Auerbach Arithmetic: Measuring the most accomplished NBA franchises

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Measuring the most accomplished NBA franchises
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Auerbach Arithmetic: Measuring the most accomplished NBA franchises

30. Minnesota Timberwolves: -14

Championship: 0 points

Finals appearance: 0 points

60-win season: 0 points

50-win season: 12 points

Hall of Famer:  0 points

Retired number: 1 point

5 straight years without playoffs: -3 points

<30-win season: -14 points

<20-win season: -10 points

(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

29. Toronto Raptors: -8

Championship: 0 points

Finals appearance: 0 points

60-win season: 0 points

50-win season: 0 points

Hall of Famer: 6 points

Retired number: 0 points

5 straight years without playoffs: - 1 point

<30-win season: -7 points

<20-win season: -2 points

(AP Photo/Peter Cosgrove)

28. Memphis Grizzlies: -8

Championship: 0 points

Finals appearance: 0 points

60-win season: 0 points

50-win season: 12 points

Hall of Famer: 0 points

Retired number: 0 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: -1 point

<30-win season: -11 points

<20-win season: -8 points

(AP Photo/John Amis)

27. New Orleans Pelicans: -3

Championship: 0 points

Finals appearance: 0 points

60-win season: 0 points

50-win season: 3 points

Hall of Famer: 0 points

Retired number: 0 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: -1 point

<30-win season: -3 points

<20-win season: -2 points

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

26. Charlotte Hornets: 1

Championship: 0 points

Finals appearance: 0 points

60-win season:0 points

50-win season: 9 points

Hall of Famers: 6 points

Retired number: 1 point

5 straight years without playoffs: -1 point

<30-win season: -8 points

<20-win season: -6 points

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

25. Los Angeles Clippers: 4

Championship: 0 points

Finals appearance: 0 points

60-win season: 0 points

50-win season: 9 points

Hall of Famers: 30 points

Retired numbers: 0 points

5 straight years without playoffs: -4 points

<30-win season: -19 points

<20-win season: -12 points

(AP Photo/Lucy Nicholson)

24. Denver Nuggets: 27

Championship: 0 points

Finals appearance: 0 points

60-win season: 0 points

50-win season: 24 points

Hall of Famer: 12 points

Retired number: 5 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: -1 points

<30-win season: -7 points

<20-win season: -6 points

(AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

23. Cleveland Cavaliers: 33

Championship: 0 points

Finals appearance: 10 points

60-win season: 8 points

50-win season: 24 points

Hall of Famer: 9 points

Retired number: 7 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: -3 points

<30-win season: -14 points

<20-win season: -8 points

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

22. Orlando Magic: 36

Championship: 0 points

Finals appearance: 10 points

60-win season: 4 points

50-win season: 21 points

Hall of Famer: 9 points

Retired number: 0 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: 0 points

<30-win season: -6 points

<20-win season: -2 points

(Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)

21. Atlanta Hawks: 59

Championships: 0 points

Finals appearances: 0 points

60-win seasons: 4 points

50-win seasons: 27 points

Hall of Famers: 23 points

Retired numbers: 3 point
 

5 straight years without playoffs:-1 point

<30-win season: -6 points

<20-win season: -1 point

(AP Photo/Fred Jewell)

20. Brooklyn Nets: 61

Championship:20 points

Finals appearance: 20 points

60-win seasons: 0 points

50-win seasons: 12 points

Hall of Famers: 27 points

Retired numbers: 6 points


 

5 straight years without playoffs: -2 points

<30-win season: -14 points

<20-win season: -8 points

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

19. Dallas Mavericks: 65

Championship: 10 points

Finals appearance: 10 points

60-win season: 12 points

50-win season: 42 points

Hall of Famer: 9 points

Retired number: 2 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: -2 points

<30-win season:  -10 points

<20-win season: -8 points

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

18. Milwaukee Bucks: 67

Championship: 10 points

Finals appearance: 10 points

60-win season: 4 points

50-win season: 13 points

Hall of Famer: 33 points

Retired number: 8 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: -1 point

<30-win season:  -8 points

<20-win season: -2 points

(AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy)

17. Washington Wizards: 73

Championship: 10 points

Finals appearance: 20 points

60-win season: 4 points

50-win season: 15 points

Hall of Famer: 42 points

Retired number: 4 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: -3 points

<30-win season: -13 points

<20-win season: -6 points

(AP Photo)

16. Sacramento Kings: 73

Championship: 10 points

Finals appearance: 5 points

60-win season: 4 points

50-win season: 15 points

Hall of Famer: 48 points

Retired number: 10 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: -1 point

<30-win season: -17 points

<20-win season: -2 points

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

15. Miami Heat: 90

Championship: 30 points

Finals appearance: 25 points

60-win season: 8 points

50-win season: 27 points

Hall of Famer: 9 points

Retired number: 2 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: -1 point

<30-win season: -5 points

<20-win season: -6 points

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

14. Portland Trail Blazers: 94

Championship: 10 points

Finals appearance: 15 points

60-win season: 4 points

50-win season: 39 points

Hall of Famer: 24 points

Retired number: 12 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: -1 point

<30-win season: -7 points

<20-win season: -2 points

(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

13. Utah Jazz: 98

Championship: 0

Finals appearance: 10

60-win season: 12

50-win season: 42

Hall of Famer: 30

Retired number: 9 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: -1 point

<30-win season: -5 points

<20-win season: 0 points

(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

12. Oklahoma City Thunder/Seattle SuperSonics: 102

Championship: 10 points

Finals appearance: 20 points

60-win season: 8 points

50-win season: 42 points

Hall of Famer: 21 points

Retired number: 7 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: -1 point

<30-win season: -5 points

<20-win season: 0 points

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

11. Phoenix Suns: 106

Championship: 0 points

Finals appearance: 10 points

60-win season: 12 points

50-win season: 57 points

Hall of Famer: 24 points

Retired number: 11 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: -2 points

<30-win season: -4 points

<20-win season: -1 point

(AP Photo/Mark Elias)

10. Indiana Pacers: 113

Championship: 30 points

Finals appearance: 20 points

60-win season: 4 points

50-win season: 27 points

Hall of Famer: 33 points

Retired numbers: 5 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: -1 point

<30-win season: 5 point

<20-win season: 0 points

(AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

9. Houston Rockets: 114

Championship: 20 points

Finals appearance: 20 points

60-win season: 0 points

50-win season: 33 points

Hall of Famer: 36 points

Retired number: 6 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: -1 point

<30-win season: -6 points

<20-win season: -4 points

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

8. Golden State Warriors: 119

Championship: 30 points

Finals appearance: 25 points

60-win seasons: 4 points

50-win seasons: 18 points

Hall of Famers: 63 points

Retired numbers: 6 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: -1 point

<30-win season: -16 points

<20-win season: -10 points

(AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

7. Philadelphia 76ers: 155

Championship: 30 points

Finals appearance: 45 points

60-win season: 4 points

50-win season: 16 points

Hall of Famer: 51 points

Retired number: 9 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: -1 point

<30-win season: 11 points

<20-win season: -8 points

(AP Photo)

6. Detroit Pistons: 158

Championship: 30 points

Finals appearance: 25 points

60-win season: 8 points

50-win season: 42 points

Hall of Famer: 63 points

Retired number: 8 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: -3 points

<30-win season: -13 points

<20-win season: -2 points

(AP Photo/Doug Pizac)

5. New York Knicks: 174

Championship: 20 points

Finals appearance: 40 points

60-win season: 8 points

50-win season: 39 points

Hall of Famer: 75 points

Retired number: 9 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: -1 point

<30-win season: -14 points

<20-win season: -2 points

(AP Photo)

4. Chicago Bulls: 177

Championship: 60 points

Finals appearance: 30 points

60-win season: 24 points

50-win season: 48 points

Hall of Famers: 27 points

Retired numbers: 4 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: -1 point

<30-win season: -9 points

<20-win season: -6 points

(AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser)

3. San Antonio Spurs: 216

Championship: 50 points

Finals appearance: 30 points

60-win season: 20 points

50-win season: 81 points

Hall of Famer: 30 points

Retired number: 7 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: -1 point

<30-win season: -2 points

<20-win season: 0 points

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

2. Los Angeles Lakers: 476

Championship: 160 points

Finals appearance: 110 points

60-win season: 44 points

50-win season: 96 points

Hall of Famer: 63 points

Retired number: 9 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: 0 points

<30-win season: -4 points

<20-win season: -2 points

(AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

1. Boston Celtics: 503

Championships: 170 points

Finals appearances: 100 points

60-win seasons: 52 points

50-win season: 93 points

Hall of Famer: 81 points

Retired numbers: 21 points
 

5 straight years without playoffs: -1 point

<30-win season: -9 points

<20-win season: -4 points

(AP Photo/File)

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We could've come up with a completely subjective list ranking NBA franchises in order of how successful we deemed them to be. Instead, we came up with some math to do the rankings for us.

In ranking the organizations in order of how accomplished they've been over their lifespans, we used a nifty points system to reward teams for special feats while punishing them for causing their fans to suffer. The structure is as follows:
  • 10 points for every championship
  • 5 points for a conference title
  • 4 points for every 60-win season
  • 3 points for every 50-win season
  • 3 points for every Hall of Famer that played for or coached the team
  • 1 point for every retired jersey number
  • -1 point for every five-year stretch of missing the postseason
  • -1 point for every season with less than 30 wins
  • -2 points for every season with less than 20 wins

In the case of the present-day Charlotte Hornets and New Orleans Pelicans, we went with the NBA's official decision to restore all Charlotte NBA history to the current franchise.

We also included all Seattle Sonics achievements in the Oklahoma City Thunder's computations, and included ABA championships.

As you probably guessed, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers reign supreme over the rest of the NBA by quite the margin. But you'll be surprised by some other teams at the top of the class.

Clearly, the ages of franchises come into play, and the newer organizations haven't had the time to accrue as high point totals as the classic teams -- some even come in at totals in the negatives. The ones that have been mostly unsuccessful in those years make matters even worse, resulting in negative scores.

Take a look at how the numbers shook out, and be sure to follow us at @AOLSports for more.



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