NBA: History of Team Name Changes for Every Franchise

The Boston Celtics and New York Knicks Are the Oldest Team Names in the NBA. These Are The Logos From Their First Season, 1946-47 (BAA).

The Boston Celtics and New York Knicks Are the Oldest Team Names in the NBA. These Are The Logos From Their First Season, 1946-47 (BAA).

Do you know the name, league and home-city history of all 30 current NBA franchises?

Modeled on one of the more popular baseball posts at Sports List of the DayMLB: History of Team Name Changes – here is the basketball version, following today’s NBA teams from their beginnings through all their moves and name changes (sorted from oldest to youngest franchises).

NBA

The NBA itself started as the BAA (Basketball Association of America) in 1946-47. The Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors (then, Philadelphia) and New York Knicks are the only teams left from that very first year.

The BAA lasted three seasons, fielding a total of 16 teams in its short history, including the Fort Wayne Pistons (now, Detroit), Minneapolis Lakers (now, L.A.) and the Rochester Royals (now, the Sacramento Kings).

When the BAA merged with the NBL (National Basketball League) in 1949, these six teams joined 11 others  to form the NBA.

ABA

The ABA (American Basketball Association) was established in 1967 to compete with the NBA, but the two leagues would wind up merging in 1976 to create today’s NBA.

The Brooklyn Nets, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs had their origins in the ABA. So did the three-pointer.

FRANCHISE FOUNDED TEAMS FROM TO LEAGUE
Boston Celtics 1946 Boston Celtics 1946-47 1948-49 BAA
    Boston Celtics 1949-50 Present NBA
           
Golden State Warriors 1946 Philadelphia Warriors 1946-47 1948-49 BAA
    Philadelphia Warriors 1949-50 1961-62 NBA
    San Francisco Warriors 1962-63 1970-71 NBA
    Golden State Warriors 1971-72 Present NBA
           
New York Knicks 1946 New York Knicks 1946-47 1948-49 BAA
    New York Knicks 1949-50 Present NBA
           
Detroit Pistons 1948 Fort Wayne Pistons 1948-49 1948-49 BAA
    Fort Wayne Pistons 1949-50 1956-57 NBA
    Detroit Pistons 1957-58 Present NBA
           
Los Angeles Lakers 1948 Minneapolis Lakers 1948-49 1948-49 BAA
    Minneapolis Lakers 1949-50 1959-60 NBA
    Los Angeles Lakers 1960-61 Present NBA
           
Sacramento Kings 1948 Rochester Royals 1948-49 1948-49 BAA
    Rochester Royals 1949-50 1956-57 NBA
    Cincinnati Royals 1957-58 1971-72 NBA
    Kansas City-Omaha Kings 1972-73 1974-75 NBA
    Kansas City Kings 1975-76 1984-85 NBA
    Sacramento Kings 1985-86 Present NBA
           
Atlanta Hawks 1949 Tri-Cities Blackhawks 1949-50 1950-51 NBA
    Milwaukee Hawks 1951-52 1954-1955 NBA
    St. Louis Hawks 1955-56 1967-68 NBA
    Atlanta Hawks 1968-69 Present NBA
           
Philadelphia 76ers 1949 Syracuse Nationals 1949-50 1962-63 NBA
    Philadelphia 76ers 1963-64 Present NBA
           
Washington Wizards 1961 Chicago Packers 1961-62 1961-62 NBA
    Chicago Zephyrs 1962-63 1962-63 NBA
    Baltimore Bullets 1963-64 1972-73 NBA
    Capital Bullets 1973-74 1973-74 NBA
    Washington Bullets 1974-75 1996-97 NBA
    Washington Wizards 1997-98 Present NBA
           
Chicago Bulls 1966 Chicago Bulls 1966-67 Present NBA
           
Brooklyn Nets 1967 New Jersey Americans 1967-68 1967-68 ABA
    New York Nets 1968-69 1975-76 ABA
    New York Nets 1976-77 1976-77 NBA
    New Jersey Nets 1977-78 2011-12 NBA
    Brooklyn Nets 2012-13 Present NBA
           
Denver Nuggets 1967 Denver Rockets 1967-68 1973-74 ABA
    Denver Nuggets 1974-75 1975-76 ABA
    Denver Nuggets 1976-77 Present NBA
           
Houston Rockets 1967 San Diego Rockets 1967-68 1970-71 NBA
    Houston Rockets 1971-72 Present NBA
           
Indiana Pacers 1967 Indiana Pacers 1967-68 1975-76 ABA
    Indiana Pacers 1976-77 Present NBA
           
Oklahoma City Thunder 1967 Seattle SuperSonics 1967-68 2007-08 NBA
    Oklahoma City Thunder 2008-09 Present NBA
           
San Antonio Spurs 1967 Dallas Chaparrals 1967-68 1969-70 ABA
    Texas Chaparrals 1970-71 1970-71 ABA
    Dallas Chaparrals 1971-72 1972-73 ABA
    San Antonio Spurs 1973-74 1975-76 ABA
    San Antonio Spurs 1976-77 Present NBA
           
Milwaukee Bucks 1968 Milwaukee Bucks 1968-69 Present NBA
           
Phoenix Suns 1968 Phoenix Suns 1968-69 Present NBA
           
Cleveland Cavaliers 1970 Cleveland Cavaliers 1970-71 Present NBA
           
Los Angeles Clippers 1970 Buffalo Braves 1970-71 1977-78 NBA
    San Diego Clippers 1978-79 1983-84 NBA
    Los Angeles Clippers 1984-85 Present NBA
           
Portland Trail Blazers 1970 Portland Trail Blazers 1970-71 Present NBA
           
Utah Jazz 1974 New Orleans Jazz 1974-75 1978-79 NBA
    Utah Jazz 1979-80 Present NBA
           
Dallas Mavericks 1980 Dallas Mavericks 1980-81 Present NBA
           
Miami Heat 1988 Miami Heat 1988-89 Present NBA
           
New Orleans Hornets 1988 Charlotte Hornets 1988-89 2001-02 NBA
    New Orleans Hornets 2002-03 2004-05 NBA
    New Orleans/OKC Hornets 2005-06 2006-07 NBA
    New Orleans Hornets 2007-08 Present NBA
           
Minnesota Timberwolves 1989 Minnesota Timberwolves 1989-90 Present NBA
           
Orlando Magic 1989 Orlando Magic 1989-90 Present NBA
           
Memphis Grizzlies 1995 Vancouver Grizzlies 1995-96 2000-01 NBA
    Memphis Grizzlies 2001-02 Present NBA
           
Toronto Raptors 1995 Toronto Raptors 1995-96 Present NBA
           
Charlotte Bobcats 2004 Charlotte Bobcats 2004-05 Present NBA

Thanks to basketball-reference.com.

Photo: sportslogos.net. You have to see this site!

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Posted on February 7, 2013, in NBA Basketball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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