Pacific Division NBA: Every NBA Team In California Explained

California is home to some of the most iconic and successful basketball teams in NBA history. The Golden State has a long-standing tradition of producing top-tier talent, both on and off the court.

Boasting four NBA franchises, California has proven to be a hotbed of competition and fanfare in the world of professional basketball.

This blog post will provide an overview of these four teams: the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, and Sacramento Kings.

From their founding moments to their current status, we’ll explore what sets these California basketball teams apart and makes them a significant part of the NBA landscape.

Pacific Division NBA: Every NBA Team In California Explained
Pacific Division NBA: Every NBA Team In California Explained

In a Hurry? Here is a List of All the California Basketball Teams in the NBA:

  1. Golden State Warriors
  2. Los Angeles Lakers
  3. Los Angeles Clippers
  4. Sacramento Kings

Golden State Warriors

Founded in 1946 as the Philadelphia Warriors, the team relocated to California in 1962 and became the Golden State Warriors in 1971.

Playing their home games at the Chase Center in San Francisco, the Warriors are known for their high-powered offense and sharpshooting capabilities.

The team has had immense success, with six NBA championships under their belt.

Key figures in the Warriors’ history include Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry, and the recent Splash Brothers duo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

Under head coach Steve Kerr, the Warriors have maintained their status as a dominant force in the NBA.

Los Angeles Lakers

Established in 1947, the Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most storied franchises in NBA history. Originally based in Minneapolis, the team moved to Los Angeles in 1960.

The Lakers have won an impressive 17 NBA championships, tied with the Boston Celtics for the most in the league.

Their long-standing success is attributed to numerous Hall of Fame players like Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, and the late Kobe Bryant.

The team’s recent resurgence with LeBron James and Anthony Davis has solidified the Lakers as perennial title contenders, playing their home games at the famous Staples Center.

Los Angeles Clippers

Sharing the Staples Center with the Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers have had a tumultuous history since their establishment in 1970.

Originally founded as the Buffalo Braves, the team moved to San Diego in 1978 and later to Los Angeles in 1984.

Despite their struggles, the Clippers have experienced a renaissance in recent years, thanks to the acquisition of key players like Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan, which led to the “Lob City” era.

With a new owner, Steve Ballmer, and the recent addition of stars like Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Clippers have emerged as legitimate contenders in the Western Conference.

Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings, founded in 1945 as the Rochester Royals, have experienced several moves and name changes before settling in California’s capital city in 1985.

Although the Kings have yet to win an NBA championship, they’ve had memorable moments and exciting players throughout their history.

The early 2000s, led by Chris Webber, Vlade Divac, and Mike Bibby, saw the Kings as top competitors in the Western Conference.

The team now plays at the Golden 1 Center and continues to develop young talent, striving to establish themselves as a force in the NBA.

California’s rich basketball history is evident in the four NBA franchises that call the state home.

The Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, and Sacramento Kings each have their unique stories, successes, and challenges.

As the NBA continues to grow, these California teams will undoubtedly remain integral to the league’s ongoing narrative, providing fans with unforgettable moments and legendary performances.

The first NBA franchise to be formed in California was the Los Angeles Lakers.

Although the team was originally established in Minneapolis in 1947, they moved to Los Angeles in 1960, making them the first NBA team to call California home.

As for NBA franchises moving to California, there are a few examples:

  1. Los Angeles Lakers: As mentioned earlier, the Lakers were originally established in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1947, and then relocated to Los Angeles in 1960.
  2. Golden State Warriors: The Warriors began as the Philadelphia Warriors in 1946. They moved to California in 1962, becoming the San Francisco Warriors and later, in 1971, the Golden State Warriors.
  3. Sacramento Kings: Before landing in Sacramento, the Kings had multiple locations and names. They were founded in 1945 as the Rochester Royals in New York, then moved to Cincinnati in 1957, becoming the Cincinnati Royals. In 1972, they moved to Kansas City and changed their name to the Kansas City Kings. Finally, they settled in Sacramento in 1985.
  4. Los Angeles Clippers: The Clippers also had a history of relocations. They began as the Buffalo Braves in New York in 1970, then moved to San Diego in 1978, where they became the San Diego Clippers. In 1984, the team relocated once again to Los Angeles and became the Los Angeles Clippers.

In summary, several NBA franchises have moved to California, with the Los Angeles Lakers being the first to do so in 1960.

The other three California-based teams have also experienced relocations throughout their histories.

Which California-based NBA team has the most championships?

The Los Angeles Lakers have the most championships among California-based NBA teams, with 17 championships.

This ties them with the Boston Celtics for the most championships in NBA history.

What is the name of the stadium where the Golden State Warriors play their home games?

The Golden State Warriors play their home games at the Chase Center, located in San Francisco,

Who are some notable players from the Sacramento Kings’ early 2000s era?

The Sacramento Kings’ early 2000s era featured notable players such as Chris Webber, Vlade Divac, Peja Stojakovic, and Mike Bibby.

This period marked one of the franchise’s most competitive and memorable times, as the Kings were strong contenders in the Western Conference.

How has the recent ownership change impacted the Los Angeles Clippers?

The ownership change for the Los Angeles Clippers, with Steve Ballmer taking over in 2014, has positively impacted the franchise.

Ballmer’s leadership and investment in the team have helped the Clippers become more competitive and attract top talent like Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

This has resulted in the Clippers emerging as legitimate contenders in the Western Conference and shedding their previous reputation as an underachieving franchise.


The four California-based NBA teams – the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, and Sacramento Kings – have made significant contributions to the league’s history and continue to shape its future.

The state’s rich basketball history is evident with the Lakers boasting the most championships among California teams.

The Golden State Warriors’ home games are played at the Chase Center, while the Sacramento Kings had a memorable and competitive era in the early 2000s.

The Los Angeles Clippers, under new ownership, have experienced a positive transformation, becoming a strong force in the Western Conference.

As these franchises continue evolving and competing, they will remain crucial to the NBA’s ongoing story.

About Daniel Azor