NBA teams in California-featured image

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.

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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 16 championships under their belt so far. Including five back-to-back titles during two different eras plus another three consecutive ones 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.

They also play 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 is the third leading scorer for this team and was an 18x All-Star. He won five championships with them as well before retiring in 2016.

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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 Laker Nation

Lakers fans are called Laker Nation or The Purple & Gold Army. They are composed of various fan groups. Including the Buss family, Kareem’s Army aka Forever Steppers, Laker Girls (basketball), Little Lakers (children).

NBA teams in California

Golden State Warriors

The next NBA team in California is the Golden State Warriors which were founded in 1946 as well.

Though their history goes back further than this if you count Philadelphia Warriors who played from 1946-1962 because they moved there then took on a new name that became Golden State Warriors based off how much gold Californian discovered during the Gold Rush of 1848.

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 2017, so they’ve had a pretty good run recently!

NBA teams in California

Why are the Golden State Warriors called Dubs?

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.

The Sacramento Kings are in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference. They have played their home games at Sleep Train Arena since 1988-1989 season.

Where they still play today after it was originally known as Arco Arena I before changing its name to Power Balance Pavilion (Sacramento) or Sacramento Community Center for short while awaiting construction on an entirely new facility. Which is now called 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 arena from Donald Sterling back in 2010. They have never had a lot of success. Since making an appearance in playoffs only twice between 1976-1991 but haven’t been there since 2006.

Even though Blake Griffin has been one of their best players ever with Chris Paul being another great player that they have had recently too.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


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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