Something will have to give tonight when the Detroit Pistons take on the Washington Wizards in Little Caesar's Arena and there is plenty of nothing at stake.
The Pistons are riding a 13-game losing streak, while the Wizards will carry a 9-game slump into tonight's battle for the worst record in the league. The loser tonight will reach a new rock bottom, though that may seem impossible for two franchises that have tortured their fanbases in recent years.
In Detroit's case, a loss tonight would put the league's all-time losing streak in play, as this is the last game on the schedule for sometime that they clearly have a chance to win.
Tonight is the Superbowl of misery for two teams that seem to be in a competiton for the title of worst modern franchise in the NBA.
Pistons vs. Wizards: Which franchise is worse?
You could look at these two franchises and say that they are nowhere near the worst in NBA history and you'd be right. The Pistons have won three titles and were once a mainstay in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Wizards/Bullets won a title of their own back in 1978 and had some all-time greats pass through town in that era. But lately both have been a hot mess.
The Washington Wizards
The Wizards last won a title in 1978 and last won a playoff game in 2021, so they've had some amount of recent success. But mostly they were just a team in NBA purgatory as they tried unsuccessfully to build around Bradley Beal.
The Wizards were never good enough in the Beal era to really compete, but were never bad enough to land a top draft pick, a spot the Pistons found themselves in during the Andre Drummond era.
Over the last 15 years, the Wizards have a 501-697 record overall, good for 4th-worst in the NBA in that stretch. It's been 44 years since they've won a title but the worst part is that they've had very little to cheer for since.
The Detroit Pistons
The Pistons have had more team success overall than the Wizards, but none of it has come recently. In the last four seasons the Pistons have not just been the worst team in the NBA, but the worst in all of North American professional sports, edging out the Chicago Bears for that dubious distinction.
The Pistons haven't won a playoff game since Tom Gores has owned the team, but it goes back further than that, as they haven't tasted victory in the playoffs since 2008, the longest active streak in the NBA. Their playoff losing streak is the longest in all of professional sports.
Over the last 15 years, the Pistons have a 445-745 record, easily the worst in the NBA. In that span, they've had just four All-Star appearances total. The Wizards have had seven just to show you how bad it's been in Detroit.
So tonight will be the cherry on the misery sundae for one of these teams, as they will claim the worst record in the NBA and stamp on the necks of their fans one more time. Detroit would also tie the franchise record for consecutive losses if they can't get a win tonight, something I'm sure players would rather avoid.
At least Washington was supposed to be tanking this season, so their fans are taking it in stride. The Pistons promised progress that has not come, and a loss to the lowly, tanking Wizards might be the thing that prompts some changes in the front office.