2019 NBA Finals
2019 NBA Finals

How long has it been since each team last made The Finals?

From NBA.com Staff

May 26, 2019 6:58 AM ET


The Raptors beat the Bucks in Game 6 to clinch their first-ever trip to The Finals.

For the first time ever, the Toronto Raptors are headed to the NBA's championship stage. 

Toronto clinched its inaugural Finals trip with a 100-94 win in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Milwaukee Bucks. In doing so, they have put an end to one of the NBA's longest Finals droughts. The 2019 Finals will also mark the first time in NBA history that the championship series will be held outside the United States.

Fittingly, they will take on the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 Finals, a team that ended their own 40-year Finals drought when they began their current run of titles and Finals berths back in 2015. For Milwaukee, it was on the cusp of seeing its own 45-year Finals drought end after it had a 2-0 lead in the East finals ... but the Bucks promptly lost four straight in that series to keep their run of Finals-less seasons active.

The Raptors' appearance in The Finals got us thinking -- and researching -- exactly how long it has been between championship round appearances for every NBA team. For 22 NBA franchises, the gap between their last Finals run and today can vary greatly.

Here's a quick look at how long it has been since each team that has made at least one Finals has appeared in one ...

(Note: Six franchises -- the Charlotte Hornets, Denver Nuggets, LA Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans -- have never reached The Finals. They are noted below with a N/A.)

* * *

TeamFirst Finals appearanceLast Finals appearanceCurrent drought (years)
Atlanta Hawks1957 ^1961 ^58
Boston Celtics195720109
Brooklyn Nets2002 ^^2003 ^^16
Charlotte HornetsN/AN/AN/A
Chicago Bulls1991199821
Cleveland Cavaliers200720181
Dallas Mavericks200620118
Denver NuggetsN/AN/AN/A
Detroit Pistons1988200514
Golden State Warriors19482019--
Houston Rockets1994199524
Indiana Pacers 2000200019
Los Angeles Lakers1949 ^^^20109
LA ClippersN/AN/AN/A
Memphis GrizzliesN/AN/AN/A
Miami Heat200620145
Milwaukee Bucks1971197445
Minnesota TimberwolvesN/AN/AN/A
New Orleans PelicansN/AN/AN/A
New York Knicks1951199920
Oklahoma City Thunder1978 *20127
Orlando Magic1995200910
Philadelphia 76ers1950 **200118
Phoenix Suns1976199326
Portland Trail Blazers1977199227
Sacramento Kings1951 ***1951 ***68
San Antonio Spurs199920145
Toronto Raptors20192019--
Utah Jazz1997199821
Washington Wizards1970 ****197940

^ = franchise located in St. Louis
^^ = franchise located in New Jersey
^^^ = franchise known as Minneapolis Lakers
* = franchise known as Seattle SuperSonics
** = franchise known as Syracuse Nationals
*** = franchise known as Rochester Royals 
**** = franchise known as Baltimore Bullets

* * *

Take a look back at some classic moments from The Finals.


Copyright © 2020 NBA Media Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy | Accessibility and Closed Caption | Terms of Use |
Do Not Sell My Personal Information

NBA.com is part of Turner Sports Digital, part of the Turner Sports & Entertainment Digital Network.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. A Time Warner Company.