All 30 NBA Team Name Origins Explained

have you noticed how some of your favorite NBA teams have names I have nothing to do with the cities they play with well this video will explain why and how each NBA team got their name in 1948 a basketball team was founded in the Tri City area between Illinois and Iowa it was given the nickname the Blackhawks after Sioux Indian chief Blackhawk who ruled the tribe that occupied the land in this region after moving to Milwaukee the name was shortened to the Hawks after a brief time in st. Louis the team moved to Atlanta and is now known as the Atlanta Hawks proposed names for Boston's newly formed basketball team in 1946 included the whirlwinds Olympians and unicorns ultimately team owner Walter brown chose the Celtics because he liked the winning tradition that came with the nickname as in the 1920s the New York Celtics were a successful basketball franchise when the New Jersey Americans moved to New York in 1967 they wanted to have a nickname that rhymed with the Jets and the Mets two of New York's professional sports teams they chose to be the New York Mets a name that stuck when they moved back to New Jersey and then later relocated to Brooklyn interesting enough they thought about changing the nickname to the swamp dragons to help with marketing in 1994 but ultimately did it in 1987 the nickname for Charlotte's basketball franchise was planned to be spirit fans didn't like the name and instead entered and named the team contest which included over 9,000 ballot Hornets beat out nights cougar spirit crowns and stars it also has some historical significance because a British commander referred to Charlotte as the hornet's nest of rebellion during the Revolutionary War the 2004 expansion franchise originally the Charlotte Bobcats changed to the Charlotte Hornets in 2014 to reunite the city with their original nickname in 1966 team owner Richard Klein wanted a nickname to portray Chicago as the meet capital of the world another theory suggests that he was deciding between Matador and Terra doors but decided to go with bulls because he admired the strength and toughness of bulls a Cleveland newspaper conducted a poll in 1970 to pick a name for the city's basketball franchise the finalists were Jays foresters towers presidents and Cavaliers Cavaliers was eventually chosen a name the team contest was conducted by a radio station in Dallas and the finalists were suggested a team owner Donald harder he chose Mavericks over Wranglers and Express and the 41 fans who suggested the name when a pair of tickets to the team's season opener the city of Denver had a basketball team in the ABA known as the Rockets when the team moved into the NBA in 1974 Rockets was already taken by Houston so they decided to go with the Nuggets the nickname represents the mining tradition and the Colorado gold rush in the mid 19th century the Pistons franchise was originally in Fort Wayne Indiana where they were known as the Zollner Pistons A's owner piston was a car part that was manufactured by Frank stoners company Frank was also the team owner and when the franchise moved to Detroit in 1957 the zoner part of the name was dropped and they became known as the Detroit Pistons this nickname fit well because of Detroit's history of car manufacturing the Philadelphia Warriors was named after a team that played in the ABL in the 1920s when the team moved to Philadelphia to San Francisco in 1961 they decided to keep the nickname the name stayed with the team when they moved to Oakland but they decided to change it to the Golden State Warriors to represent the whole Bay Area the Rockets nickname was originally chosen via named the team contest in San Diego where the team's first home was it referenced the liquid-fueled Atlas Rockets that was being manufactured in San Diego when the team moved to Houston in 1971 it made sense to keep the name because Houston was home to the NASA Space Center Houston we have a problem the Pacers nickname was decided by a group of the team's original investors it references the prominent horse and auto racing history in Indiana pacing describes one of the ways horses run in races and also describes a pace car which is a type of car that leads the racers through a warm-up around the track before a race when the Buffalo Braves moved to San Diego in 1978 the team owners wanted a new nickname they decided on clippers which is a type of ship that was common in the ports of San Diego when the team moved to Los Angeles 1981 the nickname stayed the lakers name was originally given to the basketball team in minneapolis because the state of minnesota is known as quote the land of 10,000 lakes and quote when the lakers moved to LA in 1960 the name stayed and because of the decades of success should no longer be changed to Ben the city that they play for Vancouver Canada was given an expansion franchise in 1994 and needed a team name owners wanted to use a nickname Mounties but at local newspaper sponsored a name the team contest Grizzlies a bear species native to the area was chosen instead of Ravens when the team moved to Memphis Tennessee in 2001 FedEx proposed a hundred million dollars to rename the team Express but the NBA did not agree to it to choose the name of Miami's expansion franchise in 1986 the team asked for fans submissions of potential names there were over 20,000 entries that included sharks tornadoes beaches and barracudas he was the name that was ultimately chosen by ownership in the name entry contest held for Milwaukee's NBA franchise the most popular name submitted by fans was Robins skunks was also a popular submission but the contest judges chose bucks instead is a better nickname for the team because buck deer are common in the area for Minnesota's basketball franchise in 1986 and named the team contest was conducted nicknames submitted included Polar's gun Flint's and Blizzard Timberwolves was chosen even though it wasn't the most popular because the team wanted a nickname unique to its home state Eastern wolves are animals that are common to roam the timber forests in Minnesota when Tom Benson purchased the New Orleans Hornets in 2012 he wanted to change the nickname to better represent the city they considered brass for the brass instruments that played jazz music common in New Orleans and they also considered crew which is a group of people and costume at Mardi Gras parades they settled on pelicans because it is Louisiana's state bird in 1946 New York was granted a basketball franchise in the BA a team founder Ned Irish made the decision to make the team's nickname knickerbockers after pulling the name out of a hat knickerbockers is a term used for rolled up pants by Dutch settlers that settled in New York in the 1600s a cartoon drawing of father Knickerbocker became a prominent symbol of the city inspiring the name when the Seattle SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008 fans were given the opportunity to vote on 64 potential nicknames for the team some of the more poppy nicknames included renegades twisters and barons Thunder was the most popular among fans and that's what ownership decided upon an Orlando newspaper sponsored and named the team contest to name the city's basketball expansion franchise challengers was the most popular suggestion alluding to the Space Shuttle crash in 1986 other entries include Floridians juice orbits astronauts and Aquaman and Senate ills magic was chosen because it is a common theme in Disneyworld Orlando's biggest tourist attraction when the Syracuse Nationals moved to Philadelphia in 1963 the team was renamed the 76ers it is an honor of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia in 1776 28-year old general manager Jerry Colangelo was the person to choose the name for Phoenix's expansion franchise a name the team contest was conducted in 1968 and Colangelo chose from many submissions including scorpions Rattlers and Thunderbirds he saw suggestions like white-winged of Sun lovers bubas dudes and Cactus Giants but decided on Phoenix Suns another name the team contest was conducted in Portland in 1974 the new basketball team with over 10,000 submissions to nicknames were more popular than the others pioneers was the most popular but nearby Lewis and Clark College already used the nickname so the team settled with Trail Blazers it is a reference to the people who traveled on the Oregon Trail during the time of American westward expansion when the Cincinnati Royals moved to Kansas City in 1972 and named the team contest was conducted the nickname chosen by ownership was Kings when the franchise moved to California in 1985 that nickname state when the Dallas Chaparrals of the ABA were bought by a group of investors in 1973 they held a public contest to rename the team Aztecs was considered but Spurs was chosen a spur as a small spiked wheel on the back of a cowboy boot that urges a horse to go forward coincidentally one of the investors was born in a town called spur Texas but that probably didn't really have an effect on the naming of the team the ownership group of toronto's expansion team conducted market research across all of Canada 19:19 held a countrywide vote the list of potential nicknames included bobcats and dragons raptors was chosen because of the popularity of the movie Jurassic Park that was released the year before the jazz nickname originated in New Orleans in 1974 the name was chosen over names such as dukes crescents pilots Cajuns blues deltas and nights when the franchise moved to Salt Lake City in 1979 they unfortunately kept the name even though there's absolutely no tie to Utah and jazz music in 1995 Washington Bullets Abe Pollin was frustrated with the team's nickname associated with gun violence so he held a public contest to rename the team submissions included dragons Express stallions and sea dogs in 1997 he announced the franchise would change his name to the Washington Wizards thanks for watching the video guys make sure you like the video comment which NBA team should change their name and click on one of these two videos on screen