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Who Are The NBA Teams In California?

California is a huge state in the United States. And it has a lot of teams in the National Basketball Association. In this blog post, we will go over who each NBA team in California is, their history, and their best player from every era.

Los Angeles Lakers

There are a total of four NBA teams in California. The first is the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers are located in Los Angeles, California. From 1947 to 1960 the Lakers were known as the Minneapolis Lakers.

The history of this team has been quite interesting with 17 championships under their belt so far. Including five back-to-back titles during two different eras plus another three-peat later on!

They also hold several records like having had over 50 wins in one season more than any other franchise in league history; winning 60 or more games three times, and most playoff appearances ever by an NBA club at over 60.

Currently, the Los Angeles Lakers are in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference. They have played their home games at Staples Center since 1999. Staples Center is now called Crypto Arena. All other 3 teams that we will discus later are part of the Pacific Division.

They also played some of their games at Anaheim Convention Center, Citizens Business Bank Arena (Ontario), Dignity Health Sports Park aka StubHub Center, Golden Hall (San Diego) Humphrey Memorial Coliseum (Stockton), Kaiser Permanente Arena aka Men’s Gym (Santa Barbara).

A Star-Studded Team

The Lakers have had some great players during their history. Including Kobe Bryant who has the most points scored (33,643) for this team and was an 18x All-Star. He playes 20 total seasons and won five championships with them as well before retiring in 2016.

Others include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (the all-time top scorer), Magic Johnson (a member of the NBA 50th Anniversary Team that named the best fifty ever to play in the league), Jerry West (an iconic logo now used by the NBA organization), Shaquille O’Neal, James Worthy, Elgin Baylor, George Mikan among others who were inducted into basketball’s Hall Of Fame for their accomplishments!

The current legends and future Hall of Famers playing for The Lakers right now are Lebron James and Anthony Davis. They managed to capture the team’s 17th Championship last 2020 in the “Bubble” during the peak of the Covid Pandemic.

The Laker Nation

The Purple & Gold Army or Laker Nation are two names for Lakers supporters. They are made up of different fandoms. The Buss family, Kareem’s Army, also known as the Forever Steppers, the Laker Girls (basketball), and the Little Lakers are among them (children).

NBA teams in California

Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors, another 1946 founding team, are the second NBA team in California.

Nevertheless, if you add the Philadelphia Warriors, who played from 1946 to 1962 after moving there, their history dates back much further. They adopted the moniker Golden State Warriors for the amount of gold that Californians found during the 1848 Gold Rush.

The best players for them are Steph Curry and Kevin Durant. Though they also did win championships back in 1956 with Wilt Chamberlain playing there at that time who is considered to be one of the greatest centers ever.

The Golden State Warriors, who are also referred to as the Dubs, play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference. They had played at Oracle Arena (Oakland) since the 1971-1972 season.

And they moved into their new arena for the 2018-2019 season called Chase Center. Which was initially estimated to cost $500 million but has now risen past that estimate costing around $900 million!

The Splash Brothers Era

The Splash Brothers are Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Who are both incredible players for the Golden State Warriors. They have been playing together as the Splash Brothers since 2012.

They are referred to as such because of their ability to make three-pointers. Which is what you call a shot from behind the line that’s worth three points. Instead of two like all other shots.

The Golden State Warriors also won championships back in 2015 and a back to back in 2017-2018, then the most recent one just last season in 2022. It is safe to say that the Dubs is a dynasty.

NBA teams in California

Why are the Golden State Warriors called Dubs?

There’s a simple reason why the Warriors are called the Dubs. The nickname comes from people shortening Warriors to the letter W. The shorter form of the letter W is pronounced “Dub.”

It also helps that W represents the word “win” in the world of sports, so when their fans refer to them as the Dubs, they are also referring to the team as winners.

In 1966 when they were called San Francisco Warriors which later became Golden State Warriors and moved across to Oakland. There was a local basketball player named Rick Barry who played for them at that time who would yell out “dubs” whenever he did well during games!

This eventually caught on with other members of the team and fans as their little inside joke. Even though it isn’t completely clear if this involved anyone else but him or what sort of role he had within his teammates regarding dubs being used by other players too after this.

Either way, it’s just something funny about how they got such an original name including Dub Nation where everyone gets together wearing gold clothing representing the Bay Area.

Sacramento Kings

The third of four NBA teams in California is the Sacramento Kings. Which was founded in 1923 originally as Sheboygan (Wisconsin) until it moved during 1936-1957 because they wanted a larger city than their current location could support.

Their first home arena was called “Hilton’s Pavilion” before moving into Arco Arena I when it opened in 1988 while now known as Sleep Train Arena where they still play today after California named them after an extinct Native American tribe while Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been recognized for his excellence while playing for them from 1989-1996.

Their glory days took place in the 2002 campaign when they were just one victory away from taking part in the NBA Finals. In Game 7 against the Lakers, they were defeated by Shaq and Kobe. Peja Stojakovic, Chris Webber, and Vlade Divac made up their Big 3, and their jerseys were retired yb the team. The final two names that made up this powerful five were Mike Bibby and Doug Christie.

The Sacramento Kings play in the Western Conference’s Pacific Division. Since the 1988–1989 season, they have held their home games at Sleep Train Arena, where they continue to do so today. Previously known as Arco Arena, it changed its name to Power Balance Pavilion (Sacramento) or Sacramento Community Center for short while while waiting for construction on a brand-new facility. Now known as Golden One Center!

Los Angeles Clippers

The last of the NBA teams in California is the Los Angeles Clippers which was founded in 1970 and were originally known as Buffalo Braves before moving to San Diego, where they played until 1978 when it moved again.

This time becoming LA Clippers who are currently still playing at Staples Center after buying their team from Donald Sterling back in 2010. They have never had a lot of success even though Blake Griffin has been one of their best players ever with Chris Paul being another great player in the 2010’s. Back in 2019-2020 seson, Paul George nad Kawhi Leonard teamed up but still did not have any significant success and has neven made the Conference Finals.

Currently, the Los Angeles Clippers are in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference.

They have played their home games at Staples Center since 1999, before changing its name to Power Balance Pavilion (Anaheim), or Anaheim Convention Center for short while they awaited construction on an entirely new facility which is now called Los Angeles State Historic Park!

NBA teams in California

Highest Valued NBA franchise in California

TeamNet Worth
Los Angeles Lakers$5.9 Billion
Golden State Warriors$5.3 Billion
Los Angeles Clippers$3.9 Billion
Sacramento Kings$2.03 Billion

There are a lot of factors for the valuation of a certain franchise, but California teams certainly don’t come cheap. It is obvious why they Lakers and the Warriors are part of the top 3; and the factors are the location, team history, amount of championships and the players currently playing in it.


We’ve covered all four NBA teams in California. If you happen to be one of our readers who is lucky enough to root for an LA-based basketball squad, let us know which one you support! Who do you think is the best NBA team in California?

Make sure your opinion doesn’t get lost among other comments by adding yours below so we can share with everyone else what makes this state special when it comes to its sports teams! Do you want to read more great stuff about Basketball? Visit our entire section about Basketball here.


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