As one of the younger sports leagues out there, basketball still has a century-long history in the United States. Today we’re looking at the five oldest teams in the NBA, including some that pre-date the organization as it exists today. 

All of the teams we’ve covered are still active right now. If you’d like to get in on the action, seek out Fanduel’s NBA picks and consider placing a bet on one of these enduring teams if you can find the right odds.

Sacramento Kings

The oldest team that plays as part of the NBA is the Sacramento Kings. While their first season was in 1948, the team operated in a semi-professional capacity 20 years earlier. 

Founded in 1923 as the Rochester Seagrams, they later changed their name to the Rochester Royals and then moved to Sacramento to become the Kings in 1985. They’ve also been in Cincinnati and Kansas City throughout their long history.

Despite being the oldest team still active in the NBA, the Kings have only won a single championship title. That was when they were the Rochester Royals and they faced the New York Knicks in 1951.

Detroit Pistons

Like the Kings, the Detroit Pistons are one of those few teams who can say they were around before the NBA was a thing. They were established in 1941 and joined when the Basketball Association of America was properly established in the 1940s. 

When they were founded, they were a hop and a skip away from Detroit in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Roughly a decade after the BAA merged with the NBL and formed the NBA, it made more sense to move the Pistons to Detroit instead of keeping them in Indiana. 

The Pistons have taken home two consecutive NBL championships in 1944 and 1945 and then three NBA championships later down the line, in 1989, 1990, and then 2004.

Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics need no introduction to those who know anything about NHL history. Before this team became the dominating force that it was in the NBA, it had a humble start in 1946. 

That’s because the Celtics were there for the founding of the BAA as one of the original teams who ushered the NBA into existence.

The team has won the most championships when compared to the other NBA teams too, having acquired 17 of them. That’s almost ¼ of all championship games that have been played! 

Because of this, and the many classic players that have cycled through their roster, they’re often considered the best team in the NBA.

New York Knicks

Having started in 1946 as the New York Knickerbockers, that’s still technically their name today even though most know them as the Knicks. Like with the Celtics, they were part of the founding of the BAA and later formed the NBA. 

Not only haven’t the Knicks changed names, but they also haven’t changed their home state or even their home stadium, which is the Madison Square Garden to this day. One of the main reasons for this is that the Garden owns the team.

Golden State Warriors

Lastly, we have the Golden State Warriors, another founding team of the BAA, and later the NBA. In the first-ever BAA inaugural game, 1947, it was the Golden State Warriors who beat the other players and won the event. 

They were the Philadelphia Warriors at the time before relocating to San Francisco in 1962 to become the San Francisco Warriors. A decade later, their name was changed to something catchier – the Golden State Warriors.


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