Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the United States, as evidenced by the huge fanbase and anticipation that fans have ahead of the start of a new season in mid-October. The thrilling 82-game NBA league offers B-ball fans the opportunity to see some of the NBA’s hottest superstars, such as Stephen Curry and LeBron James.
Only 30 teams play in the top-tier basketball league, and it’s pretty obvious that some states aren’t represented because they’ve never had an NBA team. Other teams moved to other states, leaving their home state without any teams. This article provides an overview of state representation in the NBA and why a team in Canada plays in the NBA.
States that have National Basketball Association teams
According to 1Key Data, 22 states in the United States have at least one NBA team. They include Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Washington DC* .
California tops the roster with four NBA teams, including the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, LA Lakers and Sacramento Kings. Texas follows closely with three teams: the Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets. Florida and New York come third with two teams each. The former has the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic, while New York has the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks.
This means that 17 states have a team in the NBA, bringing the total number of American teams to 28. The Toronto Raptors play in the NBA despite being based outside of the United States. Along with the Vancouver Grizzlies (who moved to Memphis in 2001), the Toronto Raptors were the two out-of-country teams that rounded out the NBA.
Which states in the United States do not have an NBA team?
Only 21 states have at least one professional basketball team. That leaves 29 states unrepresented in the NBA. The distribution of teams in the national basketball association has not been even because states like California and Florida have more than two basketball teams with the highest payrolls. Still, only other states are left to celebrate teams from other states.
As reported on Open Court Basketball, states without any NBA teams include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine , Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire. , New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Despite the disparity in state representation, the sport remains hugely popular across the United States. It is played in states without NBA teams, only that they don’t have an elite team in the National Basketball Association, only college and amateur basketball leagues. It’s not uncommon to see fans from non-team states crossing their borders to watch a game.
The exception of Washington DC and relocated teams
Washington DC’s Washington Wizards are often mentioned when listing NBA teams, although DC is not a state. Basketball Noise has also identified the Toronto Raptors – based in Canada – as another team outside the United States that plays in the NBA. Therefore, both cannot be assigned a state.
Additionally, other states and regions that had NBA representation were left without teams following the relocation of their teams to other states. For example, the Vancouver Grizzlies represented Canada until 2001 when they moved to Memphis for various reasons. Canada’s small fan base in Canada and the lack of a popular basketball league were the main reasons for the transfer.
Bleacher Report monitored potential relocations of NBA teams, catalyzed by the development of modern basketball arenas in cities/states without NBA teams. Kansas City, Missouri, once home of the Kansas City Kings (now in Sacramento), Seattle, Washington, once home of the Seattle Supersonics (now Oklahoma City Thunder), and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, once home of the ABA’s Pittsburgh Pistons , have positioned themselves as potential homes for elite NBA teams, having built outstanding stadiums and hosted major tournaments, such as the Big 12 and NCAA.
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