Texas is one of the most populated states in the United States, known for its rich sports culture. The state has produced some top basketball talents, with many NBA players hailing from different parts of Texas.
However, how many NBA teams are in Texas?
This article will discuss how many NBA teams are in Texas, delve into each team’s history, and highlight notable players from Texas and their achievements. Let’s get into it!
Which NBA Teams are in Texas?
Texas is the state with the second-largest amount of NBA teams behind California. California leads the league in the number of teams owned with four. There are three NBA basketball teams in Texas. The Houston Rockets, the Dallas Mavericks, and the San Antonio Spurs all call Texas home.
The Houston Rockets was founded in 1967. At that time, the name of the team was the San Diego Rockets. The Rockets played basketball in San Diego from 1967 up to 1971. In 1971 the Rockets switched cities and relocated to Houston.
Some notable players that played for the Rockets after they moved to Houston are Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon, Ralph Sampson, Clyde Drexler, Charles Barkley, Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming, and Dwight Howard.
More recently, James Harden was the face of the Rockets, earning the 2018 MVP award and leading the team to multiple playoff appearances.
The Houston Rockets have been fortunate enough to win two NBA championships since its inception. They won titles in 1994 and 1995. The Houston Rockets currently play in the Toyota Center and is coached by Mike D’Antoni. The general manager of the team is Daryl Morey.
The Dallas Mavericks is one of the youngest teams in the NBA. The Dallas Mavericks team was founded in 1980 in Dallas, Texas. Since its Inception, the Mavericks have won two conference titles and one championship in 2011.
Some of the most notable players to have played in a Mavericks uniform are Jason Kidd, Dennis Rodman, Steve Nash, Alex English, Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, and their current superstars, Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. Mavericks fans expect a bright future as this current roster is filled with young, impressive talent that can be legit contenders as early as next season.
The Dallas Mavericks is owned by Mark Cuban and coached by Rick Carlisle. The team plays its home games at The American Airlines Center.
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs was founded in 1967 as the Dallas Chaparrals. The team played in the ABA at that time. The team’s name was changed in 1973 after the team was leased and moved to San Antonio. The San Antonio Spurs have won 5 championships since 1999, and it boasts the NBA’s highest win percentage.
Their most notable championship win came in 2014 when it defeated the Miami Heat LeBron James led super team. The Spurs won the finals four games to one. Some famous players that played for the Spurs after the move to San Antonio are George Gervin, Moses Malone, Dominique Wilkins, Artis Gilmore, David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and Kawhi Leonard.
The Spurs currently play their home games at the AT&T Center and are coached by the legendary Gregg Popovich. Spurs Sports & Entertainment presently owns the San Antonio Spurs.
Why Does Texas Have 3 NBA Teams?
You may wonder why Texas has three NBA Teams, California has five, while other states have two or one. These states have populations big enough to support multiple professional teams. Texas has an estimated population of 30 million as of 2023, making it the second most populous state next to California.
Some key factors are considered before cities are allowed to have major league sports teams. A massive fan base is essential to maintain an NBA team. Arenas are also vital, but these are more easily built nowadays than in the past. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why there are three teams from the NBA in Texas.
Large local population
The population of a city plays a significant role in determining whether or not it can host a major league sports team. Basketball teams take a lot of money to run, so they must have a large fan base that can support them. The three basketball cities in Texas all have large fan bases, so they have plenty of local fan support.
- Houston has a population of over 2.3 mil people, placing it in the top half of the highest populated NBA cities.
Not only does Houston have a very high population count, but the fan base from this population is extremely strong and vibrant. The Houston Rockets constantly have superstars on their roster, and this always rally fans behind the team.
- Dallas has a population count of over 1.3 million, and this also places the team in the top half of the NBA’s most populated cities. This large population does well for the finances of the Dallas team. Over the years, the Dallas Mavericks have always had great international players on their roster, so they garner support from their large local fan base and also from a broad global audience.
- San Antonio’s population is slightly higher than that of the Dallas Mavericks, but this is good enough to put them in the top 10 most populated cities in the NBA. We cannot stress enough how important it is to have a significant local fan base, and having a large city definitely helps with this. Having a large amount of local supportive fans to pack your arena every game can definitely help a team not only in its finances but also on the court.
Proximity to Other Cities Without Teams
If teams can get the support of fans outside of their cities on a large scale, they can count on even more money for their coffers. It so happens that the state of Texas has a lot of other major cities that are not represented in the NBA.
What this means is that basketball fans from the cities of Austin, Forth Worth and Lubbock are all in proximity to Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio. If these fans want to cheer for and support a local team, these are the closest options available to them.
These cities are also fairly large, so these NBA teams are quite lucky to have an abundance of fans available to them from these cities. Those aren’t the only cities in Texas that support these NBA teams. There are also smaller cities such as Corpus Christi and Abilene.
What is the Best NBA Team in Texas?
There are quite a few different ways that this question can be answered. But the funny thing is, the answers will be different depending on the fan base you ask, however, there are valid reasons why all of the different answers you could receive to that question would be correct.
The San Antonio Spurs hold the distinction of being the historically best NBA team in Texas. Founded in 1967 as the Dallas Chaparrals, the team relocated to San Antonio in 1973 and adopted their current name. The Spurs have built an impressive legacy throughout their time in the league, amassing numerous accolades and achievements that set them apart from their Texas counterparts.
Their incredible consistency is one of the most significant factors contributing to the Spurs’ success. With a playoff appearance streak that spanned 22 years, the team has managed to maintain its winning culture under the guidance of head coach Gregg Popovich. This consistency has allowed the Spurs to develop strong team chemistry and a reputation for being a good franchise.
The Spurs’ dominance is further highlighted by their five NBA championships (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014), which surpasses the championships won by both the Houston Rockets (two titles) and the Dallas Mavericks (one title). These championships were achieved with the help of some of the most iconic players in the sport’s history, including Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginóbili, who formed the team’s “Big Three.”
Another factor that has contributed to the Spurs’ success is their exceptional scouting and player development. The organization has consistently found and nurtured talent, often drafting players who were overlooked by other teams. It has allowed the Spurs to succeed even as key players have retired or moved on from the team.
If we were to ask a Dallas Mavericks fan, what is the best NBA team in Texas, we are relatively sure that the answer would be Dallas. But how do you justify this answer? The Dallas Mavericks is the NBA team in Texas with the least amount of championships at 1. They only managed one championship in their entire history in 2011.
A Mavericks fan would justify their answer by saying that the Dallas Mavericks have the best team that is built for the future. Dallas Mavericks has a team that can potentially be a contender as early as next season and for the foreseeable future as well.
They have a lot of incredible young talent that is being led by Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. The backup cast is not bad either. The roster has exceptionally talented youth like Maxi Kleber, Seth Curry, Dwight Powell, Tim Hardaway Jr, and Jalen Brunson. Under proper guidance, this is definitely a team that can put together a great challenge for the championship in the near future.
Now, if you were to ask a Rockets fan, which team is the best basketball team in Texas, they would tell you without a doubt in their minds that the Houston Rockets has the best team. What do they have to back up this answer?
Well, currently out of all the teams in Texas, the Houston Rockets has the best record. The Rockets are at 6th in the Western Conference closely followed by the Mavericks at 7th. The Rockets also has the second most championships of all the teams in Texas at two. They won back-to-back championships in 1994 and 1995 lead by Hakeem Olajuwon.
What do you think the answer will be if you post the very same question to a San Antonio Spurs fan? Surely, without a doubt, their response is going to be the San Antonio Spurs. If you were to ask them how is the San Antonio Spurs the best team in Texas, if they are not even in the playoff race at this time, their response would be along the lines of “The race is not yet over.”
The San Antonio Spurs always manage to find a way to win. They just do. Gregg Popovich has instilled this winning culture into the San Antonio franchise to the point where you can never count this team out.
The San Antonio Spurs do have the most championships in Texas, with five. That should definitely count for something as it more than doubles Houston’s count at two.
What’s the Historically Worst NBA Team in Texas?
While it may be somewhat harsh to label any of the Texas NBA teams as the “worst” historically, the Dallas Mavericks have experienced the least success compared to the San Antonio Spurs and the Houston Rockets. However, it is essential to note that the Mavericks, established in 1980, is the youngest of the three Texas NBA teams, which could partially account for their comparatively lower success rate.
The Mavericks’ historical win-loss record and overall winning percentage are lower than those of the Spurs and Rockets. Additionally, they have not been as successful in the playoffs, with fewer deep playoff runs and a shorter streak of consecutive appearances.
However, the Mavericks have achieved notable milestones in their history. In 2011, led by the legendary power forward Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks captured their first and only NBA championship. This impressive feat was accomplished by defeating the Miami Heat, a team featuring the “Big Three” of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.
Over the years, the Mavericks have also had their share of star players, including Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, and Luka Dončić. The latter has quickly emerged as one of the league’s most exciting young talents, offering hope for a bright future for the team.
While the Dallas Mavericks may have experienced the least success historically among the Texas NBA teams, they have still managed to build a strong foundation and achieve significant milestones, including an NBA championship. With promising talent like Luka Dončić leading the charge, the Mavericks have the potential to increase their success and continue to impact the NBA landscape significantly.
5 Notable NBA Players from Texas
Texas has produced many exceptional NBA talents, transcended generations, and contributed to the league’s growth.
Here are five notable NBA players who were born or raised in Texas:
1. LaMarcus Aldridge
Hailing from Dallas, the seven-time All-Star power forward/center had a remarkable career, predominantly with the Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs. Aldridge’s finesse in mid-range shooting distinguished him as a top big man in his prime.
2. Chris Bosh
Another Dallas-born talent, the 11-time All-Star was integral to the Miami Heat’s “Big Three.” His versatile offense and shot-blocking prowess earned him recognition. Teaming up with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Bosh clinched two NBA championships.
3. Jimmy Butler
A Houston native, this five-time All-Star is renowned for his two-way playing ability. Starting with the Chicago Bulls, he’s made significant contributions to various teams, such as the Minnesota Timberwolves, Philadelphia 76ers, and Miami Heat.
4. Grant Hill
Born in Dallas, the seven-time All-Star small forward graced the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, and Los Angeles Clippers. Known for his all-around game and versatility, Hill was widely respected among his contemporaries.
5. Trae Young
Born in Lubbock and raised in Norman, Oklahoma, the electrifying point guard showcases unparalleled shooting range and playmaking skills. Since his 2018 NBA debut, Young has skyrocketed to fame, becoming an All-Star in 2020. His stellar performance in the 2021 playoffs solidified his reputation as an exciting young talent.
Wrapping Things Up: How Many NBA Teams are in Texas?
There are three NBA Teams in Texas: The San Antonio Spurs, the Houston Rockets, and the Dallas Mavericks. Each franchise has contributed to the state’s rich basketball history, with the Spurs as the most successful, boasting five championships. Although the Mavericks have experienced the least success historically, they have a bright future ahead, with young superstar Luka Dončić leading the charge.
The impressive history of the Spurs, the memorable players who have left their mark on Texas basketball, and the state’s continued presence as a powerhouse in the NBA make Texas one of the most significant states in basketball. As the sport continues to grow and evolve, Texas remains a thriving hub for basketball talent and success.
Did you find this article helpful? Then you may also like our other frequently answered questions on basketball here.