When the Spurs face off against either the Heat or the Pacers in the NBA Finals beginning on Thursday night, we’ll get to see two outstanding teams at the height of their powers playing for the distinction of being remembered as the best team in the NBA for 2012-13. In a few years, most of us will probably forget the loser of this series; even if the series is incredibly close, their defeat will likely relegate them to obscurity for the rest of time. The reality, though, is that some of the best teams in league history have come up short in the Finals (or earlier), and while they certainly deserve criticism for missing out on a title they also deserve better than being completely forgotten.
These teams ran into a host of factors that caused their demise, from the Bill Russell and Michael Jordan dynasties, to injuries, to one unfortunate play changing the tenor of the entire series. While they may not be excuses for coming up short, these instances at least give us a legitimate explanation as to why things didn’t work out for otherwise championship-caliber teams. From Wilt Chamberlain’s 76ers in '68 to Chris Webber’s Kings in '02, these are the Best NBA Teams to Never Win an NBA Title.