Washington Wizards will win the Southeast Division. FINALLY.
On Tuesday, with a 119-108 win vs. the Lakers, the Washington Wizards clinched the Southeast Division title. It ends the longest active division title drought in major professional U.S. sports — the last time the Wizards won their division, it was the 1978-79 season and they were still called the Bullets.
The 38-year drought has been topped by a couple NBA teams in recent years. Before the Clippers won the Pacific Division during the 2012-13 season, they had gone 42 years without finishing on top. Likewise, the Golden State Warriors broke a 39-year streak when they won that division in the 2014-15 season.
However, until Monday, no other team had gone 38 years without winning their division. In the NHL, the Edmonton Oilers haven’t won in 30 years; in the NFL, the Browns haven’t been atop their division in 28 years; and in the MLB, the Pirates are title-less for 25 years.
In 1979, the last time the Wizards won, they were reigning champions and returned to the finals that season, falling in five games to the Seattle Supersonics. They were 54-28 that season, but Washington hasn’t come close to 50 wins since then. The closest they came was two seasons ago, when they finished 46-36. In those 38 years, the Wizards still haven’t had a record better than that — until this season. (They’re currently 46-28, so they need to win at least one more game to top the 2014-15 season. We’re betting they do that, with a couple weeks still left in this season.)
Congrats to the Oilers, who now have the longest active streak without winning their division. Best of luck!