We’ll Give You a City, You Tell Us if They Have an NBA Team


By: Gavin Thagard

6 Min Quiz

Image: adamkaz/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

The NBA is one of the biggest and most successful sports leagues in the world, particularly in North America, where basketball originated. Founded in 1946, the league has expanded to 30 teams across both the United States and Canada, but even if the teams are limited to North America, the NBA is still a global sensation with fans all across the world. 

Even though the modern NBA is built around star players, as personal brands have become a central part of the league, the 30 teams in the league are particularly important in the cities where they're found. By building fan support and uniting communities, they give cities hope in times of distress, as they serve as an escape from economic and environmental disasters. That's why cities are constantly vying for the next franchise to move there.

Do you know which cities have NBA teams and which cities are currently missing out? From Virginia to California, this quiz throws some of the biggest cultural centers in North America at you to see how well you know their sports history. Will you be able to get a win, or will you fall short when it matters most? Discover that for yourself by taking your best shot at this quiz.

Atlanta is one of the biggest cultural centers in the South, but is that culture influenced by an NBA team?

The Atlanta Hawks are one of the youngest teams in the league and are led by Trae Young, a three-point sniper who perfectly fits the modern NBA. However, the young talent on the roster hasn't gelled enough to make a playoff push, which is what they're looking for in the years to come.


Does Newark, the most populous city in New Jersey, house an NBA team?

The Nets were once located in New Jersey but have since moved on elsewhere. In fact, the franchise began in the ABA in 1967 as the New Jersey Americans and returned to New Jersey in 1977 after a nearly a decade in New York. They left New Jersey again following the 2012 season.


The NBA is slowly spreading outside of the United States. Has the league reached Vancouver, Canada?

In 1995, the NBA was looking to expand into Canada, and Vancouver was selected as one of the cities to house an NBA team. The team was the Vancouver Grizzlies, but they only lasted in Vancouver until 2001.


If you visit Boston, will you have the opportunity to watch an NBA game?

Historically, the Boston Celtics are one of the most important teams in the NBA. The team currently has the most NBA titles of any franchise, and since the 1950s, they've won championships in every decade except the 1990s and 2010s.


There are several NBA teams in California, but are any of them competing for championships in San Francisco?

The Golden State Warriors took the league by storm in the 2014-15 season with the rise of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, who became known as the "Splash Brothers." Between 2015 and 2019, the Warriors made five straight NBA Finals, winning three championships.


From tasty restaurants to live music, there's plenty to do in Austin, Texas, but can you catch an NBA game there during the winter?

Austin, Texas, doesn't have any major professional sports team, but the city is home to the Texas Longhorns of the NCAA. The Longhorns have one of the greatest college football teams in the country, with four claimed national titles and 32 conference titles.


Do you know if NBA fans will have the chance to see a live game if they live in Toronto?

With a franchise dating back to 1995, the Toronto Raptors finally won an NBA championship in 2019. That team was led by Kawhi Leonard, who won The Finals MVP after putting up 28.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and two steals per game in The Finals.


What does San Diego have to offer when it comes to professional basketball?

The Clippers called San Diego home from 1978 until 1984. The team actually got its name from sailing ships that could be found in San Diego Bay. However, when Donald Sterling acquired the franchise in 1981, he immediately started making plans to move it elsewhere.


The residents in Seattle are super supportive of their sports teams, but does that include an NBA franchise?

During the '90s, Seattle had one of the most exciting teams in basketball, the SuperSonics. The team was led by Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp, two stars with multiple All-Star appearances. However, the SuperSonics left the city at the end of the 2007 - 2008 season.


Is the beautiful weather in Miami accompanied by an NBA team?

Because of the vibrant nightlife in Miami, the Heat have a home court advantage that few other teams across the league share. Particularly during the regular season, teams struggle against Miami when they play them at home at the American Airlines Arena.


Are you familiar enough with the NBA to know if there's a team shooting hoops in Baltimore?

From 1944 through 1954, the Bullets played in Baltimore, though they were originally part of the ABL and BAA before joining the NBA in 1949. The team folded during the 1954-55 season after starting off 3-11.


If you fly across the Pacific Ocean, will you find an NBA team playing home games in Honolulu?

Hawaii is one of only a few states to never have a major professional sports team located there. For the longest time, travel arrangements were the main reason Hawaii hadn't had a team, but that could change as traveling continues to get easier across North America.


Have you ever heard of an NBA team taking up residence in Houston?

The Houston Rockets were able to capitalize on the absence of Michael Jordan in the mid-'90s to win back-to-back NBA championships in 1994 and 1995. Those teams won championships behind the stellar play of Hakeem Olajuwon, who also won back-to-back Finals MVP awards,


There are plenty of adult beverages found in Milwaukee, the city known as "Brew City." Can you enjoy those beverages at a local NBA game?

The Milwaukee Bucks have the reigning NBA MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo. During his MVP season in 2018-19, Antetokounmpo put up 27.7 points and 12.5 assists per game in the regular season before leading the Bucks to the Eastern Conference Finals.


Do you know if there's an NBA franchise trying to build a title contender in New Orleans?

After losing Anthony Davis, the New Orleans Pelicans received the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. They used that pick to select Zion Williamson out of Duke, who many regard as the next superstar in the NBA.


Would an NBA fan want to visit Cincinnati if they were trying to catch a game?

Though Cincinnati doesn't have an NBA team in their city, they do have teams from both MLB and the NFL, the Reds and the Bengals respectively. The Reds have had the most success, delivering five World Series titles in the history of the franchise.


How well do you know professional basketball in the city of St. Louis?

St. Louis actually has two former NBA teams, the Hawks and the Bombers. The Bombers played one season in the NBA in 1949-'50 but posted a losing record of 26-42. The Hawks, on the other hand, won the only championship in franchise history in St. Louis in 1958.


Does an NBA team compete in Denver, where the high elevation gives hometown sports teams an advantage?

In recent years, the Denver Nuggets built a roster that's at least two deep at every position. Though they might not have the star power of some of the other teams in the league, their depth gives them an advantage in the "Mile High City" because they can run any team out of the gym.


Can tourists in Las Vegas put down the gambling chips and pick up an NBA ticket if they want?

Fans in Las Vegas might not be able to purchase an NBA ticket, but they will be able to purchase an NFL ticket soon. The Raiders, previously located in Oakland, California, plan to play their first season in Las Vegas in 2020.


What kind of NBA action can fans expect in San Antonio?

The San Antonio Spurs have the longest-tenured head coach in the NBA, Gregg Popovich. Popovich has been the head coach in San Antonio since 1996 and has won five NBA championships with the Spurs.


Dallas will always be a Cowboys town, but has any NBA team found a home there yet?

The Dallas Mavericks have relied on European players to find success over the past two decades. Dirk Nowitzki, a player born in Germany, starred for the Mavericks from 1998 through 2019, making him the longest-tenured player with one franchise in NBA history.


Are the blue-collar workers in Pittsburgh blessed with an NBA team to entertain them when they aren't at work?

Pittsburgh might not have an NBA team, but the city is certainly proud to have the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL. The Steelers have been one of the best franchises in the league and are tied for the most Super Bowl wins in NFL history.


One of the many coastal cities in Florida, will you find an NBA team competing in Tampa Bay?

When the NBA looked to expand in the early '90s, Tampa Bay, Florida, applied for consideration, hoping to receive a franchise of their own. However, the team was denied as the NBA hoped to move into Canada instead.


Is there an NBA team in Philadelphia accompanying the Eagles of the NFL?

For years, the Philadelphia 76ers purposely lost games to get high draft picks, which became known as "The Process." The method worked out as they ended up with young stars like Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, though it has yet to result in a championship.


There's plenty of history in Richmond, Virginia, but does that history include an NBA franchise in the city?

The Virginia Squires of the ABA played in Richmond, Virginia, from 1971 through 1976, when the ABA merged with the NBA. The Squires were left out during the merger as the team folded in 1976.


Do you know if NBA players have to endure the grueling winters in Chicago because there's a team there?

The Chicago Bulls will forever be known as "The Team That Jordan Built" because of Michael Jordan's impact in Chicago. Already a star in the late '80s, Jordan dominated the NBA in the '90s, winning six NBA titles despite retiring for a year and a half in the middle of the decade.


Have you heard of any NBA team playing games in Salt Lake City?

While most of the NBA has turned to offensive production, the Utah Jazz are putting together a defensive powerhouse in Salt Lake City. The team has several defensive studs, including two-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.


Can you catch an NBA game in Michigan's capital, Lansing?

Lansing, Michigan, does not have an NBA team, but Michigan's largest city, Detroit, does. The Detroit Pistons were founded in 1941 and have three NBA championships, which they won in 1989, 1990 and 2004.


If the many artists and musicians living in Portland, Oregon, wanted to catch a local NBA game, would they be able to?

Damian Lillard is currently the biggest star for the Portland Trail Blazers and one of the biggest stars in the NBA. Recognized for his clutch play when it matters, Lillard's on-court performances have become known as "Dame Time."


Are you a big enough fan of the NBA to know if there's a team in Boise, Idaho?

One of the biggest sport spectacles in Boise, Idaho, is the Boise State Broncos football team. Traditionally, teams have always been on upset alert against Boise State, as they have achieved victories against big-time programs like Oklahoma and Oregon.


Will you be able to catch an NBA tipoff if you live in Phoenix?

The Suns have been playing in Phoenix since the franchise began in 1968. They've yet to win an NBA championship but have made two appearances in The Finals, losing in 1976 to the Celtics and 1993 to the Bulls.


New York is one of the biggest markets in the world, but does that market support an NBA team?

New York actually has two NBA teams, the Knicks and the Nets. For the longest time, New York was always considered a Knicks' town, but since the Nets added Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in the 2019 offseason, that could change in the years to come.


North Carolina is a huge basketball state. Has the NBA placed a franchise in Durham, North Carolina, to fit the basketball culture there?

College basketball in North Carolina is as intense as you'll find anywhere in the country. The rivalry between North Carolina and Duke, two teams that are less than 50 miles from each other, is considered one of the most entertaining rivalries in sports.


Is there an NBA team running up and down a basketball court in Sacramento, the capital of California?

A franchise founded in 1923, the Kings have been playing games in Sacramento, California, since 1985. They haven't reached The Finals since the move to Sacramento but did have some entertaining teams between 1998 and 2004 who became known as "The Greatest Show on Court."


Do you know if the residents of Nashville, Tennessee, have an NBA team to root for?

Nashville, Tennessee, might not have an NBA team to root for, but Memphis does on the other side of the state. The Grizzlies have been taking on other NBA teams in Memphis since 2001 and even reached the Western Conference Finals in 2013, where they lost to the Spurs.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!