Golden State is one road loss away from tying the Bulls’ historically-bad record originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The 1998-99 Chicago Bulls could have company at the bottom thanks to the Golden State Warriors.
Bulls fans will remember that particularly dark period as the beginning of a franchise rebuild. Fresh off their second three-peat and the departures of Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, the team set a franchise record for worst win percentage, a record that would fall in each of the following three seasons.
That historic low included a 12-game road losing streak, which remains the longest by a defending champion in NBA history. That stretch ran from March 24 to April 30, before Chicago finally pulled out a win over the Miami Heat in their final road game of the season.
Cut to 24 years later and the Warriors — less than a year removed from their 2022 NBA Finals win — are on the brink of tying the Bulls record when they head to Houston on Monday.
Golden State hasn’t won a road game since Jan. 30, losing 11 straight across those 48 days and setting themselves up to match the decades-old record if things don’t go their way at Toyota Center.
The Warriors’ 11th straight road loss came Saturday night against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum, adding another defeat to their disappointing 7-29 away record for the 2022-23 NBA season.
In contrast, Golden State is 29-7 at home and has won its last eight games in front of the Chase Center crowd.
After the Warriors lost their 10th straight road game to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, however, coach Steve Kerr said he still believes there are good things to come as Golden State makes a playoff push.
“But love the effort, love the energy. These guys are fighting. I believe in them,” Kerr said. “I believe something good is going to happen with this group. We’ve just got to keep fighting and keep moving forward.”
Unlike the 1998-99 Bulls who finished last in the Eastern Conference, Golden State’s home record — fourth-best in the entire league — is keeping their postseason hopes alive. They currently sit right at .500 with a 36-36 record, .5 games removed from the play-in tournament.
For now, the Warriors haven’t joined the Bulls at the top of the list for the worst road record by a defending champion.
But if they want to make good on Kerr’s belief in them, avoiding that honor Monday would certainly be a good start.