Many NBA clubs receive their names from their cities' historical pasts or from the place where the team was founded. This is especially true for clubs who joined the league after 1949, although even those teams have a backstory. Many of these stories can be read about here.
The Brooklyn Dodgers were named after their home city, Brooklyn. The Boston Celtics are also based on a city, but they're called Celsus Augusta after the emperor Augustus who established a military camp there in 7 BC. The Chicago Bulls are based on the Chicago White Stockings, one of the original eight NBA teams that merged to form the current version of the club. The Cincinnati Royals were named after King Charles II of England granted a royal charter to this first professional basketball team in the United States. The Dallas Mavericks come from Dallas, Texas which is also the birthplace of baseball's Texas Rangers and football's Dallas Cowboys. The Denver Nuggets are named after Denver, Colorado which has been called the "Air Capital of the World" since 1950 when National Airlines started operating flights between here and Los Angeles. The Detroit Pistons are named after Detroit, Michigan which is also the birthplace of basketball's Harlem Globetrotters. The Golden State Warriors are named after the war-time term for California's army troops.
There are many more examples but you get the idea.
Many NBA players are called by their middle names, either because they share a whole name with their ancestors, because their parents are creative name-callers, or simply because they don't like their first names. It is just NBA players that use their middle names. In fact, according to one estimate, about 1 in 5 current players was born with two names. The most common combination is a first name derived from an actor or athlete (Allen Iverson, Karl Malone, Shaquille O'Neal) followed by a second name that's usually more popular than the first (Darrell Armstrong, Delonte West). Many players choose numbers as well. For example, Jason Kidd and Chris Mullin.
There are several examples of famous people who used both of their names when they played basketball (Wilt Chamberlain, Wilt Forbes Robinson), but many more who only used one (Theodorakis, Vukasin Radoncic). A few players even have three names in their jersey number (Earl Monroe, Earl Duncan).
Middle names became popular among American athletes in the 1930s, after James Naismith invented the game of basketball. Before then, players were usually identified by their birth names, which were often based on family traditions or relationships with other players or coaches.
Can You Recognize These NBA Team Name Changes Since 1970?
|Year Change||Old Team to New Team||% Correct|
|2013||New Orleans Hornets to New Orleans Pelicans||83.5%|
|2014||Charlotte Bobcats to Charlotte Hornets||82%|
|2008||Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City Thunder||75.5%|
|1997||Washington Bullets to Washington Wizards||66.9%|
Below is a massive collection of basketball team names that you may use directly with your new or existing basketball team, or as inspiration to design your own unique team name.
How many NBA basketball franchises are you familiar with? More baseball, NFL, NHL, and more team names! Subscribe? Have you given up? The quiz has been stopped. You just have one left. Scroll down for more facts and answers...
The name seemed appropriate for the Motor City. The Philadelphia Warriors, named after the 1920s American Basketball League team, won the title in the Basketball Association of America's first 1946-47 season. After the 1961-62 season, the Warriors relocated from Philadelphia to San Francisco and kept their moniker.
The team was nicknamed the Blackhawks, who, like Chicago's hockey team, were named after the Sauk Indian Chief Black Hawk. When the team moved to Milwaukee in 1951, the nickname was shortened to "Hawks." The franchise retained the shortened moniker for subsequent moves to St. Louis and, finally, Atlanta in 1968.
They dubbed the squad the Warriors after an already existing basketball franchise of the same name. In 1925, that squad competed in the now-defunct American Basketball League (ABL). In 1962, the Warriors relocated their operations to San Francisco. There, they became one of the first NBA teams.
Textile workers in California's Golden State used to wear threads called "warrior threads" because they thought it was good luck if you ever got into a fight. That tradition probably didn't help the Warriors when they were started up again in 1962!
Today, the team is known for its championship seasons of 1975 and 1989. The Warriors have also made the playoffs ten times since they came back from an 0-26 start in 1971-72. They've never gone further than the second round though, with their best effort coming in 1974 when they lost to Moses Malone's Philadelphia 76ers in seven games.
The Warriors have been to the NBA Finals twice, winning their first title in 1975 against the Los Angeles Lakers. They lost in six games the following year to Lew Alcindor's Milwaukee Bucks.
Currently, they are the third most successful team in Oakland/San Francisco history behind only the Athletics and Giants. The Warriors' home court is Oracle Arena which they shared with the Oakland Raiders until 2016 when they moved out on their own.
Six surviving National League clubs joined the BAA on August 3, 1949. The resulting 17-team league is dubbed the National Basketball Association (the NBA)... A History of the NBA's Teams
|CHARLOTTE HORNETS||Charlotte Hornets (1988-2002) Charlotte Bobcats (2004-14) Charlotte Hornets (2014-present)|
History from the Beginning The Lakers were formed in 1947 when the Detroit Gems, a dissolved club, were acquired and relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota. They won five titles in Minneapolis before going bankrupt in the late 1950s and relocating to Los Angeles for the 1960-61 season. Their names were inspired by the fact that Minnesota was known as the "Land...
Of Wolves And Men The Lakers play in the heart of Hollywood culture and have enjoyed tremendous success during their existence, winning five NBA championships (including two consecutive titles from 2009-10). They also had a very successful era right after their formation in 1947, with nine straight playoff appearances, three of them being seasons where they won over 50 games.
The team has had its ups and downs since then, but they are always among the top teams in the league. They played their home games at various venues across Los Angeles until 1966, when they moved into the new Staples Center. The Lakers are owned by the Anschutz Corporation and their main sponsor is Starbucks.
In addition to their home games at Staples Center, the Lakers also play some of their home games at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Pavilion and the Honda Center in Anaheim. They travel all around the United States in order to find good basketball games to attend, so don't be surprised if you see them playing in Memphis, New York, or Chicago one day!
In 2014, Forbes estimated the franchise's value at $1 billion.