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ⓘ Blog | Relocated National Basketball Association teams - sports team relocations ..



                                               

Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks are an American professional basketball team based in Atlanta. The Hawks compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the leagues Eastern Conference Southeast Division. The team plays its home games at State Farm Arena. The teams origins can be traced to the establishment of the Buffalo Bisons in 1946 in Buffalo, New York, a member of the National Basketball League NBL owned by Ben Kerner and Leo Ferris. After 38 days in Buffalo, the team moved to Moline, Illinois, where they were renamed the Tri-Cities Blackhawks. In 1949, they joined the NBA as part of the merger between the NBL and the Basketball Association of America BAA, and briefly had Red Auerbach as coach. In 1951, Kerner moved the team to Milwaukee, where they changed their name to the Hawks. Kerner and the team moved again in 1955 to St. Louis, where they won their only NBA Championship in 1958 and qualified to play in the NBA Finals in 1957, 1960 and 1961. The Hawks played the Boston Celtics in all four of their trips to the NBA Finals. The St. Louis Hawks moved to Atlanta in 1968, when Kerner sold the franchise to Thomas Cousins and former Georgia Governor Carl Sanders. The Hawks currently own the second-longest drought behind the Sacramento Kings of not winning an NBA championship at 60 seasons. The franchises lone NBA championship, as well as all four NBA Finals appearances, occurred when the team was based in St. Louis. Meanwhile, they went 48 years without advancing past the second round of the playoffs in any format, until finally breaking through in 2015. However, the Hawks are one of only four NBA teams that have qualified to play in the NBA playoffs in 10 consecutive seasons in the 21st century. They achieved this feat between 2008 and 2017.

                                               

Detroit Pistons

The Detroit Pistons are an American professional basketball team based in Detroit. The Pistons compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the leagues Eastern Conference Central Division and plays its home games at Little Caesars Arena, located in Midtown. The team was founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana as the Fort Wayne Pistons in 1941, a member of the National Basketball League where it won two NBL championships: in 1944 and 1945. The Pistons later joined the Basketball Association of America in 1948. The NBL and BAA merged to become the NBA in 1949, and the Pistons became part of the merged league. In 1957, the franchise moved to Detroit. The Pistons have won three NBA championships: in 1989, 1990 and 2004.

                                               

Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors are an American professional basketball team based in San Francisco. The Warriors compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the leagues Western Conference Pacific Division. Founded in 1946 in Philadelphia, the Warriors moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1962 and took the citys name, before changing its geographic moniker to Golden State in 1971. They play their home games at the Chase Center. The Warriors won the inaugural Basketball Association of America BAA championship in 1947, and won again in 1956, led by Hall of Fame trio Paul Arizin, Tom Gola, and Neil Johnston. After a brief rebuilding period after the trade of star Wilt Chamberlain, the team moved to San Francisco. In 1975, star players Jamaal Wilkes and Rick Barry powered the Warriors to their third championship, largely considered one of the biggest upsets in NBA history. The team struggled in the 1980s, then became playoff regulars at the turn of the decade with stars Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, and Chris Mullin, nicknamed "Run TMC". The team returned to championship glory in 2015, led by Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green; they won again in 2017 and 2018, with the help of former MVP Kevin Durant. Nicknamed the Dubs as a shortening of "Ws", the Warriors hold several NBA records: best regular season, most wins in a season regular season and postseason combined, and best postseason run. Curry and Thompson are among the greatest backcourts of all time. Only the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics have more NBA championships. The Warriors are the third most valuable NBA franchise with a value estimated of $4.3 billion by Forbes. In 2018, it was seventh-highest valued sports franchise in the United States, and tied for tenth in the world.

                                               

Houston Rockets

The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston. They compete in the National Basketball Association as a member team of the leagues Western Conference Southwest Division. The team plays its home games at the Toyota Center, located in Downtown Houston. The Rockets have won two NBA championships and four Western Conference titles. The team was established in 1967 as the San Diego Rockets, an expansion team originally based in San Diego. In 1971, the Rockets moved to Houston. The Rockets won only 15 games in their debut season as a franchise in 1967. In the 1968 NBA draft, the Rockets were awarded the first overall pick and selected power forward Elvin Hayes, who would lead the team to its first playoff appearance in his rookie season. The Rockets did not finish a season with a winning record for almost a decade until the 1976–77 season, when they traded for All-Star center Moses Malone. Malone went on to win the NBA Most Valuable Player MVP award twice while playing with the Rockets and led Houston to the Eastern Conference Finals in his first year with the team. During the 1980–81 season, the Rockets finished the regular season with a 40–42 record. Despite their losing record, they qualified for the playoffs. Led by Malone, the Rockets stunned the entire league by making their first NBA Finals appearance in 1981, becoming only the second team in NBA history to make the NBA Finals with a losing record. They would lose in six games to the 62–20 Boston Celtics, led by Larry Bird, Robert Parish, and future Rockets head coach Kevin McHale. As of 2019, the 1980–81 Rockets are the last team since the 1954–55 Minneapolis Lakers to make it all the way to the NBA Finals with a losing record. In the 1984 NBA draft, once again with the first overall pick, the Rockets drafted center Hakeem Olajuwon, who would become the cornerstone of the most successful period in franchise history. Paired with 7 feet 4 inches 2.24 m Ralph Sampson, they formed one of the tallest front courts in the NBA. Nicknamed the "Twin Towers", they led the team to the 1986 NBA Finals - the second NBA Finals appearance in franchise history - where Houston was again defeated by Larry Bird and the 67-win Boston Celtics. The Rockets continued to reach the playoffs throughout the 1980s, but failed to advance past the first round for several years following a second round defeat to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1987. Rudy Tomjanovich took over as head coach midway through the 1991–92 season, ushering in the most successful period in franchise history. Led by Olajuwon, the Rockets dominated the 1993–94 season, setting a franchise record 58 wins and went to the 1994 NBA Finals - the third NBA Finals appearance in franchise history - and won the franchises first championship against Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks. During the following season, reinforced by another All-Star, Clyde Drexler, the Rockets - in their fourth NBA Finals appearance in franchise history - repeated as champions with a four-game sweep of the Orlando Magic, who were led by a young Shaquille ONeal and Penny Hardaway. Houston, which finished the season with a 47–35 record and was seeded sixth in the Western Conference during the 1995 playoffs, became the lowest-seeded team in NBA history to win the title. The Rockets acquired all-star power forward Charles Barkley in 1996, but the presence of three of the NBAs 50 greatest players of all-time was not enough to propel Houston past the Western Conference Finals. Each one of the aging trio had left the team by 2001. The Rockets of the early 2000s, led by superstars Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, followed the trend of consistent regular season respectability followed by playoff underachievement as both players struggled with injuries. After Yaos early retirement in 2011, the Rockets entered a period of rebuilding, completely dismantling and retooling their roster. The acquisition of franchise player James Harden in 2012 has launched the Rockets back into championship contention in the mid-2010s. Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon, and James Harden have been named the NBAs Most Valuable Player while playing for the Rockets, for a total of four MVP awards. The Rockets, under general manager Daryl Morey, are notable for popularizing the use of advanced statistical analytics similar to sabermetrics in baseball in player acquisitions and style of play.

                                               

Los Angeles Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Clippers compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the Pacific Division in the leagues Western Conference. The Clippers play their home games at the Staples Center, an arena they share with fellow NBA team the Los Angeles Lakers, as well as the Los Angeles Sparks of the Womens National Basketball Association, and the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League. The franchise was founded in 1970 as the Buffalo Braves, and were one of three expansion teams to join the NBA that year, along with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Portland Trail Blazers. The Braves saw some success and reached the playoffs three times, led by league Most Valuable Player MVP Bob McAdoo. Conflicts with the Canisius Golden Griffins over the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium and the sale of the franchise led to their relocating from Buffalo, New York, to San Diego, California. In 1978, upon relocating, the franchise was rebranded to be known as the San Diego Clippers, in reference to the sailing ships that can be seen in the San Diego Bay. The franchise saw limited success on the court in its six years in San Diego despite the acquisition of star center Bill Walton, who missed nearly three full seasons due to injury upon his arrival. In 1981, the franchise was acquired by Los Angeles–based real estate mogul Donald Sterling. In 1984, the franchise was controversially relocated to Los Angeles by Sterling without the approval of the NBA. Despite fines and a lawsuit brought on against franchise ownership by the NBA seeking to return the franchise to San Diego, the team was ultimately permitted to remain in Los Angeles, where they failed to see significant regular season or playoff success. They were frequently seen as an example of a perennial loser in American professional sports, drawing unfavorable comparisons to their historically successful city-rivals, the Lakers. Between 2008 and 2017, the organization improved through the additions of players such as Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, and Chris Paul. This lineup led the Clippers as a consistent playoff team and were nicknamed "Lob City". In the 2012–13 and 2013–14 seasons, the franchise won its first division titles. They appeared in the playoffs seven times from 2012 to 2019, equaling the number of appearances for the franchise from 1970 to 2011. In 2019, the Clippers signed two-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Kawhi Leonard and traded a record number of draft picks for perennial NBA All-Star Paul George.

                                               

Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Lakers compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the leagues Western Conference in the Pacific Division. The Lakers play their home games at Staples Center, an arena shared with the NBAs Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Sparks of the Womens National Basketball Association, and the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League. The Lakers are one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA, and have won 16 NBA championships, the second-most behind the Boston Celtics. The franchise began with the 1947 purchase of a disbanded team, the Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League NBL. The new team began playing in Minneapolis, calling themselves the Minneapolis Lakers. Initially a member of the NBL, the Lakers won the 1948 NBL championship before joining the rival Basketball Association of America, where they would win five of the next six championships, led by star George Mikan. After struggling financially in the late 1950s following Mikans retirement, they relocated to Los Angeles before the 1960–61 season. Led by Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor and Jerry West, Los Angeles made the NBA Finals six times in the 1960s, but lost each series to the Celtics, beginning their long and storied rivalry. In 1968, the Lakers acquired four-time NBA Most Valuable Player MVP Wilt Chamberlain, and won their sixth NBA title - and first in Los Angeles - in 1972, led by new head coach Bill Sharman. After the retirement of West and Chamberlain, the team acquired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who also won multiple MVP awards, but was unable to make the Finals in the late 1970s. The 1980s Lakers were nicknamed "Showtime" due to their fast break-offense led by Magic Johnson. The team won five championships in a nine-year span, and contained Hall of Famers Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy, and was led by Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley. After Abdul-Jabbar and Johnson retired, the team struggled in the early 1990s, before acquiring Shaquille ONeal and Kobe Bryant in 1996. With the duo, who were led by another Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson, the team won three consecutive titles between 2000 to 2002, securing the franchise its second "three-peat". The Lakers won two more championships in 2009 and 2010, but failed to regain their former glory in the following decade. The Lakers hold the record for NBAs longest winning streak, 33 straight games, set during the 1971–72 season. Twenty-six Hall of Famers have played for Los Angeles, while four have coached the team. Four Lakers - Abdul-Jabbar, Johnson, ONeal, and Bryant - have won the NBA MVP Award for a total of eight awards.

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