How many teams are in the NBA?

Not just in USA infact all over the world, basketball is one of the most popular sports. NBA is widely considered as the best basketball league in the world. In United States and Canada, this is one of the top four major professional sports leagues. NBA is a men’s professional basketball league. What do you know more about NBA? How many teams are in the NBA?

The NBA was founded on June 6, 1946 at the Commodore hotel in New York City. The first ever president of NBA was Maurice Podoloff. Inaugural season saw 11 teams taking their part in the league. It was originally called as the Basketball Association of America or BAA.

In that period, there were two other professional league in USA, American basketball League (ABL) and National Basketball League (NBL). After battling against each other to gain fans and players for their respective leagues finally BAA and NBL merged on August 3, 1949 and NBA was born

Yeah NBA was originated with 11 teams. But after going through a sequence of team expansions, reductions and relocation the league currently has 30 teams across North America. However, the United States is home to 29 teams and remaining one in Canada


For all 30 NBA teams, the league is divided into 2 conferences:

  • Eastern Conference
  • Western Conference


The Eastern Conference has 3 divisions:

  • Atlantic
  • Central
  • Southeast


The Western Conference has also got 3 divisions:

  • Northwest
  • Pacific
  • Southwest

Each division has got 5 number of NBA teams

In 2004-05 season, this current divisional alignment was first introduced. You will see most of the NBA basketball teams are in the eastern half of the country: 13 teams are in the Eastern time zone, in Central there are 9, 3 in the Mountain and remaining 5 in the Pacific

List of NBA teams is given below:

Eastern Conference

This Eastern conference has got three separate divisions. Each one of them has got five sides. We are mentioning those NBA team names here-

Atlanta Division

Boston Celtics:

Team owner Walter Brown chose Celtics over whirlwinds, Olympians and unicorn as the name for Boston’s Basketball association of American team in 1946. They joined NBA in that year. Current head coach of Boston Celtics is Bradley Kent Stevens


Brooklyn Nets:

They joined the American Basketball Association in 1967. New York Nets and New Jersey Nets were their previous two names. Finally, they settle into Brooklyn Nets in 2012. Their head coach is Kenny Atkinson


New York Knicks: 

“Knickerbocker” means pants being rolled up just below the knee by Dutch Settler in 1600s. In the 1946, they were granted a franchise in the basketball association of America. Mike MIller is their Current head coach


Philadelphia 76ers: 

At 1949, they joined NBA as Syracuse Nationals. The team was renamed as 76ers. This is actually a sign for the declaration of independence of Philadelphia in 1776. Currently their head coach is Brett Brown


Toronto Raptors: 

Toronto Raptors, the Canadian professional basketball team arrived in 1995. Nick Nurse is their coach



Central Division

Chicago Bulls:

Team owner Richard Klein wanted a name that could portray Chicago’s status as the meat capital of the world. They came into NBA in 1966. Jim Boylen is their head coach


Cleveland Cavaliers:

In 1970, fans voted Cavaliers as the nickname through a poll. They joined NBA later that year. John Beilein is their head coach


Detroit Pistons:

When they joined the league in 1948, they were known as Fort Wayne Pistons. Soon after the team was moved to Detroit in 1957, they renamed the team as Detroit Pistons. Head coach for them: Dwayne Casey


Indiana Pacers:

The name is a reference to Indiana’s rich harness and auto racing history. In 1976 Indiana Pacers came into NBA. Nate Mcmillan is their head coach right at this moment


Milwaukee Bucks:

Milwaukee Bucks joined NBA in 1968. Mike Budenholzer is their head coach


Southeast Division

Atlanta Hawks:

They joined the NBA in 1949 as Tri-Cities Blackhawks. They later got the name Milwaukee Hawks. They won an NBA title in 1958 as St. Louis Hawks. Finally, they got the Atlanta in 1968. Lloyd Daniel Pierce is their head coach


Charlotte Hornets:

Charlotte Hornet joined NBA in 1988. In 2004 they change their name to charlotte Bobcats but in 2014 they got back to the charlotte Hornet again. James Borrego is their head coach


Miami Heat:

Miami heat is a 3-time NBA champion. They joined the NBA in 1988. Erik Spoelstra is their head coach


Orlando Magic:

The credit for the name goes to the tourism rich city’s main attraction, Disney world. In 1989 they came into the NBA. Their head coach is none other than Steve Clifford


Washington Wizards:

Chicago Packers entered into the NBA in 1961. After that they were so many nicknames for the team before finally being settled into Washington Wizards in 1998. In between, their previous nicknames were Chicago Packers, Chicago Zephyrs, Baltimore Bullets, Capital Bullets and Washington Bullets. Scott William Brooks is their head coach


Western Conference:

There are 15 number of NBA teams in the Western conference

Northwest Division

Denver Nuggets:

Their ABA team was known as the Rockets. But they entered into NBA with a new nickname “Denver Nuggets” in 1976. Michael Malone is their head coach


Minnesota Timberwolves:

They first played into 1989 NBA championship. Ryan Saunders is their head coach


Oklahoma City Thunder:

Seattle Supersonics relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008. Before that the team retained their original nickname Seattle Supersonics for 41 years. At present, Billy Donovan is the head coach 


Portland Trail Blazers:

In 1970 Portland stepped their feet on the NBA court. Terry Stotts is their head coach


Utah Jazz:

New Orleans Jazz came into the NBA in 1974. They changed their name to Utah Jazz in 1979. Quin Snyder is their coach


Southwest Division:

Dallas Mavericks:

It was at 1980 when Dallas Maverick came into NBA. They have won one title so far. Rick Carlisle is their head coach


Houston Rockets: 

They cam into NBA as Sand Diego Rockets in 1967. When they moved to Houston in 1971. They changed their name to Houston Rockets. Head coach: Mike D’Antoni


Memphis Grizzlies: 

Their initial name was Vancouver Grizzlies when first arrived into the scene in 1995. Later in 2001, they got the new name “Memphis Grizzlies”. Taylor Jenkins is their current head coach


New Orleans Pelicans: 

They came first as the New Orleans Hornets in 2002. After Tom Benson purchased New Orleans Hornet in 2012, they changed their name into New Orleans Pelicans. Alvin Gentry is their head coach


San Antonio Spurs:

In 1976 there came San Antonio Spurs. Gregg Popovich is their head coach


Pacific Division

Golden State Warriors:

In 1946-47 they played as Philadelphia Warriors. They then moved to San Francisco after 1961-62 season. In 1971 the team was renamed Golden State Warriors. Their head coach is Steve Kerr


Los Angeles Clippers:

Buffalo Braves moved to San Diego in 1978 and they settle into clippers. After buying Clippers Donald Sterling renamed them according to his native, Los Angeles Clippers in 1984. Head coach: Doc Rivers


Los Angeles Lakers:

Originally named Minneapolis Lakers moved to Los Angeles Lakers in 1960. Head coach: Frank Vogel


Phoenix Suns:

General manager Jerry Colangelo settle on a name Phoenix Suns in 1968. Head coach is Monty Williams


Sacramento Kings:

Since 1985 this team is known as Sacramento Kings. The previous Nicknames were Rochester Royal, Cincinnati Royals, Kansas City-Omaha Kings, Kansas City Kings. Luke Walton is their head coach

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  • Updated July 13, 2020
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