The Origins & History of Every NBA Team

See how jerseys have changed over the years

The Origins & History of Every NBA Team

With over seven decades of history, chances are there’s probably a lot you don’t know about the National Basketball Association and its 30 teams. Did you know that the Los Angeles Lakers once called Minnesota home? What about the fact that the Boston Celtics have had 24 players inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame? How about that the Los Angeles Clippers are supposedly cursed?

We’re diving deep into the history of every single current NBA team. You’re going to learn about how the teams came to be who they are today, including how the franchise was created, relocations to new cities, unexpected name changes and evolutions of jerseys and logos.

You’ll find out where your favorite stars hit the court in their home cities, accolades each team brought home and teams that have a solid representation in the Hall of Fame.

So, what do you actually know about the NBA? Let’s find out!


Golden State Warriors

In the 74 years since the Golden State Warriors were established, they’ve collected an impressive number of unrivaled accomplishments. The Warriors have amassed 6 NBA Championships, 7 division titles, and 11 conference titles in the last 7 decades. Now, the team’s predicted financial value sits at a cool $4.3 billion.

The Beginning Years

The modern-day Golden State Warriors were once known as the Philadelphia Warriors as far back as 1946. The team was a participating member of the Basketball Association of America, under the leadership of owner Peter A. Tyrrell and head coach Eddie Gottlieb. The team’s first standout star, Joe Fulks, led the Philadelphia Warriors to the first-ever championship in the BAA during the 1947 season.

By 1956, the team’s success remained steady with another league championship over the Fort Wayne Pistons. When Wilt Chamberlain signed with the Warriors in 1959, they took another gigantic leap. Chamberlain, a league leader in both scoring and rebounding, led the team with an astonishing 50 points per game during just his third year in the league. This continued into the early 1960s when the team moved to San Francisco after being purchased by TV producer Franklin Mieuli.

When the Warriors lost Chamberlain in 1965, the team’s unrivaled success took a sudden downturn, resulting in a 17 win season. That was quite surprising considering the team was coming off of an NBA Finals appearance during the previous season. This later changed when the Warriors drafted players like Rick Barry and Nate Thurmond, who helped to lead the team to the 1967 Finals against the new Philadelphia 76ers.

Between 1971 to 1972, the Warriors had another name change. The San Francisco Warriors hardly played in the San Francisco area, choosing to rename the team the “Golden State Warriors” instead. This name change brought a stroke of luck to the Warriors, as the team advanced to the NBA Finals in the 1975 season and swept the Bullets in just 4 games.

The Warriors went through yet another period of struggle thanks to some bad trade and poor performance on the court. The 1985 season meant the addition of future Hall of Famer Chris Mullin and upheaval of the current coaching staff. Despite these changes, the team wouldn’t see another title for quite some time.


If there’s one truth about the Golden State Warriors, it’s that they have gone through a lot of logos since their early years in Philadelphia.

After the move to San Francisco in 1962, the logo was completely overhauled. This new logo consisted of a solid gold circle with a blue Native American headdress inside. Another circle surrounded this with the name “San Francisco Warriors” added with the “I” being represented by an arrowhead, with that logo being surrounded by yet another gold circle.
The 1970 and 1971 seasons brought a logo that infused a landmark in the area: The Bay Bridge. This logo had a solid yellow circle with a blue outline of the bridge surrounded by a blue outline. The name “The City” was written above the circle.
From 1972 to 1975, the bridge in the logo was done away with, the yellow circle turned gold, and a blue outline of the State of California was inside of the circle. The name “Golden State Warriors” was written on the exterior of the circle.
Between 1976 and 1988, the gold circle turned into a yellow basketball.
The 1989 season called for a return of the gold coloring and utilized a much larger font.
The logo used between 1998 and 2010 was completely new to the franchise. This logo took on more of a superhero theme, with a muscular character holding a lightning bolt attached to the “W” in “Warriors.” The blue superhero stood in front of an orange basketball.
The logo used between the 2011 and 2019 seasons meant a return of the Bay Bridge. This logo had a blue circle with a yellow outline of the bridge. “Golden State Warriors” was printed around the exterior of the circle in blue.
The brand new logo released for the 2020 season simply uses a darker blue and thicker yellow lines on the bridge.

Chase Center

Location: San Francisco, California

Сapacity: 18,064


The Golden State Warriors have played in 9 different arenas since their early years back in Philadelphia. They split time between the Philadelphia Arena and the Philadelphia Convention Hall until they left for California in 1962. The Warriors played at the Cow Palace, San Francisco Civic Auditorium, and USF War Memorial Gymnasium between 1962 and 1966. They also hit the court at the San Diego Sports Arena (1971-1972), the San Jose Arena (1996-1997), and the Coliseum Arena. The Golden State Warriors have called the Chase Center home since 2019

Famous Fans

California-based teams always seem to get a large celebrity following, and the Warriors are no different. The team’s fan base also includes stars like George Lucas, Jessica Alba, Carlos Santana, and Manny Pacquiao.

Retired Numbers and Hall of Famers

Despite a team history dating back nearly three-quarters of a century, there’s something worth pointing out about the Warriors: The team has retired a mere 6 numbers worn by former players. That averages out to about one retired number every 12 years. As expected, the list is impressive.

Wilt Chamberlain
Tom Meschery
Al Attles
Chris Mullin
Rick Barry
Nate Thurmond

Even more significant is the fact that the Golden State Warriors currently have 19 former players that have been inducted into the coveted Basketball Hall of Fame. That includes 6-year Warriors veteran Wilt Chamberlain, averaging 41.5 points and 25.1 rebounds per game when with the team, amassing 17,783 points for the Warriors. The list also includes the likes of Chris Mullin, a 5-time All-Star who played 13 seasons for the squad.

Then to Now

The 2007 season brought the Warriors to the playoffs for the first time in 12 years. With the addition of Stephen Curry in 2009 and Kevin Durant a few years later in 2016, the once-struggling Warriors quickly changed course. The team qualified for the NBA Finals over 5 consecutive seasons from 2015 to 2019. The Warriors faced the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first 4 appearances, claiming victories in 2015, 2017, and 2018. It remains one of the most dominant stretches in league history.