California NBA Teams

How many California NBA Teams are there? In NBA history, there are only four NBA teams in California.

If you are a diehard NBA fan, chances are, their players are one of your basketball idols, right?

Not all states in the United States are lucky enough to have an NBA team represent their state; however, California has four.

If you want to know more about these NBA franchises representing the state of California, be our guest!

Today, we will dig deeper into these California teams and what makes them unique in their own right. Come check it out!

How Many NBA Teams Are in California?

California has only four teams: the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Los Angeles Clippers.

Let’s get to know more about them from the information below!

What Are the 4 California NBA teams?

Most NBA teams represent a state, and if you want to know how many NBA teams are in California, we’ve piled down a detailed list. Check it out!

1. Golden State Warriors

  • Founded: 1962
  • Championships Won: 7
  • Location: San Francisco, California
  • Arena: Chase Center
  • Notable Coaches: Steve Kerr, Don Nelson
  • Notable Team Names: San Francisco Warriors, Philadelphia Warriors

The Golden State Warriors’ introduction to the league wasn’t what you expected. They were known as the Philadelphia Warriors, and Wilt Chamberlain was their franchise player.

It was not until 1962 that a group of investors bought the franchise and relocated to California. From there, they have been one of the most storied franchises in the NBA.

Their first ever championship while using this name was in 1975; the team was led by Wilt Chamberlain and was up against the heavily-favored Washington Bullets.

Despite being underdogs, they swept the Washington Bullets 4-0 en route to the franchise’s first-ever NBA title.

Overall, this town has its fair share of glory days; however, since the arrival of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, it breathed new life into this organization as it further won four more NBA championships.

Their fans are considered to be the best basketball fans in the world. It can be attested to the start of the playoffs; decibel levels in the area are borderline unbearable!

The Golden State Warriors are definitely one of the best teams in the league, and they recently captured the 2022 NBA Championship with Stephen Curry being named the Finals MVP.

Along with the Lakers, they are the two most successful organizations in California for garnering several champions to their name.

Notable NBA Players in Golden State Warriors:

  • Steph Curry
  • Tim Hardaway
  • Klay Thompson
  • Kevin Durant
  • Chris Mullin
  • Rick Barry
  • Mitch Richmond

FACT: The Golden State Warriors have the third-most finals appearance in the history of the NBA. The other two organizations are the Boston Celtics and their fellow Californian team, the LA Lakers.

2. Sacramento Kings

  • Founded: 1946
  • Championships Won: 1 (1951)
  • Location: Sacramento, California.
  • Arena: Golden 1 Center
  • Notable Coaches: Rick Adelman
  • Notable Team Names: Rochester Royals, Cincinnati Royals, Kansas City Kings

Sacramento Kings has been one of the longest-tenured franchises in the NBA and were not particularly known as the Sacramento Kings until 1945.

In 1951, they were known as the Rochester Royals and won the NBA championship in the same year. The team name was used for seven years spanning from 1951 up until 1957.

The 1951 NBA finals saw the Royals battle it out with the valiant New York Knicks, but the Californian team would later prevail in a 7 game series.

Over the years, this franchise had its fair share of ups and downs and has mostly been mediocre at best in the western conference. As much success as they would want to, the team lacks a star player.

However, the arrival of Chris Webber, Vlade Divac, and Mike Bibby sparked new life on this franchise as they reached the western conference finals but lost to the Los Angeles Lakers led by Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.

It was in this same series where an infamous and controversial rumor became widespread. Many Kings fans believed that Game 6 of the conference finals was rigged. According to the rumor, the NBA wanted the Los Angeles Lakers to win the series as they were hugely popular. A win by the Lakers can bring the NBA very high ratings.

For over 33 years, Sacramento Kings have been one of the toughest teams for a basketball fan.

They might have one championship to their name, but they are struggling over its entire history.

While they are learning and striving, it has not translated into success as they are still one of the least-performing teams in the NBA.

Notable NBA Players in Sacramento Kings History:

  • Demarcus Cousins
  • Mitch Richmond
  • Chris Webber
  • Mike Bibby
  • Vlade Divac

FACT: They were previously named Kansas City Kings when they relocated from Rochester to Cincinnati and into Kansas City as these small markets were not profitable during its time.

3. Los Angeles Lakers

  • Founded: 1947
  • Championships Won: 17
  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Arena: Staples Center
  • Notable Coaches: Phil Jackson
  • Previous Names: Minneapolis Lakers

The NBA and Los Angeles Lakers will always go hand in hand, and this franchise has been one of the most successful teams in California to date.

They have 17 championships to their name, with the last one in 2020 led by their two-star players, Anthony Davis and Lebron James.

The Los Angeles Lakers are made up of notable players throughout its history. From Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, and even the late great Wilt Chamberlain.

This organization has been one of the most profitable sports teams on the planet; that’s why various superstars have teamed up in this franchise to collect multiple championships.

Their history is not to be questioned; with 17 banners on their rafters, they are one of the winningest NBA teams in California. They have the most championships in the NBA, tied with Boston Celtics with 17 apiece.

When Michael Jordan retired, the Lakers’ resurgence was largely due to Shaq and Kobe, along with Phil Jackson; this capped off a 3-peat, making them one of the best teams in the entire league during the 2000s.

Watch this video to relive the best playoff game winning shots from the Lakers:

Notable Players in Los Angeles Lakers History:

  • Elgin Baylor
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Shaquille O’Neal
  • James Worthy
  • Magic Johnson

FACT: During the late 70s into the 80s, the Los Angeles Lakers were one of the most notable teams as the Showtime Lakers were known for their dazzling plays with the combination of superstars, winning five NBA championships.

4. Los Angeles Clippers

  • Founded: 1984
  • Championship Won: None
  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Arena: Staples, Center
  • Notable Coaches: Doc Rivers, Larry Brow, Vinny Del Negro
  • Previous Names: Buffalo Braves, San Diego Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers are the California team with the least history, founded in 1970 as Buffalo Braves.

Starting in 1978, the team changed its name to San Diego Clippers. They did not enjoy as much success as they hoped.

They were named the LA Clippers only in 1984, and even then, they still haven’t been as victorious as their court rivals, the LA Lakers.

Although the team isn’t well-known for its history, the arrival of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in the early 2010s helped this franchise take a turn for the better.

The dazzling on-court play of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin’s aerial acrobatics helped this team regain its popularity and was, at one point, the more popular team than the Lakers.

More success is coming as the current team is jacked up with notable players such as Paul George, John Wall, Kawhi Leonard, and Reggie Jackson.

Notable Players in LA Clippers History:

  • Kawhi Leonard
  • Paul George
  • Blake Griffin
  • Elton Brand
  • Chris Paul

Fact: There were two NBA organizations from San Diego, the Clippers moving to Los Angeles and the Rockets relocating to Houston, now Houston Rockets.

What Organization Was Formed First in California?

The Golden State Warriors were the first organization to be formed in California.

Originally, they were founded in Philadelphia but have since relocated to San Francisco in 1962 and took the city’s name. It was in 1971 when this team changed its name to Golden State, and it has been used since then.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about NBA organizations in California.

Does California Have 2 NBA Teams?

No, California has four NBA teams. However, there are two teams in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers and the Clippers.

Moreover, no other city in California is represented by two NBA teams.

What’s the Historically Best NBA Team in California?

The Lakers are, without a doubt, the best NBA team in California. As I’ve mentioned, they have 17 championships to their name.

Golden State is next on the list with seven championships, while Sacramento has one, and the Clippers have yet to make any NBA finals appearance in its history.

During the 1960s, the Lakers went to six NBA finals led by Jerry West and Elgin Baylor. The Boston Celtics team beat them six times. It was also the beginning of their storied rivalry.

What’s the Historically Worst NBA Team in California?

The Kings are the worst NBA team in California; although they have won a championship in their history, they are one of the least-performing teams in the history of the NBA.

They have missed the playoffs for an NBA record 16 consecutive times. A record in NBA history no one is willing to hold but them. They are also the worst basketball teams in this league’s history.

Aside from their lone championship, their most successful run in the playoffs is reaching the western conference finals in 2002, where they lost a 7-game series to the Lakers.

Conclusion

As a basketball fan, there’s a lot to be thankful for in the state of California for providing the best teams in the NBA league.

These teams have given us very talented players that served as an inspiration for us to become better as basketball players. 

Having four basketball teams makes California an exciting place to be for basketball action. The state has become one of the best in the country for providing finest organizations in the NBA. We are fortunate to witness how great these teams are and why they belong in the league.

I hope you’ve learned not just how many NBA teams are in California but also found some interesting information along the way!