The NBA is one of the most successful and popular leagues in the world, and the ideal place to find the ultimate mix of sporting talent – young potential, and veteran experience. Since it was first founded, the NBA has become the go-to league in the world for basketball stars and generates new fans every year. Not all of the teams have a legacy, but many of them have built legacies over the years.
There are certain teams that are pretty new to the party in the NBA, while others have undergone name changes along the way. The league has evolved quite a bit since it was first founded back in June 1946. And we’re going to look at who the oldest teams in the league are, and what they are called these days as well – some of them might surprise you!
The Boston Celtics still play in the same city, and still keep the same name as when they first joined in 1946 – and are one of only 2 franchise to be able to say that. The Celtics are certainly something of an institution in modern basketball and should be counted as one of the most successful franchises in the history of the game. With 17 NBA Championships under their belt, the team ranks as the most successful NBA team, though they haven’t won a title since 2009. Though undergoing a rebuilding phase right now, it’s clear that the Celtics are still a force in the modern game.
New York Knicks
Founded in 1946 by Ned Irish, The Knicks are one of the founding members of the NBA, and, along with the Celtics are one of only two founding teams still located in their original city. Part of the furniture in Manhattan, the Knicks are one of the most supported sides in the NBA. They have never quite reached the heights of the 1970s glory days, and are considered by many to be sleeping giants. Despite this, they did manage to capture a divisional title in the 2012-13, and they remain the most valuable franchise in the NBA, valued at close to $3.5 billion.
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors might not seem like one of the oldest ever NBA teams, but that’s because they’ve undergone a few name changes in their time. Founded in 1946 (as one of the original NBA founding members) the franchise initially operated under the name Philadelphia Warriors, up until 1962. They then relocated to San Francisco and spent almost a decade as the San Francisco Warriors. In 1971, they became Golden State Warriors, and the name has stayed. The Warriors have 5 NBA Championship titles to their name and are the third most valuable franchise in the league.
Founded later in 1966, the Bulls make our list as they are one of the most important and influential teams in the league. With their heyday coming in the ‘90s, with an unprecedented 6 titles during the decade, they were responsible for making the NBA a global powerhouse. They also had the first ever global superstar athlete in Michael Jordan. The Bulls may not have as much history as the Celtics or the Knicks, but they are certainly a long-running franchise, and one of the most important in history.
As the NBA continues to evolve and grow, it’s interesting to see how it originated, and find out about some of the teams involved. There are a lot of varied teams in the league now, and many of them have a rich and successful background. The longest-running NBA franchises must rank among the most important because of what they have accomplished, and what they’ve done for the sport.