Professional Basketball Team Names and Franchise Histories

(For other sports, go to Professional Sports Team Names.)

(Also see Pro Team Names with variable listing.)

(Also see College Team Names with variable listing.)


The teams shown here are of professional American basketball leagues, past and present.

Abbreviations are as follows:

  ABA - American Basketball Association; 1967-1976

  ABL - American Basketball League; 1925-1950

  BAA - Basketball Association of America; 1946-1948

  NBA - National Basketball Association; 1946-now

  NPBL - National Professional Basketball League; 1950-1951

  NBL - National Basketball League; 1937-1949

NBA Teams  (Current teams are shown in bold.)

1968- now, Atlanta Hawks; NBA

1955-1967, St. Louis Hawks; NBA

1951-1954, Milwaukee Hawks; NBA

1949-1951, Tri-Cities Blackhawks; NBA

1947-1949, Tri-Cities Blackhawks; NBL

1946-1946, Buffalo Bisons; NBL

1950-1951, Anderson Packers; NPBL

1949-1949, Anderson Packers; NBA

1947-1948, Anderson Duffey Packers; NBL

1975-1975, Baltimore Claws; ABA

1975-1975, Baltimore Hustlers; ABA

1974-1974, Memphis Sounds; ABA

1972-1973, Memphis Tams; ABA

1970-1971, Memphis Pros; ABA

1967-1969, New Orleans Buccaneers; ABA

1950-1954, Baltimore Bullets; NBA

1948-1949, Baltimore Bullets; BAA

1944-1947, Baltimore Bullets; ABL

1950- now, Boston Celtics; NBA

1946-1949, Boston Celtics; BAA

2004- now, Charlotte Bobcats; NBA

1966- now, Chicago Bulls; NBA

1949-1950, Chicago Stags; NBA

1946-1948, Chicago Stags; BAA

1970- now, Cleveland Cavaliers; NBA

1946-1946, Cleveland Rebels; BAA

1980- now, Dallas Mavericks; NBA

1976- now, Denver Nuggets; NBA

1974-1975, Denver Nuggets; ABA

1967-1974, Denver Rockets {Larks}; ABA

1951-1951, Evansville Agogans; NPBL

1950-1951, Denver Frontier Refiners; NPBL

1949-1949, Denver Nuggets; NBA

1948-1948, Denver Nuggets; NBL

1957- now, Detroit Pistons; NBA

1950-1956, Fort Wayne Pistons; NBA

1948-1949, Fort Wayne Pistons; BAA

1941-1947, Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons; NBL

1947-1947, Detroit Falcons; BAA

1946-1946, Indianapolis Olympians; BAA

1971- now, Golden State Warriors; NBA

1967-1970, San Francisco Warriors; ABA

1962-1966, San Francisco Warriors; NBA

1950-1961, Philadelphia Warriors; NBA

1946-1949, Philadelphia Warriors; BAA

1970-1972, The Floridians; ABA

1968-1970, Miami Floridians; ABA

1967-1968, Minnesota Muskies; ABA

1971- now, Houston Rockets; NBA

1967-1970, San Diego Rockets; NBA

1976- now, Indiana Pacers; NBA

1967-1975, Indiana Pacers; ABA

1949-1953, Indianapolis Olympians; NBA

1948-1949, Indianapolis Jets; BAA

1945-1947, Indianapolis Kautsky; NBL

1967-1975, Kentucky Colonels; ABA

1984- now, Los Angeles Clippers; NBA

1978-1984, San Diego Clippers; NBA

1970-1977, Buffalo Braves; NBA

1960- now, Los Angeles Lakers; NBA

1949-1959, Minneapolis Lakers; NBA

1948-1948, Minneapolis Lakers; BAA

1947-1947, Minneapolis Lakers; NBL

1946-1946, Detroit Gems; NBL

2002- now, Memphis Grizzlies; NBA

1995-2001, Vancouver Grizzlies; NBA

1988- now, Miami Heat; NBA

1968- now, Milwaukee Bucks; NBA

1989- now, Minnesota Timberwolves; NBA

1977- now, New Jersey Nets; NBA

1976-1977, New York Nets; NBA

1968-1975, New York Nets; ABA

1967-1968, New Jersey Americans; ABA

2002- now, New Orleans Hornets; NBA

1988-2001, Charlotte Hornets; NBA

1950- now, New York Knickerbockers; NBA

1946-1949, New York Knickerbockers; BAA

1989- now, Orlando Magic; NBA

1963- now, Philadelphia 76ers; NBA

1950-1962, Syracuse Nationals; NBA

1946-1949, Syracuse Nationals; NBL

1968- now, Phoenix Suns; NBA

1970-1971, Pittsburgh Condors; ABA

1967-1967, Pittsburgh Pipers; ABA

1968-1968, Minnesota Pipers; ABA

1969-1969, Pittsburgh Pipers; ABA

1946-1947, Pittsburgh Ironmen; BAA

1970- now, Portland Trail Blazers; NBA

1946-1948, Providence Steam Rollers; BAA

1985- now, Sacramento Kings; NBA

1975-1984, Kansas City Kings; NBA

1972-1974, Kansas City-Omaha Kings; NBA

1957-1971, Cincinnati Royals; NBA

1950-1956, Rochester Royals; NBA

1948-1949, Rochester Royals; BAA

1945-1947, Rochester Royals; NBL

1974-1975, Spirits of St. Louis; ABA

1969-1973, Carolina Cougars; ABA

1967-1968, Houston Mavericks; ABA

1976- now, San Antonio Spurs; NBA

1973-1975, San Antonio Spurs; ABA

1971-1972, Dallas Chaparrals; ABA

1970-1970, Texas Chaparrals; ABA

1967-1969, Dallas Chaparrals; ABA

1975-1975, San Diego Sails; ABA

1972-1974, San Diego Conquistadors; ABA

1967- now, Seattle SuperSonics; NBA

1950-1951, Sheboygan Red Skins; NPBL

1949-1949, Sheboygan Red Skins; NBA

1938-1948, Sheboygan Red Skins; NBL

1950-1950, St. Louis Bombers; NBA

1946-1949, St. Louis Bombers; BAA

1995- now, Toronto Raptors; NBA

1946-1947, Toronto Huskies; BAA

1979- now, Utah Jazz; NBA

1974-1978, New Orleans Jazz; NBA

1970-1975, Utah Stars; ABA

1968-1970, Los Angeles Stars; ABA

1967-1968, Anaheim Amigos; ABA

1970-1975, Virginia Squires; ABA

1969-1969, Washington Caps; ABA

1967-1968, Oakland Oaks; ABA

1997- now, Washington Wizards; NBA

1974-1996, Washington Bullets; NBA

1973-1973, Capital Bullets; NBA

1963-1972, Baltimore Bullets; NBA

1962-1962, Chicago Zephyrs; NBA

1961-1961, Chicago Packers; NBA

1946-1950, Washington Capitols; BAA

1950-1951, Waterloo Hawks; NPBL

1949-1949, Waterloo Hawks; NBA

1948-1948, Waterloo Hawks; NBL


National Basketball League Teams, 1937-1949

1937-41, Akron Firestone Non-Skids

1937-42, Akron Goodyear Wingfoots

1946-49, Anderson Duffey Packers

1937-38, Buffalo Bisons

1939-42, Chicago Bruins

1942-43, Chicago Studebaker Flyers

1944-47, Chicago American Gears

1937-38, Cincinnati Comellos

1943-44, Cleveland Chase Brassmen

1944-46, Cleveland Allmen Transfers

1938-39, Columbus Athletic Supply

1937-38, Dayton Metropolitans

1948-49, Denver Nuggets

1939-41, Detroit Eagles

1946-47, Detroit Gems

1948-49, Detroit Vagabond Kings/Dayton Rens

1947-48, Flint Dow A.C.'s/Midland Dow A.C.'s

1937-38, Fort Wayne General Electrics

1941-48, Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons

1938-41, Hammond Ciesar All-Americans

1948-49, Hammond Calumet Buccaneers

1937-48, Indianapolis Kautskys

1937-38, Kankakee Gallagher Trojans

1947-48, Minneapolis Lakers

1937-49, Oshkosh All-Stars

1937-39, Pittsburgh Pirates

1944-45, Pittsburgh Raiders

1937-38, Cincinnati Comellos

1945-48, Rochester Royals

1938-49, Sheboygan Redskins

1946-49, Syracuse Nationals

1941-43, Toledo Jim White Chevrolets

1946-48, Toledo Jeeps

1946-49, Tri-Cities Blackhawks

1937-38, Warren Penns

1938-39, Warren Penns/Cleveland White Horses

1948-49, Waterloo Hawks

1937-38, Whiting Ciesar All-Americans

1945-47, Youngstown Bears



The new American Basketball Association

See Team Names for a listing of current and past ABA teams.

American Basketball League Teams, 1925-1955

1936-1937, Atlantic City Sandpipers

1926-1927, Baltimore Orioles

1939-1941, Baltimore Clippers

1944-1947;Baltimore Bullets

1925, Boston Whirlwinds

1934-1935, Boston Trojans

1948-1952, Bridgeport Roesslers

1933-1934, Bronx Americans

1925-1927, Brooklyn Arcadians

1927-1931;Brooklyn Visitations

1940-1941, Brooklyn Celtics

1942-1944, Brooklyn Indians

1944-1949, Brooklyn Gothams

1945-1946, New York Gothams

1925-1926, Buffalo Bisons

1950-1951, Carbondale Aces

1925-1931, Chicago Bruins

1925-1931, Cleveland Rosenblums

1925-1927, Detroit Lions

1927-1928, Detroit Cardinals

1951-1953, Elmira Colonels

1925-1931, Fort Wayne Hoosiers

1949-1950, New York Harlem Yankees

1942-1943, Harrisburg Senators

1946-1950, Hartford Hurricanes

1933-1940, Jersey Reds

1935-1940, Kingston Colonials

1947, Lancaster Roses

1951-1953, Manchester British-Americans

1933-1935, New Britain Mules

1926-1938, New York Celtics

1928-1929, New York Hakoahs

1933-1943, New York Jewels

1937-1938, New York Yankees

1943-1944, New York Americans

1933-1935, Newark Mules

1935-1936, Passaic Red Devils

1928-1931, Paterson Crescents

1945-1951, Paterson Crescents

1952-1953, Pawtucket Slaters

1926-1929, Philadelphia Warriors

1933-1949, Philadelphia Hebrews

1925-1931, Rochester Centrals

1949, Schenectady Packers

1946-1953, Scranton Miners

1930, Syracuse All-Americans

1930, Toledo Red Men Tobaccos

1928, Trenton Bengals

1933-1934, Trenton Moose

1941-1950, Trenton Tigers

1946-1947, Troy Celtics

1950-1951, Utica Pros

1925-1928, Washington Palace Five

1938-1942, Washington Brewers

1951-1952, Washington Capitols

1938-1940, Wilkes-Barre Barons

1947-1953, Wilkes-Barre Barons

1941-1942, Wilmington Blue Bombers

1943-1947, Wilmington Bombers

1946-1947, Yonkers Chiefs

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