The second half rundown of all 30 NBA teams and their history, helping you decide which one you should support. The first 15 can be found here.
The Miami Heat are a destination team for NBA free agents. The biggest example this was seen in 2010 when Chris Bosh and LeBron James joined Dwyane Wade in Miami to create an NBA powerhouse in the ‘Big Three’. The Big Three disbanded in the summer of 2014 as LeBron went back home to Cleveland after winning two titles in Miami. The franchises only other NBA title came in 2006 as Wade and Shaquille O’Neal paired to bring the franchise its first title. In 2015 two of the Big Three remain, Bosh and Wade. With some interesting pieces around them and a weak Eastern Conference the Heat have a good chance of making some noise in 15-16 season after Bosh was ruled out for the season after blood clots were found in his lung. Get better CB.
Star Player(s): Chris Bosh/Dwayne Wade
As a British fan of the NBA spelling ‘Milwaukee’ first time will never get any easier. The Bucks have one title to their name coming back in 1971 thanks to the ‘Big-O’ Oscar Robertson and Lew Alcindor (who later changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabaar after converting to Islam). In the modern day things look promising for the Bucks. Under new ownership the team is young and is looking better game by game. Second pick in the 2014 Draft Jabari Parker is destined to be a star with promising pieces alongside him such as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Michael Carter-Williams. Coach Jason Kidd has a lot to work with moving forward.
Star Player(s): Jabari Parker/Giannis Antetokounmpo/MCW
The Timberwolves were an expansion team in 1989 and struggled through their early years. Their most successful years came with Kevin Garnett carrying the team to a conference finals appearance. Since trading Garnett in 2007 the team has been in rebuild mode. Kevin Love offered a glimmer of hope to the franchise but never had the pieces around him to get the team to the Playoffs. Now the team is young but very promising with first pick Andrew Wiggins as the face of the franchise. Wiggins looks like he could be an NBA star and if the Timberwolves can hang on to him, they will be in the title hunt in a few years.
Star Player(s): Andrew Wiggins
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans were founded the New Orleans Hornets in 2002 and have had relative success in that time. The first era of success came when the team drafted Chris Paul in 2005. He led the team to one Playoff series win and a division title before leaving for the Clippers. In Anthony Davis the Pelicans have a future MVP and an elite level talent. Davis will make the team relevant with his own play, but to win titles management needs to ensure they get the right talent around him for the team to prosper.
Star Player(s): Anthony Davis
New York Knicks
The Knickerbockers are another of the NBA’s most famous franchises, playing in the Big Apple certainly helps that fact. Their only NBA titles came in the early 1970s as the team including Walt Frazier and Clyde Drexler won two in 1971 and 1973. The team reached two NBA finals during the 1990s with big man Patrick Ewing carrying the team but could not win another title. Since then they have struggled to get back into the championship picture. Carmelo Anthony is their current star but poor management has meant the team has been stuck with unachieving players on big contracts in his time there. If new President Phil Jackson can get the right pieces in place then perhaps they have a chance in the near future.
Star Player(s): Carmelo Anthony
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder were the famous Seattle Supersonics for the first 41 years of their history before moving to OKC controversially in 2008. The team won one title in Seattle but is perhaps most famous for its team in the 90s consisting of Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton. Since the relocation to Oklahoma in 2008 the team has been carried by current MVP Kevin Durant and more recently Russell Westbrook. The pair reached the NBA Finals in 2012 but lost to Miami. The Thunder have a big chance of championships with Durant and Westbrook, but if the team can’t win big soon it could result in Durant leaving in free agency in 2016.
Star Player(s): Kevin Durant/Russell Westbrook
Orlando Magic The Magic were an expansion team in 1989 and since then have had illustrious names such as Shaquille O’neal, Tracy McGrady and Dwight Howard wear the blue and black jersey. They have reached the NBA Finals twice but only managed to win one game in both series combined. They are currently in the midst of a rebuild and have promising pieces going forward in Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton.
Star Player(s): Oladipo/Nikola Vucevic
The 76ers are one of the more well known NBA franchises. They have a plentiful list of former stars such as Wilt Chamberlain, ‘Dr J’ Julius Irving, Charles Barkley and Allen Iverson. The franchise also has three titles to its name, the last coming in 1983. Nowadays the 76ers are the worst team in the NBA by a mile. They are in full rebuild mode trading any assets worth trading for future draft picks or extra money. They won’t get better for a while but if GM Sam Hinkie’s plan does work, then the 76ers could be a force in the future.
Star Player(s): Joel Embiid/Nerlens Noel
Phoenix Suns The Suns are the team with the highest winning percentage to never win an NBA title. The most famous era in Suns history came when the team signed free agent Steve Nash. Alongside Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion never really got close to a title, reaching the Conference Finals twice, but their up tempo style of play and the pick and roll game between Nash and Stoudemire was fun to watch whoever you were a fan of. In 2015 the team is on the edge of the Playoffs looking in and looking for some kind of direction. With the team going the way it is there is a chance they could become a treadmill team if moves aren’t made to acquire a real star for the franchise.
Star Player(s): Eric Bledsoe
Portland Trailblazers The Trailblazers have one of, if not the, best fan bases in the NBA. From 1977 through to 1995 the team sold out 412 consecutive home games, the longest such streak in American sports history at the time. The name perhaps most famous with the franchise is that of Bill Walton after he brought the franchise its only title in 1977. In the mid-2000s the team had a series of star players go down with injury problems that otherwise could have made the franchise a contender, Greg Oden and Brandon Roy. Today the team is looking very promising. LaMarcus Aldridge leads the line for the Blazers with the support from the ever improving All Star Damian Lillard. The team could be and contender going forward and could be a factor come Playoff time.
Star Player(s): Aldridge/Lillard
Sacramento Kings The Kings are the oldest franchise in the League, founded in 1923 the team has only one title coming in 1951 as the Rochester Royals. Their most famous team however is the team of the early 2000s with Mike Bibby and Chris Webber going head to head with the Lakers of Shaq and Kobe. More recently it has been a time of struggle for the Kings with draft busts and off court drama. DeMarcus Cousins looks as though he will bring the team success in the future however, and if the team can acquire one more star then they could swiftly move up the rankings.
Star Player(s): DeMarcus Cousins
San Antonio Spurs
The current NBA Champions are the cream of the crop in terms of what to build a franchise like. Since drafting Tim Duncan in 1997 the team has won five NBA Championships with their Big Three of Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili as well as Coach Gregg Popovich. The team plays unselfish basketball and have been in the Playoffs for the past 17 years since Duncan was drafted. Kawhi Leonard is the team’s future after winning the Finals MVP last season. Always a contender and always a factor come Playoff time.
Star Player(s): Duncan/Parker/Leonard
The NBA’s only Canadian team. Founded in 1993 the Raptors struggled early but after acquiring Vince Carter in a draft-day trade they had some success making the Playoffs for three consecutive years. After he was traded away in 2004 Chris Bosh emerged as the new face of the franchise. They still however made no real progress in the Playoffs and Bosh left in 2010 for Miami. In the present day the team is back to being in contention. Led by Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan the team are near the top of the Eastern Conference fighting for Playoff position. Going forward the team have a real chance of making progress in the Playoffs.
Star Player(s): DeRozan/Lowry
The Jazz’s most successful period was a famed one. Their two stars Karl Malone and John Stockton made one of the most effective one-two punches the league has ever seen with Stockton the all time NBA assist leader and Malone second all time in points. However the franchise has never won an NBA Title. Today the team is amidst a long rebuild process which seems to be finally paying dividends. Although the team is struggling this season they have the potential talent going forward to make a move up the rankings in the coming years.
Star Player(s): Gordon Hayward
The Wizards only title came in 1978 as an underdog team consisting of Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld. Since then the Wiz have been rather mediocre, their only real accomplishment being that Michael Jordan came out of retirement for them in 2002. The Wiz are looking promising now however with a backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal propelling them to the top half of the Playoff race. The team could surprise a few people come Playoff time if they stay healthy.
Star Player(s): John Wall
That is all 30 NBA teams, their history and their now. Hopefully this has helped you whittle down your choices and select which team you’ll be following from now on. Let me know in the comments who you have decided to follow, be it a team for now, or a team for the future.
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