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There’s a fact you need to know: not all US states own a corresponding NBA franchise. Some states will have teams, and some states will have no teams at all.

California is one of the largest and most developed states here. The potential of this place is huge. So, how many basketball teams does California have?

Let’s find the answer with Scott Fujita in this article.

How Many Basketball Team In California? 

How many basketball teams are there in California? Currently, the state of California has 4 NBA teams. The current teams are the Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, and Los Angeles Lakers.

This number is quite substantial when we take into account the fact that there are only thirty teams in total in the entire tournament.

The percentage of the number of NBA teams that California owns is up to 13%. This number looks modest. However, the remaining 49 states have only 26 teams, which means there will be states without a team.

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Sacramento Kings 

Sacramento Kings

  • NBA First Year: 1985.
  • NBA Titles: 0.
  • Highlights of Franchise: In ​​the 2002 Western Conference Finals, Kings took the Lakers to game 7.
  • Notable Players: DeMarcus Cousins, Mitch Richmond, Peja Stojakovic, and Chris Webber.
  • Notable Coach: None

The Sacramento Kings have been competing since 1985. Before that, they operated under the name of the Rochester Royals from 1948 to 1957.

In 1951, the Royals won a title. After that, the team continued to change its name to the Kansas City Royals from 1957 to 1972.

The Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson was the team’s brightest player at the time. From 1973 to 1985, Kansas City changed from Royals to Kings. After that, they had their current name.

Sacramento’s performance so far has not been enough to satisfy fans. Within 33 years, the team has only had seven seasons with a winning record.

Sacramento’s roster has changed over time. 2002 was the season in which they had the most typical squad when they faced the Lakers in 7 games at the Western Conference Finals before losing.

Many fans are arguing about the 2002 event to this day. Some have suggested that the league biased the Lakers to attract more viewers for the NBA Finals.

Sacramento recently moved to a location right near the Golden Gate Bridge, Golden 1 Center. Their home ground is just a block east of the historic arena in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Los Angeles Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers

  • NBA First Year: 1984.
  • NBA Titles: 0.
  • Highlights of Franchise: Reached three Western Conference Semifinals in 2012, 2014, and 2015.
  • Notable Players: Chris Paul, Bob McAdoo, Elton Brand, and Blake Griffin.
  • Notable Coaches: Doc Rivers, Larry Brown, and Bill Fitch.

In 1984, the Clippers were just starting out in Los Angeles when then-owner Donald Sterling decided to move from San Diego. This team is also not a formidable name when their squad is always in the transition period.

The Clippers have traditionally been prioritized when drafting young talent in the first round. However, this team often chooses to ignore or give the star to the opponent and then pay a large amount of money to re-sign the contract.

In 34 years of playing, the Los Angeles Clippers have had ten winning seasons. However, the team never made it to the Western Conference Finals.

Unexpectedly, the Clippers’ reputation partly came from their controversy with their former owner, Sterling. In 2014, he made some seriously racist insults.

The media immediately noticed because the man was regularly accused of hurtful words.

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Golden State Warriors

Golden State Warriors

  • NBA First Year: 1962.
  • NBA Titles: 6. 2 as Philadelphia Warriors (1947 & 1956) and 1975, 2015, 2017, 2018.
  • Highlights of Franchise: Breaking the NBA regular-season winning record with 73 games and winning 6 NBA titles.
  • Notable Players: “Tiny” Archibald, Tim Hardaway, Nate Thurmond, Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, Rick Barry, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, and Chris Mullin.
  • Notable Coaches: Steve Kerr and Don Nelson.

The Golden State Warriors are one of the most popular teams in the NBA. Over the course of more than 50 seasons, the Warriors have stood on the top of glory as well as fallen into the abyss many times.

From the early days of the Philadelphia Warriors, the team has shown its strength. Young star Wilt Chamberlain emerged and helped Philadelphia win many titles.

In 1975, the team showed incredible strength when it quickly crushed the Washington Bullets in just four games in the Finals.

The two key players at that time were Hall of Famers Jamaal Wilkes and Rick Barry. The next season, the team had a perfect start but unfortunately failed to enter the playoffs.

In 1985, coach Don Nelson decided to draft seventh-place player Chris Mullin and build the squad around his play. Mullin has potential and precise scoring skills.

Nelson also added two professional supporters, Tim Hardaway and Mitch Richmond. These three players created the team “Run-TMC” with a fast and powerful counter-attacking style.

The Golden State Warriors didn’t have much luck in the ’90s, though. The NBA during this time saw the reigns of the Pistons, Lakers, or rising stars like the Suns and Bulls.

It wasn’t until the 21st century that the Warriors returned to the racetrack when they drafted the legendary Stephen Curry in 2009. Curry’s exhilarating run and gun gameplay gave the team new life.

Then they added Klay Thompson and Draymond Green to work well with the star. With the leadership of Steve Kerr, “Splash Brothers” won the 2015 NBA championship to everyone’s surprise.

Unfortunately, they lost the title in 2016 when they lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, the Warriors quickly returned strong and won two consecutive championships thanks to the addition of top player Kevin Durant.

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Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers

  • NBA First Year: 1958.
  • NBA Titles: 17. 5 as Minneapolis Lakers (1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954) and 1972, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010, and 2020.
  • Highlights of Franchise: Ranked first on the list of NBA teams with the most titles of all time.
  • Notable Players: Kobe Bryant, Elgin Baylor, Pau Gasol, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West, James Worthy, Shaquille O’Neal, Jamaal Wilkes, and Gail Goodrich.
  • Notable Coaches: Phil Jackson, John Kundla, Pat Riley, and Bill Sharman.

The Los Angeles Lakers are the legend of California in particular and the NBA tournament in general. They have won a total of 17 titles in their history, the same ranking as the Boston Celtics.

No one can doubt the power of the Lakers. Since the early 40s, the team has started strong and almost does not disappoint the fans.

The Lakers have been in the NBA Finals every decade. Better yet, they only failed in 1960 and 1990.

The team has owned so many stars and legends that you could break them down into different eras. The era of Magic Johnson is one of the most memorable with five championships.

It’s great to be a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers. This team always has a strong competitive spirit and regularly adds stars to the squad.


If you still have any questions regarding the NBA teams in California, find the answers here.

What Is The Best NBA Team In California Historically?

The Los Angeles Lakers are undoubtedly the best NBA team in history. They have won 17 titles in nearly 70 years and are the launching pad for many legends such as Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The Lakers’ Hall of Famers roster is up to 21 people. Their squad is always shining and strong at all times.

In the 2001 season, the team won a total of 58 matches, and they also won the championship that year.

What Is The Worst NBA Team In California Historically?

We can easily see the Sacramento Kings as the worst team in California history. They won only one title when they were left with Rochester Royals and didn’t score any more after that.

The team’s lineup is still patchy and often has to be adjusted after many years. Besides, the team also has a tradition of bad luck and often has problems with its star players.

A prime example is the suicide of the 1988 first-round draft pick Rick Berry. Currently, the team has just ended the contract with Demarcus Cousins ​​and has to solve the scandal of embezzlement of $ 13 million by Jeff David.

The team will need to work more to improve the management system as well as select more reasonable players.

What Organization Was Formed First In California?

The NBA’s 1949-50 season marked a new turning point in the history of the professional league.

In its infancy, there weren’t any football teams founded in California. In that first season, the Royals, Warriors, and Lakers were born in New York, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota, respectively.

The Lakers went to California for the 1960-61 season. Two seasons later, the Philadelphia Warriors also landed in San Francisco.

In 1970-71, the Buffalo Braves were founded and moved to San Diego in 1978. In 1984, the team moved to LA but kept the Clippers’ name.

A year later, the Kansas City Kings moved to Sacramento and became California’s fourth team.

Did NBA Teams In California Have Different Names In The Past?

Most of the NBA teams in California have changed their names. The two exceptions are the Warriors and the Lakers as they only change their names geographically.

As for the Los Angeles Clippers, their original name was the Braves and only changed after they arrived in San Diego. After that, the team kept the same name and only changed the geographical area when it moved to LA.

The team that changed names the most was the Kings. They started as Royals to Omaha Kings and now simply Kings.

Did Any NBA Franchises Move To California?

Yes, all current NBA franchises are not established in California, they are moving to. It also demonstrates the state’s appeal to basketball franchises.

The Kings were the team that moved the most with three moves. The Clippers have relocated twice. The Lakers and Warriors only move once.


How many basketball teams are in California? There are a total of 4 NBA franchises currently competing in the NBA. 

Their huge successes have made California a top hotspot for basketball fans. This state also produces high-class stars. Despite numerous relocations and name changes, California’s impact on the NBA is undeniable.

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