California NBA Teams: All You Need to Know

The NBA is one of the four main professional leagues in the United States and Canada. It comprises 30 teams, 29 in the US and one in Canada. The 29 teams in the US spread across 21 of its states.

Of the 21 states with a team, California is a powerhouse with the most number. This number attributes partly to factors like the state's massive economy, size, and population.

There are four NBA teams in California. These are the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, and the Sacramento Kings. In total, California is home to a whopping 13% of all NBA teams in the United States.

Gladly, they do not dominate only in numbers but have also in recent years established themselves by producing great names and winning championships as members of the league's Western Conference Pacific division. This article will further detail the California NBA teams.

NBA Teams in California

  1. Los Angeles Lakers

Arguably the most established franchise, the Los Angeles Lakers are based in California. The team was formed in 1947 in Minneapolis and was known as the Minneapolis Lakers for 13 years (1947 - 1960).

In 1960, the team’s name was changed with a move of state from Minneapolis to Los Angeles to become the Los Angeles Lakers.

They made their first NBA appearance in 1958. The team's colors are purple, gold, and black, and their home arena is the Staples center they share with the LA Clippers. Furthermore, the fans of the LA Lakers team are referred to as the Laker Nation.


With 17 championships (NBA titles), 19 conference titles, and 33 division titles, they have the most championship titles in the entire league, tying with the Celtics. The best year record posted by the franchise was 69-13 in 1972.

They've also had a lot of notable achievements and signings over the past few decades. Famous NBA legends such as George Mikan, Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and Magic Dawson have all played for this team.


Over the decades, they have bagged a lot of records, such as five consecutive championship titles in two different eras and having above 50 wins in a single season.

Their popularity is also enormous and continuously rising. Moreover, they have made records like selling out every home game in 2008 and being the team with the most popular merchandise in 2010.


The Buss family presently (majorly) owns the Los Angeles Lakers with Jeanie Buss as the controlling president, Rob Pelinka as the general manager, and Frank Vogel as the head coach. There have so far been 22 head coaches for the Lakers. The most notable are John Kundla, Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, and Phil Shaman.

Present Standing

This franchise has a great history of consistent successes. Thus, fans expect them to continue on that path as they are unlikely to lose their competitiveness or popularity soon. They are always on the lookout for and signing/drafting of the next new stars.

Their most popular starting lineup includes W. Ellington, T. Horton-Tucker, R. Westbrook, A. Davis, and D. Jordan.

Talking about the Lakers would not be complete without mentioning their rivalries with different teams. The most notable being between them and the Boston Celtics is their tie in championship wins. Their rivalry is tagged the best NBA rivalry, spanning decades of highs and lows.

  1. Los Angeles Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers team is based in Los Angeles, and it's the most recently formed of the four teams in California. They were previously known as the Buffalo Braves in 1970 before changing to Los Angeles Clippers in 1984.

They made their first NBA appearance in the same year and presently play their home matches at the Staples Center, which they share with the Los Angeles Lakers and other sports teams. Their team colors are blue, red, black, silver, and white.


Since its creation, the team has not yet won any championships or conference titles. Fortunately, they have won two division titles (2013 and 2014).

They lack playoff success and are the only NBA's league team to have never played in the NBA finals.

Consequently, this causes them to often be unfavorably compared to their more successful counterpart, the Los Angeles Lakers. They spot some great NBA players like Blake Griffin, Bob McAdoo, Elton Brand, and Chris Paul.


Steve Ballmer presently owns the Los Angeles Clippers with Lawrence Frank as the controlling president, Michael Winger as the general manager, and Tyronn Lue as the head coach.

Present Standing

Although the team has a similar reputation as the Sacramento Kings in continually undergoing the rebuilding phase, 2021 has seen the Los Angeles clippers reach the conference finals for the first time.

For now, the team is looking to be of better standing with the recent change of their owner to Steve Ballmer. Therefore, their fans are hoping to see them perform better in the coming championships.

  1. Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors, also called the Dubs, are a professional basketball team based in San Francisco, California. They were founded in 1946 in Philadelphia and moved to San Francisco in 1962, and they made their first NBA appearance that same year. 

Their home arena is the Chase Center. The team colors are royal blue and yellow.


Tagged one of the best of the four teams in California, they bear a record of six championships titles, six conference titles, and 12 division titles.

steph-curry-california nba teams

Notable players include Chris Mullin, Wilt Chamberlain, Kevin Durant, Jamaal Wilkes, Stephen Curry, Nate Thurmond, and Klay Thompson. The team dominated the years 2014 – 2019, during which they bagged a lieu of NBA records. The most wins in a season (73 wins in 2016) and best postseason run. 

They are just behind the Lakers and Celtics in NBA championship wins. Moreover, they are currently the NBA team with the highest estimated monetary value globally of $4.7 billion.


Joe Lacob presently owns (majorly) the Golden State Warriors. Rick Welts is the controlling president, Bob Myers, the general manager, and the notable Steve Kerr is the head coach.

Present Standing

Although Golden state warriors have had a good run in recent years, they are presently a bit lacking. Still, they are great, albeit sleeping giants with infinite potential to make a terrifying comeback at any point.

The team still receives the most votes in many polls and reviews as the best overall team post-70s.

  1. Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings is an NBA team based in Sacramento, California. The team was formed in 1923 in New York as the Rochester Seagrams. It has since undergone a series of name changes (seven) and relocation until its present name and location in 1985. They currently play their home games at the Golden 1 Center.

The team also features three colors, including purple, slate gray, and black, with Slamson the Lion as their official mascot from the 1997 - 98 season.


From the four California NBA teams, the Sacramento Kings are generally lacking in recent achievements. They are currently vying for the longest playoff drought in the history of the NBA with 15 years.

The franchise has won one championship title in 1951, no conference titles, and five division titles - the most recent being in 2003. The team's best season was the 2001 - 02 season, bagging the record of the best year with a 61-21. One of their most notable players is Chriss Webber.


Vivek Ranadive presently owns (majority) the Sacramento Kings with Dialpad as the controlling president, Monte Mcnair as the general manager, and Alvin Gentry as the interim head coach.

Present Standing

The Sacramento Kings journey to the present is not a very successful one, especially in comparison to its regional counterparts. The subsequent years (post-2000s) have gradually declined their popularity and constant team rebuilding.

Recently, talks of team improvement have been underway as the management sources and drafts more young talents into the team. Unfortunately, this is also very improbable as the competition in the western conference is at its highest and the team's questionable management issue.

Conclusion: California NBA Teams

This article has detailed all the California NBA teams. Notably, California is one of the largest states in the US. Thus, it’s only natural that it has so many teams.

The state is home to four NBA teams, placing it ahead of any other state in the league. The franchises are competitive, with a total of 23 championship titles, and at least two teams consistently listed high (top five) on the yearly power ranking of the NBA's best teams.

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Joshua Bast

My name is Joshua Bast and I have been playing basketball ever since I was 7 years old. I love the game play, I love the feeling whenever I score a basket, but what made me fell in love was the camaraderie with my team mates. This blog is dedicated to help any up-and-coming basketball players maximize their potential.

Joshua Bast