If We Give You the NBA City, Can You Tell Us the Team That Belongs There?

By: Jonnathan Chadwick

The Golden State Warriors would've loved to win the last game ever played in Oakland's Oracle Arena, but the Toronto Raptors didn't let that happen in the 2019 NBA Finals. The Warriors will move across the bridge to San Francisco for the 2019-20 season.

Madison Square Garden will go down as perhaps the most iconic sports arena in the world, and it's where the New York Knicks have played since its opening. It's also the oldest arena in the NBA, and the Knicks are one of the oldest teams in the league.

Toronto is one of the newer teams in the league, being founded in 1995, and in 2019 the franchise won its first NBA championship. Kawhi Leonard led the team, and they stopped the Golden State Warriors from winning three championships in a row.

The Boston Celtics franchise has 17 championships and is one of the NBA's original teams. The team has been located in Boston since its founding and was home to legends like Bill Russell, Bob Cousy and Larry Bird.

The Houston Rockets passed on Michael Jordan in the 1984 NBA Draft, but at least they selected Hakeem Olajuwon, who lead the franchise to two NBA championships in 1994 and 1995. The team's seen some success since then but hasn't been able to win it all.

The Charlotte Hornets moved to New Orleans, Louisiana in 2002 and became the New Orleans Hornets. The team ultimately became the New Orleans Pelicans in 2013 and haven't changed since.

Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls, and they won two three-peats in the 1990s. The team could've possibly won eight championships in a row if Jordan didn't leave to play baseball. The Houston Rockets won the championships in 1994 and 1995.

The former U.S. capital is home to one of America's most American teams, but the 76ers actually started in Syracuse. They moved to Philly in 1963, and legends like Julius Erving (aka Dr. J) and Charles Barkley played for the franchise.

Even on Antarctica, which is freezing cold but also the world's biggest desert, the sun is shining bright. You can't have a desert without the sun, and Arizona is home to plenty of deserts. Charles Barkley almost led the team to a championship, but they couldn't beat Michael Jordan and the Bulls.

Miami is known for its rain and humidity, but those aren't cool team names, so the franchise went with Heat instead. The team began one year before its counterpart in Orlando and have won three championships since, including back-to-back victories in 2012 and 2013.

The word "maverick" stems from legendary Texan Samuel Maverick, who went against the trend of branding cattle and paved his own path in the ranching industry. The word now defines an individualist who paves their own path in life.

Given that Jazz is one of the blackest musical genres and Utah is one of the whitest states in the country, it's perplexing to learn that Utah's NBA team is named the Jazz, but it's because the Jazz were founded in New Orleans, which is the Jazz Capital of the World.

The Wizards became the Wizards in 1998 and were known as the Bullets for about 25 years before the name change. Given D.C.'s high crime rate at the time, the name caught a lot of flack, and a change was needed. The city's NFL team, the Redskins, has also come under fire for its name.

The L.A. Lakers were founded in 1947, and the franchise has 16 championships, which is second only to the Boston Celtics. George Mikan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Shaq all played for the Lakers.

The San Antonio Spurs are listed alongside the New England Patriots, Alabama Crimson Tide and the Duke Blue Devils as three of the greatest and most disciplined teams the sports world has ever seen. Head coach Gregg Popovich has led the team to five NBA championships.

LeBron James was born in Akron, Ohio and won a championship just 45 minutes away for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016. Coincidentally, his Finals rival, Steph Curry, was born in the same Akron hospital about three years later.

The Orlando Magic is a fairly new NBA team. It was founded in 1989, 18 years after Walt Disney World opened, which inspired the team's name. The team never won a championship, but they are the only team to have beat Michael Jordan in his prime in the playoffs only to lose to the Rockets in the finals in 1995.

In 2010, Michael Jordan bought the Bobcats from Robert Johnson, who was the first African American majority owner in the NBA. Jordan has the distinction of being the first former player to own a team, and he still owns the team today, which became the Hornets in 2014.

With Jay-Z being connected to the Brooklyn Nets and with his sports agency representing both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, there's a strong likelihood the Brooklyn team could land a couple of superstars just in time for the 2020 season.

Everybody knows that Los Angeles is home to the Lakers. All the Clippers have to do to change that is win about 15 NBA championships, but until then, they can try to just make it the Finals. They've played in Los Angeles since 1984.

The Pacific Northwest is no stranger to trails of all kinds, and Portland's NBA team's name represents that. The team famously passed up on Michael Jordan for Sam Bowie in the 1984 draft. They later passed up on Kevin Durant for Greg Oden in the 2007 NBA draft.

Milwaukee's Greek Freak was named the NBA MVP for the 2019 season, and he became the first Milwaukee player to win the award since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won the award multiple times in the 1970s. The Bucks haven't won a championship since Kareem's days.

The Hawks have a storied NBA history and actually started in the league out in Midwest cities like Milwaukee and St. Louis. The team moved to Atlanta in 1968. The name is short for Blackhawks, which was the team's original name.

The Seattle SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City in 2008, but their sole championship banner stayed in Seattle. The team renamed to the Thunder and have yet to win a championship of their own. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook led the team to a Finals appearance in 2012.

A timberwolf sounds like a really cool animal, but it's just a wolf that lives among timber (aka a wolf that lives in the forest). It is different than an Arctic wolf or a tundra wolf, and Minnesota has more of them than any other of the lower 48 states.

The Denver Nuggets franchise was formed in 1967 but didn't join the NBA until 1976. They have never won an NBA championship but have been steadily getting better and have won three division titles from 2009 to 2019.

Detroit is the motor capital of America, and its NBA team is named after the part of the car engine that makes cars move: pistons. The team has been located in the area since its founding when it began as the Fort Wayne Pistons.

A pacer is a pace car that sets the pace and positions for racers during the rolling start of a big race like the Indy 500. Indianapolis is known for the race, which is one of the biggest sports events in the world.

If the Grizzlies had been founded in Memphis instead of Vancouver, they'd probably have a more musical name like the Utah Jazz, but that's not the case. The Grizzlies left Vancouver in 2001, leaving Toronto as Canada's sole NBA franchise.

The Sacramento Kings organization has one championship under its belt: The team won in 1951 playing out of upstate New York as the Rochester Royals. They made deep runs in the Western Conference playoffs in 2002 and 2003 but haven't been able to get back to the finals.

The SuperSonics were one of the most beloved teams in the NBA, and the league has been in talks of returning a franchise to the city ever since they left for Oklahoma City. They won one championship, and the banner still hangs in Seattle.

California is home to more sports teams than they know what to do with. Before the Clippers moved to L.A. and crowded the basketball scene in that city, they played in San Diego, which also hosted the Rockets about 10 years earlier.

If the last place you think of when you think of Jazz music is Utah, that's because the Jazz were founded in New Orleans and played there for five years. They kept the name when they moved to Salt Lake City.

Kansas City is a royal city, and the Kansas City Kings actually began as the Rochester and then Cincinnati Royals. The team moved to Sacramento in 1985 and has been there ever since. The team has never won a championship in Sacramento.

The reason the Lakers franchise is called the Lakers is because the team is from the land of 10,000 lakes. It's not because California has nice lakes, and it has nothing to do with Los Angeles. George Mikan and Elgin Baylor played for the Minneapolis dynasty.

The Golden State Warriors were one of the original NBA teams when they were founded in 1946 as the Philadelphia Warriors and played in the city for more than 15 years. They then became the San Francisco Warriors before settling on the Golden State Warriors.

The Nets always played second fiddle to their big brother New York Knicks, but the tides could be turning soon. After moving to Brooklyn, they began relationships with high-profile celebrities and are leading contenders to land major deals in the future.

San Diego was home to two NBA teams at different times, and one of them was the Rockets. The Rockets played in San Diego for four years and moved to Houston in 1971. The team won two championships in 1994 and '95 when Michael Jordan decided to play baseball.

The Charlotte Bobcats existed in the NBA for 10 years from 2004 to 2014. When the Charlotte Hornets relocated to New Orleans in 2002, the NBA decided to create a new team in Charlotte: the Bobcats. When the New Orleans team changed to the Pelicans, the Bobcats changed back to the Hornets.

The Washington Wizards began in Chicago as the Packers and Zephyrs, but once they moved to the D.C. area, they became the Baltimore Bullets. They were known as the Washington Bullets until 1998 when they changed due to the violent connotations of the name.

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Image: Shobeir Ansari / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

We love our sports in America, and the country is flooded with sports teams of all types. Scattered among America's 20,000 cities are the major markets that house hundreds of professional sports teams across several pro leagues. And within all of these leagues are a bunch of weird team names. Teams in the NBA are named after people, weather, animals, nature and miscellaneous items, and the league has been fascinating fans since 1946.

Today, there are 30 teams in 28 cities, but there have been dozens of franchises to grace the hardwood and dozens of cities to host professional squads. Not all teams last forever. The Celtics and the Knicks are the only two teams that have played in their original cities with their original names since the NBA's inaugural season. Every other team has either relocated, renamed or joined the league after 1946. The newest team is the Pelicans, and you know the two oldest teams in the league, now it's time to link them to the proper city.

If you can remember the new teams, the old teams, which franchise relocated where and what team plays in what arena, this quiz might not be too hard. Let's see what you got.

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