Nuggets’ NBA championship drought among longest in league

The long wait is over.

After 47 years, the Denver Nuggets are headed to the NBA Finals for the first time.

Given the stakes, it isn’t hyperbole to say that last night’s Western Conference Finals-clinching win over the Los Angeles Lakers was the biggest in franchise history. And they only get bigger from here.

Next up: Either the Miami Heat or Boston Celtics, who play Tuesday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, with the Heat looking at a potential closeout game.

Both franchises have won NBA titles in the last 20 years, but the Nuggets are, of course, going for their first.

Denver is one of 11 NBA franchises to have never won a title in the Association. Among those 11, the Nuggets are tied with fellow ABA additions Brooklyn and Indiana for the fourth-longest run without winning it all. The other two franchises have reached the NBA Finals and have come as close as two wins from a championship.

The Nuggets are now as close as they’ve ever been, with each win from here on out a new high-water mark for the franchise.

Here’s a look at the longest title droughts in NBA history:

YearsFranchiseLast title/Best finish
72Sacramento Kings1951
65Atlanta Hawks1958
55Phoenix SunsTwo wins from title (3 times)
53Los Angeles ClippersSix wins from title (2021)
50New York Knicks1973
49Utah JazzTwo wins from title (Twice)
47Denver NuggetsFour wins from title (2023)
47Brooklyn NetsTwo wins from title (Twice)
47Indiana PacersTwo wins from title (2000)
46Portland Trail Blazers1977

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