(NEXSTAR) – As the NBA Conference Finals get underway, it’s hard to overlook how many times two of the remaining contenders – the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics – have won the championship. Despite their combined 34 NBA championships,17 each, there are nearly a dozen active teams that have never hoisted the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
The NBA Finals, previously the NBA World Championship Series, has been held yearly since 1947. Winners of the Eastern and Western conferences meet for a best-of-seven series. The winner of that series then receives the aforementioned Larry O’Brien Trophy.
The Lakers and Celtics, currently vying for the top spots in their respective conferences, are tied for the most NBA Finals titles. As a franchise, the Warriors – both in Philadelphia and in California – have the next most titles at seven.
Meanwhile, there are 11 teams that have never won the championship, including the Denver Nuggets, who are set to compete against the Lakers for the Western Conference.
Of those 11 teams, five made it to the playoffs this year. The Minnesota Timberwolves, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Memphis Grizzlies, and the Brooklyn Nets all lost in the first round, while the Phoenix Suns fell to the Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals.
Some NBA teams have never even reached the Finals. That includes the Nuggets, the Grizzlies, the Timberwolves, the Charlotte Hornets (which currently have one of the longest postseason droughts), the New Orleans Pelicans, and the Clippers.
Here are the 11 teams that have never won the NBA Finals, in order of their most recent appearances:
- Phoenix Suns, 2020-21
- Orlando Magic, 2008-09
- Brooklyn Nets, 2002-03 (as the New Jersey Nets)
- Indiana Pacers, 1999-2000
- Utah Jazz, 1997-98
- Charlotte Hornets, 0 appearances
- Denver Nuggets, 0 appearances
- Los Angeles Clippers, 0 appearances
- Memphis Grizzlies, 0 appearances
- Minnesota Timberwolves, 0 appearances
- New Orleans Pelicans, 0 appearances
Only a handful of teams have won the championship five or more times, including the San Antonio Spurs, the Chicago Bulls, the Warriors, the Lakers, and the Celtics.
The Bulls have the best record when it comes to the Finals, winning all six of their appearances, which occurred during the 1990s.
With the conference finals set to tip off this week, the NBA Finals are slated to start on June 1.