As a basketball fan, you might have questions in your mind about how many teams are there in California playing in the NBA. Well, there are four teams based in the state of California who play the NBA. At present, 30 teams are playing in the NBA league, so it means California covers 13% of the entire league. Initially, it may not seem like many numbers, but if you take away California out of the NBA, then there are 26 teams remaining that represent 49 states. In this article, we will take a more in-depth look into those teams based in California and also their history and highlights in the league. So without any delay, let's get started.
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1. Sacramento Kings
From 1948 to 1957, Sacramento Kings used to be known as the Rochester Royals, winning the title in 1951. After that period, from 1957 to 1972, they became known as the Kansas City Royals. During this time, their most prominent basketball player was Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson. After that, they changed their name to Kansas City Kings from the period of 1973 to 1985 before having their name Sacramento Kings.
Sacramento Kings first appeared in the NBA in 1985, but so far, they have not been able to win any title. Some of the prominent players from Sacramento Kings are Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, DeMarcus Cousins, and Mitch Richmond, etc.
Sacramento's performance in the league has not been up to the mark as Kings fan expected. They have been in a constant rebuilding stage, and they have a winning record in seven seasons in the last 33 years or so. Sacramento had the most exceptional team in 2002, where they outplayed Los Angeles Lakers before ultimately losing in the Western Conference Finals.
2002 was the year that got away and is poignant with fans because of the league-wide controversy. Many of the fans believed that the league wanted the Los Angeles Lakers to win the series so that they could earn the higher ratings in the NBA finals for the league. Nevertheless, their reputation has been dull, and they had the most unforgettable seasons in their 33 years of history.
2. Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Clippers first appeared in NBA IN 1984, and so far, they have not won any title. They reached three Western Conference Semifinals in 2012, 2014, and 2015. There most notable players are - Bob McAdoo, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Elton Brand, etc. Bill Fitch, Doc Rivers, Larry Brown are famous persons who served as a coach for the Los Angeles Clippers.
In 1984 Los Angeles Clipper's reign started to begin in Los Angeles, and then Donald Sterling moved the team from San Diego. Like Sacramento Kings, Clippers also have a similar type of reputation; they have always seemed to be in transition phase. It has seen that Clippers always seem to have top first-round draft picks and usually sign on those picks to the other teams before paying them a big contract.
In the last 34 years, the Clippers had ten winning seasons, but they could not able to make to the western conference finals in their history. So we can see that their performance has been slightly better than their neighbors Sacramento Kings. The most famous story about the Clippers has got attention in franchise history that is the controversy with Donald Sterling (former owner of Clippers) and the racist and offensive remarks he made back in 2014. While he has been in the media and the news for past frequent occurrences, but this instance grabbed the most media attention.
3. Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors appeared for the first time in the NBA in 1962. So far, Warriors won 6 NBA titles, in 1947, 1956 as Philadelphia Warriors and 1975, 2015, 2017, 2018. Some of the most notable players of this team are - Nate Thurmond, "Tiny" Archibald, Rick Barry, Chris Mullin, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Tim Hardaway, etc. Steve Kerr and Don Nelson are well-known coaches of Warriors.
The Golden State Warriors have seen both ups and downs in their 50 plus tenure in NBA league. In the early times, Philadelphia Warriors had witnessed the rise of young Wilt Chamberlain introduced to the league, and they won 2 NBA titles.
The squad of 1975 exceeded the expectation of the team where they outplayed heavily favorite Washington Bullets in the NBA Finals in a four-game sweep. The Hall of Famers Rick Barry and Jamaal Wilkes led the team during that time, and they were on track to repeat the performance but got upset in the playoffs. Golden State Warriors drafted Chris Mullin seventh overall and began to build the team around his potential of scoring abilities and shooting. They also took talented guards Tim Hardaway and Mitch Richmond and even coach Don Nelson and started to play with high energy and expectations.
During the 90s The Golden State Warriors were unlucky, whereas promising teams like Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns and already established teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons dominated during that time.
However, Golden State Warriors had a moderate level of achievements through the early 21st century until they drafted Stephen Curry in the 2009 NBA Draft. When the team realized that what kind of talent Stephen Curry was, they started to rebuild a team around his gun style of play and impressive run. Moreover, Warriors added stars like Klay Thompson and Draymond Green into the squad. And this team surprised all the people and fans by winning the NBA title in 2015 led by Steve Kerr and "Splash Brothers". In 2016 Warriors lost the title against the Cleveland Cavaliers although they had the record-setting regular season.
4. Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers is the most successful team from California, without any doubt. Lakers are the top standard team in NBA history except for Boston Celtics. Since 2000 they have won total sixteen and five titles. Their history of success started in the late 1940s, and it has continued since now. Except for the 1960s and 1990s, they have won an NBA title in each decade, but still, they could play the finals in those decades.
We can break down the success period of Lakers into - the Magic Johnson/Showtime era (5 titles), Wilt/Jerry West/Elgin Baylor era (1 title), the Kobe/Shaq/Phil Jackson era (3 titles) and the second Kobe/Phil Jackson (2 titles) era. Los Angeles Lakers has always been loyal to its fans in Los Angeles, so it's kind of dream to root for an organization like Lakers. They are still so competitive, and they continuously look for rising stars for the next generation to sign or draft.
If you are a basketball fan residing in California, then most probably, you have seen the success of your favorite teams, no matter which teams do you support. As a Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers fan, you are so lucky than most of the other fans, but considering the rise of popularity in the league, the "Golden State" has been preparing themselves for more success for decades.
So are you one of those lucky humans to root for any of the great California teams? If so, then let us know your most unforgettable memory as a fan of your favorite team.