Throughout NBA history, basketball fans have witnessed several NBA teams win the elusive NBA championship. But while winning an NBA title is already a glorious feat in itself, some franchises have stepped it up a notch by winning several NBA titles in a short span to become a dynasty.

Dynasties in the NBA are often respected, given the difficulties of ruling the NBA for several years. However, fans often forget that once a dynasty is over, these very same franchises are often cast into a period of purgatory, some of which have yet to fully regain their golden years. Let's rank the 10 worst declines by NBA dynasties.

10. 2011-2014 Miami Heat

In 2011, the Miami Heat made waves after it came out victorious in free agency by signing LeBron James and Chris Bosh while keeping Dwyane Wade to form the Big Three in South Beach. Although the Heat failed to capture the NBA championship in 2011, the Heat would rule the NBA for the next two years by capturing back-to-back championships.

However, the Big Three era came to an end after the 2014 NBA Finals, which saw them lose to the San Antonio Spurs in five games.

Since James returned to Cleveland, the Heat have yet to win a championship. But thanks in large to the front office and the coaching of Erik Spoelstra, the Heat franchise have returned to the NBA Finals twice, in 2020 and 2023, since the breakup of the Big Three.

9. 1957-1969 Boston Celtics

Considered to the be the winningest NBA team in history, the Boston Celtics were just dominant during the late 1950s that carried over until the 1960s. With the coaching brilliance of Red Auerbach and an unstoppable force in Bill Russell, the Celtics would go on to win 11 NBA championships in the span of 13 years.

But after Russell retired from both coaching and playing, the Celtics missed the playoffs in two-straight seasons, including a lowly 34-48 record in the 1969-70 season. Fortunately, the team regained championship glory in 1974 and 1976.

8. 2015-2022 Golden State Warriors

The Warriors pretty much ruled the NBA during the 2010s. They captured three NBA championships in five Finals appearances, all victories came at the expense of LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

After suffering several injuries, the Warriors missed out the playoffs for consecutive years to open the decade of 2020, posting a lowly 15-50 and 39-30 record in the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 seasons, respectively.

But while they resuscitated the dynasty in 2022 by winning their fourth NBA title, they finished sixth in the West the next season and lost in the second round to LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.

They currently are ninth in the West and just fighting for a spot in the playoffs. However, the reason they still rank high in this list is because of the opportunity to still move up, and with Stephen Curry, they still have a chance to save their dynasty.

7. 1997-2004 Los Angeles Lakers

With the Lakers getting Shaquille O'Neal and drafting Kobe Bryant, the Purple and Gold would eventually become an unstoppable force, especially with Phil Jackson coaching the squad. The duo would lead the team to a dominant three-peat to start the 2000s.

Unfortunately after the 2004 season, when tensions were high between Bryant and O'Neal, the Lakers decided to send O'Neal to the Miami Heat. This ended the dynasty after the team suffered an upset at the hands of the Detroit Pistons. Since then, it took six years for the Lakers returned to the NBA Finals and seven years before Bryant proved that he can win two chips without Shaq.

6. 1987-1992 Detroit Pistons

Although some people don't consider the Detroit Pistons Bad Boys era a dynasty, many would also disagree, given how much they disrupted the championship landscape during their era. In fact, the team would even go to the NBA Finals for three straight years and won back-to-back NBA titles in their last two appearances.

But the 1991-92 season marked the beginning of the end in the Pistons' golden era. Injuries struck Isiah Thomas, while Dennis Rodman engaged in several off-court issues that hampered the team. Since then, Pistons fans had to wait for more than a decade to see their team hoist the trophy once again.

5. 2008-2010 Los Angeles Lakers

After several years without Shaq, Kobe Bryant took it upon himself to prove to the world that he had what it takes to lead a team to a championship. The Black Mamba led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA Finals appearances from 2008 to 2010.

Although Bryant and the Lakers suffered a heartbreak in the 2008 Finals against the Celtics, the Purple and Gold won the 2009 NBA title before exacting vengeance against the Celtics in 2010.

However, after winning back-to-back titles, it would be the beginning of the end of Bryant's dynasty. Even when the Lakers picked up Jeremy Lin and All-Stars Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, the team failed to be a legitimate playoff threat.

Moreover, Bryant eventually suffer the dreaded Achilles tendon tear, and the Black Mamba eventually hung up his sneakers. The Purple and Gold would have to wait for a long decade for the 17th championship banner.

4. 1999-2018 San Antonio Spurs

Under Gregg Popovich, the San Antonio Spurs have won five NBA championships. However, since their glory years that seemed to have ended in 2014, the Spurs have struggled all throughout. With exception to their 2018 Western Conference Finals appearance, the Spurs have yet to make a significant push for an NBA title.

Despite drafting the French sensation Victor Wembanyama with the first overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, the Spurs are continuing to struggle as a team. In fact, in the ongoing 2023-2024 season, the Spurs are dead last in the West.

3. 1980-1989 Los Angeles Lakers

Basketball fans will remember the Showtime Lakers as one of the brightest dynasties in Lakers history. In the 1980s, the Showtime Lakers captured five NBA championships.

However, the Lakers would never be the same after Magic Johnson tested positive for HIV, which forced the All-Star playmaker to retire. But after 1991, the Lakers would have to wait for more than a decade before finally returning to championship glory.

2. 1993-1999 Houston Rockets

The 1990s were pretty much dominated by the Chicago Bulls, who captured two separate three-peats. However, another team that excelled in the decade were the Houston Rockets thanks to the leadership of Hakeem Olajuwon. In fact, Olajuwon and the Rockets won back-to-back NBA championships.

Unfortunately, since the Rockets' golden era, the franchise has yet to return to the grandest stage. With exception to a string of Western Conference appearances, it remains to be seen whether Houston can win another NBA title.

1. 1991-1998 Chicago Bulls

Speaking of dynasties, there's no doubt that Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls were arguably the most dominant dynasty to rule the NBA. Since then, not a single NBA team has matched the amount of three-peats that the Bulls dynasty achieved.

Unfortunately, included in the list is the Bulls themselves. Since the breakup of the Bulls' core, the franchise has yet to regain their glory years, or let alone win a single NBA title.

For several years, the Bulls have either missed the playoffs or suffered an early elimination. As a result, this is arguably the worst decline for an NBA dynasty.