Phoenix Suns' loss to Dallas Mavericks extends Arizona's major men's sports title drought

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
It's not easy to be a fan of Arizona sports teams.
It's not easy to be a fan of Arizona sports teams.

Entering the NBA playoffs, long-suffering Arizona sports fans thought they had a very good chance of seeing an Arizona sports team end the state's lengthy championship drought.

Instead, they were dealt another hand of heartbreak with the Phoenix Suns' embarrassing Game 7 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

And the wait for a championship in one of the four major men's sports was extended for at least a few months, and likely longer (c'mon, are you really picking the Diamondbacks to win the World Series?).

Only one of the state's four major pro sports teams has ever won a title (the Diamondbacks in 2001).

The Phoenix Suns, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona Coyotes are still awaiting their first titles.

Take a look at the major Arizona men's professional sports teams' championship droughts.

Which team will win a championship (or next title) first?

More: Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker on highest paid athletes list, and his salary could skyrocket

Phoenix Suns

History: The Suns have also never won a title, although they have made three NBA Finals, most recently in 2021, when they won the first two games against the Milwaukee Bucks only to drop the last four.

The team started play in 1968.

Outlook: Before their abysmal finish to the series against the Mavericks, one would have thought the Suns were the favorite to end the drought in major Arizona sports championships.

They still very well might be, depending on what moves the team makes in the offseason. Will they keep Deandre Ayton and the rest of the team's core together to try for another run at the title or will they shake things up in hopes of strengthening their chances?

The 2022 offseason will be a huge one for the Suns and their chances of remaining a championship contender and perhaps bringing long-suffering Arizona sports fans an elusive title.

More: Why Phoenix Suns don't have any picks in 2022 NBA draft

More: Phoenix Suns slammed for apology letter to fans after Game 7 loss to Dallas Mavericks

Will Suns fans get to celebrate an NBA title sometime soon?
Will Suns fans get to celebrate an NBA title sometime soon?

Arizona Cardinals

History: Arizona's NFL franchise has not won a title since 1947, when the team was located in Chicago (and before the modern era, hence their inclusion on this list of teams without a title).

The team was embarrassed in the 2021 Wild Card game against the Los Angeles Rams, 34-11. It hadn't been to the postseason before that since 2015, when it made the NFC title game before losing 49-15 to the Carolina Panthers. Fans will never forget when the team came within seconds of winning Super Bowl XLIII before falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-23.

Outlook: The team showed that it could be a Super Bowl contender in the first half of last season before struggling down the stretch. Can they put together a full season in 2022 and contend for the NFL title?

That will depend a lot of Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray, but at least there is some hope in Arizona after the team made the postseason for the first time since 2015 last season.

Arizona Cardinals fans have endured a lot of heartache through the years.
Arizona Cardinals fans have endured a lot of heartache through the years.

Arizona Diamondbacks

History: The Diamondbacks won the World Series in 2001 to win Arizona's first and only major men's professional sports title.

They have been to the NLCS just one since: In 2007. They have been to the NLDS four times since 2001: In 2002, 2007, 2011 and 2017. They were also a Wild Card team in 2017.

Outlook: Right now, the Diamondbacks are hovering around .500, doing better than many projections thought they would in 2021.

Can they continue to improve? Could they make a couple trades or get an infusion of prospects to help them contend for their first World Series since 2021?

Diamondbacks fans have had some lean years supporting their MLB team.
Diamondbacks fans have had some lean years supporting their MLB team.

Arizona Coyotes

History: The Coyotes have never won a Stanley Cup title in their existence, which started in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1972. They have made the conference finals once in Arizona, in 2012.

The team has been to the postseason just once since that 2012 run.

Outlook: It's chances to return to the postseason soon aren't exactly looking great after the Coyotes had just 57 points last season, the second-worst point total in the league.

The team is in a full-blown youth movement, so maybe they can get the right mix of prospects to grow together and contend in a few years?

It hasn't been easy to be an Arizona Coyotes fan in recent years.
It hasn't been easy to be an Arizona Coyotes fan in recent years.

Longest major pro sports title droughts

  • NFL: Arizona Cardinals, 1947 (title came when they were in Chicago).

  • MLB: Cleveland Indians (now Guardians), 1948.

  • NBA: Sacramento Kings, 1951 (title came when they were the Rochester Royals).

  • NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs, 1967.

Arizona pro sports championship droughts

  • Arizona Cardinals: No titles since 1947.

  • Phoenix Suns: No titles, started play in 1968.

  • Arizona Coyotes: No titles, started play in 1972.

  • Arizona Diamondbacks: No titles since 2001.

NBA championship droughts

  • Sacramento Kings' last title: 1951.

  • Atlanta Hawks' last title: 1958 (when they were the St. Louis Hawks).

  • Phoenix Suns: No titles, started play in 1968.

  • Los Angeles Clippers: No titles, started play in 1970.

MLB championship droughts

  • Cleveland Indians' (Guardians) last title: 1948.

  • Texas Rangers/Washington Senators: No titles, started play in 1961.

  • Milwaukee Brewers: No titles, started play in 1969.

NFL championship droughts

  • Arizona Cardinals' last title: 1947.

  • Detroit Lions' last title: 1957.

  • Tennessee Titans' last title: 1961.

  • Los Angeles Chargers' last title: 1963.

NHL championship droughts

  • Toronto Maple Leafs' last title: 1966-67.

  • Buffalo Sabres: No titles, started play in 1971.

  • Vancouver Canucks: No titles, started play in 1971.

  • Arizona Coyotes: No titles, started play in 1972.

  • Philadelphia Flyers' last title: 1973-74.

Reach Jeremy Cluff at jeremy.cluff@arizonarepublic.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.

Support local journalism: Subscribe to azcentral.com today.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Phoenix Suns' loss to Dallas Mavericks extends Arizona's title drought