How many nba teams are there? The National Basketball Association, or NBA, was founded in 1946 under the name the Basketball Association of America. There were 11 teams divided into two divisions in the inaugural 1946-47 season; some of which are still active today.
The Basketball Association of America rebranded as the NBA in 1949 and would eventually merge with the American Basketball Association in 1976. Over the years, teams would come and go, while others would relocate to different parts of the country.
With the 2023-24 season underway, here are the current NBA teams by division.
How many NBA teams are there?
There are 30 teams in the NBA; 29 teams that are based in the U.S. and one team in Canada.
29 states that do not have a NBA team. Four states have more than one NBA team based in them.
California has the most NBA teams based in a state with four teams: the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco, Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers and Sacramento Kings.
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How many teams are in the NBA?
For those of you just getting into the NBA, or for those of you who are fans of the New Orleans Pelicans and are trying to broaden your overall understanding of the league, the first question you should probably ask is: how many teams are in the National Basketball Association (NBA)?
The NBA, just like the Major League Baseball (MLB) association, has 30 teams in its league. This is two less than the National Football League (NFL) and National Hockey League (NHL), which both house 32 teams.
The list of the 30 teams in the NBA goes as follows: our Pelicans, the Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, and Washington Wizards.
However, the NBA wasn’t always comprised of 30 teams. In fact, for most of its history, the NBA has had less than that. It wasn’t until 2004 that the NBA reached the 30 team mark (when it added the then Charlotte Bobcats).
In 1946-47, the league started out with eleven teams. But the number didn’t increase immediately. It actually decreased down to eight teams the following season. The number eventually ballooned up to 17 teams in 1949-50, before dwindling back down to eight again in 1955.
From there, it has been a gradual increase in number of teams in the NBA. In 1961, the league added one team. In 1966, it added another. The following year (1967), it added two more. And the year after that (1968) two more were added. That brought the total number of teams up to 14.
From 1968 to 1975, four more teams were added. And then, in 1976, the league saw its largest increase of the modern era – adding four teams to increase its total from 18 to 22. Since then, the only other years that a team/teams have been added are 1980 (one team added), 1988 (two teams), 1989 (two teams), 1995 (two teams), and 2004 (one).
And that’s how the NBA got to the number 30. Let’s see if that’s where it stays or if more teams are to come in the future.
Where do the Spurs fit into NBA history?
Fans are familiar with the classic monochromatic coloring of the Silver and Black, but the team kicked off its expedition in the ABA as the Dallas Chaparrals in 1967. They competed under that name for six years before moving across the state to become the San Antonio Spurs. The team would spend three more seasons in the ABA before merging with NBA alongside the Nets, Nuggets, and Pacers in 1976.
Does the NBA have plans for expansion?
Nothing is set in stone, but Commissioner Adam Silver has hinted that the NBA could expand once its current media rights contract ends after the 2024-25 season. Las Vegas, Mexico City, and Seattle are among the major cities that seem best suited to support an expansion franchise. The latter was home to the Super Sonics from 1967 to 2008, which could give them a leg up on other potential suitors.
How many teams are in the NBA?
The NBA is one of the most successful and profitable leagues in professional sports, but that hasn’t always been the case. This global powerhouse rose from humble beginnings in 1946 with 11 teams, negligible revenue, and little fanfare. While basketball lived in the shadow of the MLB and NFL during its formative years, it eventually earned a respectable share of the national spotlight.
Several franchises started and folded as the league struggled to find its footing, but it never stopped growing after adding the Chicago Packers in 1961. From there, the NBA continued expanding almost every season until the inception of the Charlotte Bobcats brought them to 30 teams in 2004. Though a couple of clubs have rebranded or relocated, the association remains the same size.
Balancing Competition and Coverage: The Role of 30 Teams
The presence of 30 NBA teams serves multiple purposes:
Competitive Fairness: This number allows for a balanced competition, where each team has a fair chance to compete for the playoffs and, ultimately, the championship.
Broad Geographical Reach: With teams spread across 22 states and one Canadian province, the NBA has a wide-reaching impact, engaging diverse fan bases.
Feasible Scheduling: The 30-team structure enables a manageable and competitive schedule, balancing game frequency with necessary rest and travel time.
The Dynamics of Having 30 NBA Teams
The NBA’s format influences various aspects of the league:
Intense Competition: The larger number of teams heightens the level of competition, making playoff races and the journey to the championship more exciting.
Regional Rivalries: The distribution of NBA teams across different regions fosters local and regional rivalries, enhancing fan engagement.
Diversity in Play Styles: The diverse pool of players and teams contributes to a rich variety of playing styles and strategies within the league.
Adapting to Future Changes
While the NBA currently boasts 30 teams, it continually assesses the possibility of expansion. This exploration is balanced against the potential impacts on competitive balance and the complexity of scheduling, ensuring that any changes align with the league’s long-term vision and stability.
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