When you think about the NBA and how the teams are situated, what comes to mind? Have you always thought that states only had 1 NBA team per location? If so, you are sadly mistaken. There are several states with multiple NBA teams, and California is one of them.
In this article, we will be explaining what teams currently play for California and the differences within each organization. However, before you can understand what the teams are, you will need to know how many represent the state.
No matter if you are doing a research project or only looking for information for your gain, we are here to give you answers. Not only will you find information on how many California teams there are, but you will also find information about the teams and their players.
What NBA Teams are in California?
When you are thinking about basketball, California is a state which comes to many people’s minds. They not only have multiple NBA teams; they have the most teams. California has 4 NBA teams. These teams include the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings.
California is one of the bigger states; it is only natural that they offer more sports teams. This can often be said for sports leagues in California.
The first of the four teams are the L.A. Lakers. The Lakers were founded initially under the name the Minneapolis Lakers. They were known as the Minneapolis Lakers up until 1960 when their name and location were changed.
Another team hailing from California is the Los Angeles Clippers. The LA Clippers were founded in 1970 with the name the Buffalo Braves. They played as the Braves until 1978 until their name was changed to the San Diego Clippers. Soon after, their name was then turned to the Los Angeles Clippers, as it stands now. This happened when L.A. acquired the team. Currently, both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers share the Staple Center Arena.
The Golden State Warriors are another well-known team in the California League with notable players like Steph Curry. However, the Warriors didn’t have their beginnings in California. The team was founded in the late 1940s in Philadelphia. Eventually, they were moved over to the Bay Area.
This move happened in 1962. After moving to the San Francisco Area, the team’s name was changed to the San Francisco Warriors. Later their name was changed again. In 1971 they received another name change and rebrand, which we know and love today. The player’s home arena is the Chase Center.
One California team remains, and that is the Sacramento Kings. This isn’t a team that you automatically think about when you think about California; however, you will find them in Sacramento, California. This team was founded in 1923 as the Rochester Seagrams, a semi-pro team in New York. Throughout the years, the Kings have seen numerous name changes.
The names include the Rochester Eber Seagrams, the Kansas City-Omaha Kings, the Rochester Pros, the Rochester Royals, Kansas City Kings, Cincinnati Royals and most recently, the Sacramento Kings. The most recent name change happened in 1985, and they joined the NBA in 1945. Much like their names depict, they have moved from New York to Cincinnati to Kansas City and eventually moved on to Sacramento.
What’s the Historically Best NBA Team in California?
One of the best teams in California and arguably in the NBA is the Los Angeles Lakers. They have won a multitude of championships, 16 to be exact, and have boasted some of the greatest players in NBA history. This includes the likes of Kobe Bryant, Shaq O’Neal, Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain, and even Abdul-Jabbar.
In addition to having one of the most star-studded rosters, they also have 21 players listed within the hall of fame. During their 2001 seasons, the Lakers had 58 season wins and even brought the championship home.
While the other teams are great alternatives, they are not nearly as heavily decorated as the Los Angels Lakers making it one of the best teams in the West.
What’s the Historically Worst NBA Team in California?
It’s not hard to see that historically the worst NBA team in California is the Sacramento Kings. They have won one championship as the Rochester Royals and none as the Sacramento Kings. The Kings have had rocky beginnings and are currently attempting to rebuild. From poor management to misfortunate events happening to their star player, the Kings have taken some hits over the years.
One example of this is the death of Rick Berry, the King’s first-round draft pick in the 1988 NBA draft. Several others were drafted, however later traded and acquired by other teams. Rick Berry also committed suicide that same year during the NBA offseason. Currently, the Kings are owned by a technology entrepreneur who is still working through the team’s woes.
The Kings are constantly rebranding, they recently released Demarcus Cousins and even had to deal with a 13-million-dollar embezzlement scandal from Jeff David, the previous revenue officer. Notable players for the Sacramento kings have included Phil Ford, Wayman Tisdale, Peja Stojakovic, Nate Archibald, and Jack Twyman, who spent his whole career with the team.
7 Notable NBA Players from California
We can’t list a team of notable basketball players without mention one of the great basketball players in NBA history, Kobe Bryant. However, this list isn’t about great California team players but instead great NBA players from California. That quality may shorten the list a bit; yet, we still have quite a few options.
1. Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard is one California NBA player who is on our list of the most notable. Though he may have had a tough upbringing, he used that as fuel to be better at his craft. He has continuously gotten better in the game and even has a championship ring under his belt. He currently plays for the Los Angeles Clippers.
2. James Harden
Did you know that James Harden was originally from California? Though he currently plays for the Houston Rockets, Harden was born in California. He has not only played for the Rockets but the Oklahoma City Thunder as well. He is an offensive end who has been averaging excellent season points and assists.
3. Russel Westbrook
If you know California players, Russell Westbrook has to be on your list. Not only is he a California bred point guard, but he also plays alongside James Harden on the Houston Rockets. He is known for his boisterous personality as well as his collaboration with Nike and the Jordan Brand for the “Why Not?” Zer0.3 shoe.
4. Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard is another California player to watch. He currently plays for the Portland Trailblazers and has been in the league for seven years now. Lillard holds the position of point guard and is originally from Oakland, California. He was drafted in 2012, the same year he won Rookie of the year. He has played for the NBA All-Star team several years and is a five-time NBA all-star.
5. Paul George
If you are a basketball fan, especially one from California, the chances are high that you have heard of Paul George before. Paul was born in Palmdale, California, and played for Fresno State University. He is a well-known scorer on the Oklahoma City Thunder.
6. Klay Thompson
Last but not least, Klay Thompson, also known as Mychal Thompson, is another great California Player who currently plays for the Golden State Warriors. He has won and been an essential asset in the winning of 2 championships. He has also won a gold medal in the Olympics. However, that’s still not all. Klay has played in 3 All-Star games as well as winning the basketball world cup.
7. Reggie Miller
Though Reggie Miller is an older player his accomplishments can’t be forgotten. Reggie played for the Indiana Pacers his whole career and is considered one of the top NBA players of all time. He was an excellent three-point shooter and held the record for most 3-point field goals at the time of his retirement. He is a 5-time all-star and was the 11th overall draft pick in the 1987 NBA draft. Miller hails from Riverside California.
Wrapping Things Up: How Many NBA Teams are in California?
California has an extensive roster of basketball teams with the Los Angeles Lakers sitting high at the top of that list. They are a team that has a rich history and has been consistently strong. Sharing their shine in the Staple Center is the Los Angeles Clippers. Yes – Los Angeles does have 2 NBA teams.
Another notable team you may have heard of is the Golden State Warriors. They currently hold several NBA records for best season wins and even most wins in a season. Even if you don’t know the team’s name, I’m sure you know who Steph Curry and Clay Thompson are. The two consistently work the backcourt and lead the team to victory.
Who could forget about the Sacramento Kings? They have certainly had a rough past and a rocky history. However, there is always room for improvement.
Outside of giving fans four very different teams, California has provided fans with some of the players they know and love. Notable California players included the extremely talented Clay Thompson from L.A. Clay is holding on to his California roots and currently playing for the Golden State Warriors. Another California great is Kawhi Leonard. He is holding firm to his California roots and is currently playing for the Los Angeles Clippers.
California continues to lead in having the most NBA basketball teams. With four teams working to do big things, we are sure more success is on the horizon for each of them.
We also answer other frequently answered questions on basketball here.