How close has each team come to winning NBA Title this century?

Almost Champions

December 10, 2013
By Alex Boeder

The Bucks are 4-16 and I am in the mood to write about championships.

If it seems like the Bucks haven’t made it close to a championship in a while, you are right.

If it seems like most other teams have made it closer to a championship recently, you are wrong.

So says that green bar above.

Note: I am not here to convince you that the Bucks are a Very Good Team. And that you should like them because of that.

To the contrary. I hope that you really, really like the Bucks because you really, really like the Bucks. I hope that you really, really like them when they are so down. I hope that you really, really like them when they are in the middle. I hope that you will have really, really been around… long before the next time the Bucks are in Game 7 of the Conference Finals.


Since 2000, exactly six teams have won a championship. The other 24 have not.

Below, you can see exactly how close each team has come to winning a championship in this century. And you can also see the players that brought them there. The box scores are from the final game of each team’s best season.

You know how you feel about that 2001 Bucks team? That is probably sort of like how Kings fans feel about their 2002 team. And how Nuggets fans feel about their 2009 team. And how Timberwolves fans feel about their 2004 team. And how Bulls fans feel about their 2011 team.

Actually, it is different for Bulls fans. They haven’t been waiting so long for a championship. Although, they have not come as close to a championship as the Bucks, since Michael Jordan. Speaking of the Bulls, the Bucks play them a couple times this week. I am visiting the United Center for the first time this week. A lot to think about on the way there.

If it seems like this is an odd time to bring up championships, you are right.

If it seems like it always will be, you are wrong.


Alex Boeder

Writing and the Bucks. Two of my passions. So it is good to be here. I have reported on media row for just about every Bucks home game since 2009. I started writing for the Bucks in 2012. Before that, I co-founded and wrote for BrewHoop. I have written for the Milwaukee BrewersSB NationESPN MilwaukeeSlam Online, and so on. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @alexboeder or email me at