At the moment, there are a plethora of atrocious teams in the National Football League, and a lot of people have been pointing out the lack of parity in the league. But let's be fair -- it ain't nothin' to the disparity going on in the NBA right now. On Sunday, the New Jersey Nets lost to the Los Angeles Lakers, tying them with the '89 Heat and the '99 Clippers for the worst start to a season in history: 0-17. Not only that, but the Minnesota Timberwolves -- coming into Sunday -- were 1-15, with their lone win coming against the Nets in the first game of the year. So basically, had the schedule-makers pitted the Nets and 'Wolves at a later date in the season, we would have been staring at two separate 0-16 teams.
On Tuesday, the Nets will face the Dallas Mavericks, at home, in an attempt to break the record outright.
While the Nets are getting a lot of publicity for their atrocious start, and rightfully so, they are also in the running for an even more infamous record: the longest losing streak of all-time. The longest one-season losing streak is held by the 1995-96 Vancouver Grizzlies (an expansion team) and the 1997-98 Denver Nuggets, who both managed to lose 23 consecutive games. The longest losing streak between seasons is held by the Cleveland Cavaliers, who lost 24 straight between the end of the '81-82 campaign and the beginning of the '82-83 campaign. Keep in mind that the Nets lost the last game of the '08-09 season as well, meaning that they can tie the Grizzlies' record and the Nuggets-Cavs record at the same time.
Here's what's next on the schedule for the Nets (after the jump):
|New Jersey Nets (Losing streak: 18)|
|19. December 2nd -- vs. Mavericks|
|20. December 4th -- vs. Bobcats|
|21. December 6th -- @ Knicks|
|22. December 8th -- @ Bulls|
|23. December 9th -- vs. Warriors|
|24. December 11th -- @ Pacers|
|25. December 13th -- @ Hawks|
Even though they have a pitifully awful record, the New Jersey Nets are looking at a ridiculously easy set of games. Sure, Dallas and Atlanta are okay, but Indiana, Golden State, Chicago, Charlotte and New York are bound to give them at least one win. If New Jersey can't find a win against opponents like that, you seriously have to wonder if they're capable of reaching double-digit wins.
Also, because you demanded it, there are a few more miscellaneous records that the team is currently gunning for. If the Nets' streak goes to 22 games, they will surpass the 1988 Baltimore Orioles for the longest losing streak to begin a season in all of professional sports. If it gets to 27 straight losses, which is a long-shot, they will surpass the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the mid-70's for the longest losing streak ever. As for collective futility, I'm sure many of you are wondering if the Nets could possibly be the worst team of all time. I'll point out that the '72-73 76ers -- who won a league-worst nine games -- started the season 3-38; until we get 41 games in, and until the Nets have a record that bad, there's no comparison who is the worst team ever.