Professional basketball in the U.S. has a history that reaches all the way back to just after World War II. An attempt was made to form a professional league that would be an extension of the popular college basketball games of the time. Many cities had built arenas to house the ever-popular sport of boxing, music performances and even the traveling circus. It was natural to assume that an indoor sport such as basketball could soon fill those large arenas. It didn't work well at first. A series of attempts at a professional league failed to capture the popularity of the college game.
In the 1950s and '60s, the professional game started to catch up with college, largely due to the games being broadcast on national television. With the formation of a second professional league, the ABA, to rival the NBA, the game would soon enter the golden age of basketball. In the late 1960s, new arenas were being built to house NBA teams, some are still used today including Oracle Arena, home to the Golden State Warriors.
With the popularity of basketball as high as it has ever been, teams are now updating and rebuilding arenas to be technologically dynamic and welcoming to fans. Many arenas and cities share venues with basketball and hockey teams as well as using the multi-purpose space for concerts and special events.
Originally built for hockey in 1966, Oracle Arena in Oakland is now home to the NBA world champion Golden State Warriors. The Warriors will move into an new arena in the 2019 season.
California now has the oldest and second newest arena in the NBA. The new Sacramento Kings arena is only eclipsed by the recently opened Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, home of the Bucks.
The Boston Celtics play on the most unique-looking floor in the NBA. The criss-crossed parquet flooring is the signature of the Boston Garden, now known as TD Garden. Even after moving into a new arena, the Celtics took the floor with them.
The United Center Arena is home to the Chicago Bulls. It currently has the largest capacity of any NBA arena. Michael Jordan famously won 6 NBA championships for the Bulls playing his home games at the United Center.
The Detroit Pistons moved into their new arena in downtown Detroit in 2017. The Pistons formerly played in a suburb north of the city.
With Denver sitting a mile above sea level (5,280ft.) it's the highest NBA arena in the country. The thin air of Denver can be a slight advantage to players who are acclimated to the high elevation.
Portland is known as the Rose City, also nicknamed Rip City, which their basketball arena was aptly named when built in 1993. The Trailblazers have a single NBA championship from the 1977 season
The Orlando Magic call the Amway Center home for the NBA games. Orlando might be most famous for the Disney World attraction, but the Magic can draw a pretty large crowd at Amway with a capacity of 20,000.
The Rockets play in the largest city in Texas. The Toyota Center, opening in 2003, self proclaims to have some of the most comfortable seats of any arena.
The New York Knicks play in one of the most famous arenas in the country. Madison Square Garden is a New York City institution. The Garden, as it's known, also is home to the New York Rangers hockey team.
American Airlines sponsors 2 NBA teams, the Heat and the Mavericks. The Heat play at their bayside arena in downtown Miami known as the American Airlines Arena.
Owned by "Shark Tank" entrepreneur Mark Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks play their home games at the multi-purpose arena American Airlines Center. This is one of two arenas sponsored by the airline, the other being the Miami Heat's home of American Airlines Arena.
Along with the Orlando Magic, the Timberwolves joined the NBA as an expansion team in 1989. Home games are played at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
The expansion Grizzlies only lasted 6 years in Vancouver before making the move to Memphis. The Grizzlies play their home games at the FedEx Forum in Memphis.
The Pelicans home arena was damaged by Hurricane Katrina that struck the Gulf Coast in 2005. At that time they were known as the New Orleans Hornets. The team played part of that season in Oklahoma City until New Orleans had recovered.
The Clippers and Lakers both play home games at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. Clippers owner, Steve Balmer, hopes to build a new arena in Inglewood and move Clippers home games there by 2024.
The original Charlotte Hornets expansion team moved to New Orleans in 2002. Another expansion team was granted to Charlotte in 2004 named the Bobcats. After New Orleans changed their mascot to the Pelicans in 2013, Charlotte took back the original Hornets logo which they use today.
The Hoosier State is known for car racing and basketball. Home to the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, NFL's Colts and the Pacers who play their home games at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Cavs have been playing at home in Quicken Loans Arena since 1994. The team finally won its first NBA Championship in 2016, bringing Cleveland a long awaited title.
Utah boast a single professional sports team, the Jazz. The team moved from New Orleans to Utah in 1979.
The Seattle Supersonics franchise moved to Oklahoma City in 2008. With a name change to the Thunder and a new home court, OKC now plays at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Nets are one of the teams which have moved in recent years. Formerly playing across the Hudson River in New Jersey, the Nets made the move to Brooklyn in 2012 and play home games at the Barclays Center.
Atlanta is known for having the busiest international airport in the U.S. It also is home to the Atlanta Hawks, who play home games at State Farm Arena
The NBA formerly had a second team in Canada with the Vancouver Grizzlies. After their move to Memphis, the Raptors are the lone Canadian NBA team and they play in Air Canada Center.
The Phoenix Suns play in Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix. The sponsor name is from a casino hotel and resort located on the Salt-River Pima Maricopa Indian Reservation.
The newest NBA arena is the Fiserv Forum, home to the Bucks. It is said to be the most advanced arena ever built. It also boasts the largest welcome mat in the world.
The San Antonio Spurs are one of three NBA teams in the state of Texas. Of the three, they have the most titles at five. They play their home games at the AT&T Center.
The Washington Wizards, formerly known as the Bullets, play in our nation's capital of Washington, D.C. Their home floor is known as the Capital One Arena and has a capacity of 20,356.
Many NBA arenas share their home with the NHL team of that city. The Flyers and 76ers both call the Wells Fargo Center home in Philly.
Coming in at a cool $1 billion, the Barclays Center is the most expensive NBA Arena to date. With many new arenas in planning stages, this number is sure to be eclipsed.
At only 16,600 seats, the State Farm Center is the smallest NBA arena currently. While Atlanta has one of the largest airports in the country, its NBA arena is relatively cozy.
At a staggering 814 consecutive sold-out home games, including playoff games, the Portland Trailblazers hold this record. The record dates from 1977 to 1995!
While they may not be the best team in the NBA, the Orlando Magic continue to give their fans a great experience at the home games. The arena boasts the largest HD scoreboard in the NBA.
It gets pretty crowded at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Along with hosting 2 NBA teams, it also is home the the WNBA L.A. Sparks and the NHL's Los Angeles Kings.
Currently under construction, the new Chase Center will host the Warriors for the 2019 NBA season. The arena will move the team across the bay from Oakland to San Francisco.