This NBA offseason saw superstar guard Ben Simmons looking to force a move away from the Philadelphia 76ers. His preferred destination? Sunny California. As a result, we decided to take a look at the four NBA teams residing in California.
How many NBA teams are there in California?
California has four teams, the most out of any state: The Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Sacramento Kings.
Golden State Warriors
Founded: 1946 (Philadelphia Warriors)
NBA Championships: 6 (1947 & 1956 – as the Philadelphia Warriors, 1975, 2015, 2017, 2018)
Highlights: Winning 6 NBA Titles, 2016: Broke NBA regular-season win total (73)
Notable Players: Wilt Chamberlain, Nate Thurmond, Nate “Tiny” Archibald, Rick Barry, Tim Hardaway, Chris Mullin, Mitch Richmond, Latrell Sprewell, Baron Davis, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant
Notable Coaches: Don Nelson, Steve Kerr
Current Coach: Steve Kerr
Most NBA fans will know the Warriors as the NBA’s most recent dynasty. The team won three titles in the last decade. As a result of their recent championships, the Warriors have been propelled to third on the list of most NBA titles. With Steph Curry in MVP form and Klay Thompson returning this season, the Warriors might give the title run another shot.
Los Angeles Lakers
Founded: 1947 (Minneapolis Lakers)
NBA Championships: 17 (1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954 – as the Minneapolis Lakers, 1972, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010, 2020)
Highlights: Winning 17 NBA Titles – 2nd place all-time behind the Boston Celtics
Notable Players: Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Gail Goodrich, Jamaal Wilkes, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, LeBron James, Anthony Davis
Notable Coaches: John Kundla, Bill Sharman, Pat Riley, Phil Jackson
Current Coach: Frank Vogel
The Lakers are by far the most successful NBA team in California, having won 17 NBA Championships. Lakers fans are proud of their heritage and for good reason. With 26 Hall of Fame players plus four Hall of Fame coaches, the Lakers are undoubtedly a team with a rich legacy. The Lakers have big expectations again this year. Their star-studded roster led by LeBron James is expected to contend for another title.
Los Angeles Clippers
Founded: 1970 (Buffalo Braves)
NBA Championships: 0
Highlights: Reaching the Western Conference Finals in 2021, 2 division titles (2013, 2014)
Notable Players: Bob McAdoo, Elton Brand, Lamar Odom, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George
Notable Coaches: Larry Brown, Bill Fitch, Doc Rivers
Curent Coach: Tyronn Lue
The Clippers have always been left out of the spotlight in Los Angeles. With the Lakers winning multiple titles and boasting legends past and present, it was never going to be easy for the Clippers. Recent acquisitions of California natives Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have given hope to Clippers fans, however an NBA title still eludes them. Leonard is expected to miss this season due to a partially torn ACL, so don’t expect too much from them this season.
Founded: 1923 (Rochester Seagrams)
NBA Championships: 1 (1951 – as the Rochester Royals)
Highlights: Forced the LA Lakers to 7 games in the 2002 Western Conference Finals
Notable Players: Oscar Robertson, Nate “Tiny” Archibald, Mitch Richmond, Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, Vlade Divac, DeMarcus Cousins, De’Aaron Fox
Notable Coaches: Rick Adelman, Bob Cousy,
Current Coach: Luke Walton
The 2002 season remains a rare highlight for Kings fans where they were one win away from the NBA Finals. Their lone championship came in 1951 as the Rochester Royals. Since then, the glory days have been few and far between.
Which teams moved to California?
All of the state’s four NBA teams started out in other cities. The Lakers were the first franchise to relocate, moving from Minneapolis in 1960. Next up were the Warriors, who followed suit in 1962. They moved from Philadelphia to San Francisco.
The Clippers became the third franchise to move to California in 1978. Originally from Buffalo, they played in San Diego for six years before moving again in 1984 to Los Angeles.
In 1985, the Kings moved from Kansas City to Sacramento. As a result, California has had four NBA teams since 1985.
Why does LA have two teams?
Los Angeles has a population of nearly 4 million. As a result, the prevailing view is that this number is large enough to accommodate two NBA teams. Besides Los Angeles, New York is the only other city with two teams.
Which other states have multiple NBA teams?
Texas, New York and Florida have more than one team, although none surpass California’s four. The Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs all play in Texas. The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets both call New York home. Over in Florida are the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat.