The 2018-19 Phoenix Suns were supposed to be stepping towards better days. Instead, they may be the worst team in NBA history.
The 2018-19 edition of the Phoenix Suns is 4-24, a record they didn’t expect to have 28 games into the season.
Sure, they were not playoff contenders or anything, but they weren’t projected to be as awful as they are. With their prize No. 1 draft pick Deandre Ayton coming in, and Devin Booker primed to become an All-Star, the Suns appeared to have the potential to, at least, be a 35-win team.
Now, they have the potential to set a dubious NBA record for most losses in a season.
Who holds that record, anyway? The 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, who began that season 3-25 on their way to a 9-73 record. Those Sixers also set an NBA record for least wins in a season, which was broken in the lockout-shortened 2012 season by the Charlotte Bobcats (who went a miserable 7-59 and set the record for lowest winning percentage in a season, .106).
How bad were those Sixers? Consider this:
They were an astounding 59 games behind the first place team in the Atlantic Division, the Boston Celtics, who would go on to win 68 games that season. They were 12 games behind the third-place team, the Buffalo Braves, who won 21 games that season.
So, yea, those Sixers were historically awful, mainly because Philly made some pretty bad draft choices that did absolutely nothing for the team; for example, passing up on Nate Archibald and Calvin Murphy, to draft center Al Henry with the 12th pick in the 1970 NBA Draft.
Who is Al Henry, you ask?
I rest my case.
The 1973 Sixers were the poster child for futility, so can the 2018-19 Suns match that? They very well could.
Unlike the Sixers, the Suns actually have talent, but that talent has been either banged up (Booker) or having trouble under the weight of superstar expectations (Ayton). In addition, their young talent is developing bad habits, which doesn’t translate into winning basketball.
The Suns have the talent to avoid the record, but they’re young, and also have some internal cracks. They may not break the record, but they could very well come dangerously close.