The last sweep was especially disheartening, as the Raptors came into the playoffs with the No. 1 seed in the East.
Rays of hope: At least the Cleveland problems have come later in the playoffs, as Toronto had lost in the first round in six of its seven playoff appearances prior to 2016. The Raptors have turned themselves into one of the East's most consistent teams, as they've made the playoffs five years in a row and have a deep roster of talent.
Trend: Hard to say. The Raptors brought in a superstar in Kawhi Leonard to pair with Kyle Lowry and get that elusive NBA Finals berth, but will Leonard stay in Canada for the long haul? It could be this season or bust for the Raptors.
16. Dallas Mavericks
Total score: 3.09
All-sport rank: 72
Ranking by category: championships, 25; playoff berths, 22; playoff wins, 19; heartbreaks, 12; rival comparison, 5
Where they're especially miserable: The Mavericks have missed the playoffs the last two seasons, haven't won a playoff series since 2011, and are in the midst of a lengthy rebuild. While Dallas has had its fair share of success during the last two decades, that success has been dwarfed by the five titles by the rival Spurs and the Rockets' recent success.
Rays of hope: Things were pretty good in Dallas during the 2000s, as the Mavericks made the playoffs 12 seasons in a row, from 2001-12, and 14 times in 15 seasons. Mavericks fans got to enjoy a future Hall of Famer in Dirk Nowitzki for two decades, and Nowitzki led the Mavericks past the Heat in 2011 for the franchise's only NBA championship.
Total score: 2.67
All-sport rank: 75
Ranking by category: championships, 20; playoff berths, 20; playoff wins, 8 (tie); heartbreaks, 13 (tie); rival comparison, 19
Where they're especially miserable: The bottom fell out for the Grizzlies last season, as they plummeted to a 22-60 record and have an aging core in a brutal Western Conference. Memphis fans also had to wait nine seasons before the Grizzlies won a playoff series, and the Grizzlies have made it past the first round only three times in 17 seasons.
Rays of hope: The Grizzlies were a playoff mainstay prior to this past season, as they made the postseason the previous seven seasons. All four of the Grizzlies' playoff series victories have come since 2011, each of them coming as the lower seed. They made the Western Conference finals in 2013 and upset the top-seeded Spurs as the No. 8 seed in 2011 for their first-ever series win.
Trend: With Mike Conley and Marc Gasol aging and injury prone, it's looking like a rebuild is in order in Memphis. Grizzlies fans hope that recent first-rounder Jaren Jackson can help lead the way going forward.
18. Utah Jazz
Total score: 2.4
All-sport rank: 77
Ranking by category: championships, 9 (tie); playoff berths, 14; playoff wins, 18; heartbreaks, 13 (tie); rival comparison, 23
Where they're especially miserable: Watching old highlight clips. Michael Jordan's jumper over Bryon Russell to end the 1998 NBA Finals still hurts 20 years later, as the Jazz were denied a title in the Karl Malone-John Stockton era. The Jazz have been up and down since, as they haven't made it to the Western Conference finals since 2007.
Rays of hope: The Jazz have not only made the playoffs the last couple of years, but they've won a playoff series in each. Utah upset the Clippers in 2016 and the Thunder this past season in the first round. The Jazz also made the playoffs 20 seasons in a row from 1984-2003 and 25 times in 29 seasons from 1984-2012.
Trend: Looking up. Not only have the Jazz won some postseason series recently, but they have drafted their next star, Donovan Mitchell, to pair with one of the best defensive teams in basketball.
19. Chicago Bulls
Total score: 1.79
All-sport rank: 79
Ranking by category: championships, 19; playoff berths, 21; playoff wins, 14; heartbreaks, 23; rival comparison, 18
Where they're especially miserable: The 20 years since Michael Jordan & Co. left the Windy City have been tough, as the Bulls haven't been able to return to that level. The 2012 first-round loss to the 76ers was especially brutal, as Chicago lost as the No. 1 seed due to a knee injury to franchise player Derrick Rose, who hasn't been close to being the same player since.
Rays of hope: It's hard for Bulls fans in their mid-20s or older to be too despondent, as they witnessed one of the most dominating stretches in NBA history. Chicago had two three-peats and won six titles from 1991-98. The Bulls also made the playoffs seven years in a row from 2009-15 and eight times in nine years prior to backsliding last season.
Trend: The Bulls started their rebuild last season and have some intriguing parts in Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn and Wendell Carter Jr., but it's going to be a few years until playoff series wins are a realistic possibility.
20. Indiana Pacers
Total score: 1.52
All-sport rank: 80
Ranking by category: championships, 4 (tie); playoff berths, 26; playoff wins, 22; heartbreaks, 4; rival comparison, 20
Where they're especially miserable: In the Eastern Conference finals. The Pacers have made the conference finals eight times since 1994 but advanced to the NBA Finals only once in that time, losing to the Lakers in 2000. They lost four of those series in a Game 7, most recently to the Heat in 2013. The Pacers had the Cavaliers on the ropes this past season before falling, too.
Rays of hope: The Pacers are a safe playoff bet, as they've missed the playoffs only six times since 1990. Indiana has been able to seamlessly transition between eras with little to no falloff, going from Reggie Miller to Paul George to now Victor Oladipo, who led the Pacers to a surprising playoff berth this past season.
Trend: Looking good. Oladipo blossomed into a star after being traded for George. With LeBron gone from Cleveland, the window is open for Indiana to retake the Central Division -- and possibly do a lot more.
21. Houston Rockets
Total score: -0.45
All-sport rank: 86
Ranking by category: championships, 16; playoff berths, 27; playoff wins, 23; heartbreaks, 8; rival comparison, 17
Where they're especially miserable: The Rockets had the Warriors down 3-2 and on the ropes in this year's Western Conference finals, but Chris Paul's Game 5 hamstring injury helped contribute to Houston losing that series. The Rockets haven't won the NBA Finals (or played in them) since 1995. Since then, the other Texas NBA teams have six titles (five for the Spurs, one for the Mavericks).
Rays of hope: The Rockets have made the playoffs six seasons in a row since acquiring James Harden from the Thunder, winning five postseason series in that span. Houston fans who are 30 and older got to see their team win back-to-back championships in 1994 and 1995 behind Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler.
Trend: The Rockets should be strong contenders again, but questionable offseason moves plus questions about Paul's age and durability make the upcoming season a crucial one for the franchise.
22. Atlanta Hawks
Total score: -1.94
All-sport rank: 90
Ranking by category: championships, 1 (tie); playoff berths, 24 (tie); playoff wins, 21; heartbreaks, 18; rival comparison, 21
Where they're especially miserable: Having the Hawks this low might be surprising since they haven't made the NBA Finals, much less won them, since moving to Atlanta in 1968. The Hawks have had a hard time making the Eastern Conference finals, as they've made one appearance since 1970. That appearance resulted in a four-game sweep to the Cavs in 2015.
Rays of hope: While the Hawks haven't won the big one, they're almost always in contention. The Hawks made the playoffs 10 seasons in a row from 2008-17, winning six postseason series. The Hawks were also postseason regulars in the 1980s and '90s, missing the playoffs only four times. That's a lot better than the rival Hornets and Magic can come up with.
Trend: The Hawks will rocket up the misery list the next few seasons, as they've opted for a massive rebuild over the "playoff regular with no titles" status quo. We'll see if a little misery now leads to celebration down the road.
Total score: -3.15
All-sport rank: 92
Ranking by category: championships, 11; playoff berths, 28; playoff wins, 13; heartbreaks, 27; rival comparison, 22
Where they're especially miserable: It has been a long time, 41 years to be exact, since Bill Walton led the Trail Blazers to the 1977 NBA championship. Portland has made the NBA Finals only twice since, most recently in 1992. The closest they've come since was in 2000, when they blew a 13-point, fourth-quarter lead to the Lakers in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals.
Rays of hope: Few teams are better at getting to the playoffs than the Blazers, who have the third-best playoff score in the NBA. Portland has qualified for the playoffs the last five seasons, winning two playoff series, and before that made the playoffs 26 times in 27 seasons from 1977-2003. Being a Portland fan almost guarantees late April and May basketball viewing.
Total score: -7.96
All-sport rank: 103
Ranking by category: championships, 23; playoff berths, 24 (tie); playoff wins, 24; heartbreaks, 9; rival comparison, 25
Where they're especially miserable: In finishing the job. Despite having an array of All-Star players that most fan bases would kill for, the Thunder haven't won the ultimate prize. Their only NBA Finals appearance was a five-game loss to the Heat in 2012, and OKC blew a 3-1 lead against the Warriors in the 2016 Western Conference finals, then lost Kevin Durant to them in free agency.
Rays of hope: Despite the lack of a championship, Oklahoma City fans are spoiled. The Thunder have made the playoffs eight of their 10 seasons in OKC, getting as far as the conference finals four times. Also, Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony have helped give the Thunder one of the league's most star-studded rosters.
Trend: As long as you have Westbrook and George, like the Thunder do, great things are a possibility. However, OKC hasn't won a playoff series since 2016, so its championship window might be closing.
Total score: -15.98
All-sport rank: 114
Ranking by category: championships, 29; playoff berths, 12; playoff wins, 25; heartbreaks, 21; rival comparison, 24
Where they're especially miserable: The last five years have been brutal for the Lake Show, as the Lakers are one of only five franchises who have missed the playoffs five years in a row. The Lakers compiled four of the five worst records in franchise history during that stretch and haven't won a playoff series since 2012. And the Dwight Howard experiment was no bueno.
Rays of hope: If you're rated this low in misery despite missing the playoffs five years in a row, that means you had virtually no misery before that. And the Lakers didn't, as they've won 11 championships in Los Angeles, 10 since 1980. From Magic Johnson to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the 1980s to Shaq and Kobe, then Kobe and Pau Gasol, in the 2000s, Showtime meant title time.
Trend: Hmmm, what do you think? With LeBron James coming to Los Angeles, the recent playoff drought is bound to end, and the likelihood of star players finding their way back to Tinseltown increases one hundred fold.
26. Boston Celtics
Total score: -19.68
All-sport rank: 116
Ranking by category: championships, 24; playoff berths, 29; playoff wins, 26; heartbreaks, 7; rival comparison, 26
Where they're especially miserable: The Celtics haven't won an NBA title in 10 years and have been recently blocked by LeBron James, first with the Heat in 2011 and 2012 and then with the Cavs the last two seasons. LeBron has closed out the Celtics twice in Game 7s, including this past season in TD Garden when the Celtics were without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.
Rays of hope: The Celtics have 17 NBA titles, more than any other franchise in NBA history. While many of those were pre-1980, the Celtics won three times with Larry Bird and Kevin McHale in the '80s and won the "Anything is Possible!" title with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen in 2008. They've also made the playoffs four years in a row and 10 times in the last 11 seasons.
Trend: Looking really good. Not only are Irving and Hayward expected to be back this season, but Boston's tormentor has left for the Western Conference. That leaves the Celtics in good position to make their first NBA Finals since 2010.
27. Miami Heat
Total score: -22.75
All-sport rank: 117
Ranking by category: championships, 27; playoff berths, 23; playoff wins, 27; heartbreaks, 1; rival comparison, 28
Where they're especially miserable:The Heat are actually the top-ranked team when it comes to heartbreaks. They have lost twice in the NBA Finals since 2011 and haven't won a playoff series during the last two years. They also have seen their big three (LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade) turn into a solitary one due to free agency and injuries.
Rays of hope: Everything above was a big stretch, as being a Heat fan is generally pretty easy. James, Wade and Bosh brought back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013, while Wade combined with Shaquille O'Neal to bring South Florida another championship in 2006. No one is going to have sympathy for a franchise with three championships and five NBA Finals appearances in the last 13 seasons.
Trend: The Heat find themselves in the mediocre middle right now, as James and Bosh are long gone and Wade is in the twilight of his Hall of Fame career. Can the Heat coax younger talent to South Florida for another run at championships?
Total score: -24.39
All-sport rank: 118
Ranking by category: championships, 26; playoff berths, 18; playoff wins, 29; heartbreaks, 2; rival comparison, 29
Where they're especially miserable: The Cavs have definitely done the "close but no cigar" thing during their history, most recently evidenced by losing in the NBA Finals three times in the last four seasons. Older Cavs fans remember Michael Jordan closing them out with "The Shot" in the first round in 1989. And oh yeah, there's that LeBron leaving thing -- twice.
Rays of hope: While losing to the Warriors three times isn't fun, the one win was extremely fun. Not only did the Cavs bring their city its first title in 52 years, but they became the first team to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals and did that against the winningest regular-season team in NBA history. LeBron's blocked shot and Kyrie Irving's go-ahead 3-pointer are long-lasting memories.
Trend: Irving left last year and LeBron went to L.A. this summer, so the good times are going to be halted for a while. It's going to be the Kevin Love show, so expect Cavs fans to watch a lot of 2016 Finals highlights on YouTube the next few years.
Total score: -34.14
All-sport rank: 120
Ranking by category: championships, 28; playoff berths, 30; playoff wins, 28; heartbreaks, 3; rival comparison, 27
Where they're especially miserable: If it wasn't for Ray Allen and his clutch 3-pointer, the Spurs could have six titles in the Gregg Popovich era, as San Antonio had the Heat on the cusp of elimination in the 2013 NBA Finals. San Antonio has also seen its championship core erode to almost nothing, as Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili left this offseason.
Rays of hope: The Spurs have arguably been the most successful franchise in sports during the last 20 years (yes, maybe even more than the Patriots). San Antonio has won five NBA titles since 1999 and have made the playoffs 21 years in a row and 28 times in the last 29 seasons. And the one season they missed allowed them to win the draft lottery and draft future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan.
Trend: Duncan, Parker, Ginobili and Leonard have all departed recently, leaving LaMarcus Aldridge and newly-acquired DeMar DeRozan in their wake. It seems like the Spurs' title years are over and their playoff streak might be in jeopardy, too.
Total score: -41.55
All-sport rank: 122
Ranking by category: championships, 30; playoff berths, 16 (tie); playoff wins, 30; heartbreaks, 6; rival comparison, 30
Where they're especially miserable: They compiled a 73-9 record in 2015-16, the best in NBA history, but saw that season end without a championship, as they lost Game 7 to the Cavaliers at home and became the first team to blow a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. Also, the Warriors missed the playoffs 17 of 18 seasons from 1995-2012 before their current six-year postseason streak.
Rays of hope: I mean, really? The Warriors have won back-to-back championships, losing only one game in those two NBA Finals, and added a third title in 2015, all over LeBron James and the Cavaliers. Golden State is in the midst of a dynasty and none of the stars in its championship core (Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green) are older than 30.
Trend: Only the Patriots are less miserable than the Warriors, and that might change soon, as the Warriors are overwhelming favorites to three-peat next season and could stay together for a few more years after that.