Monday, February 6, 2012

How Seattle's return could affect NBA realignment

Last Friday, I wrote an article expressing my feelings on an ideal national hockey league. I made that map BEFORE all this new stuff about a Seattle arena came out, which makes it all rather timely. So to continue on that brain wave, here's a similar map for the NBA. Details are after the break. 

North West:
Portland Trailblazers
Sacramento Kings
San Jose Warriors
Seattle Supersonics
Vancouver Grizzlies

South West:
Denver Nuggets
Los Angeles Lakers
Phoenix Suns

Salt Lake Jazz
San Diego Clippers

North Central:
Chicago Bulls
Detroit Pistons
Indiana Pacers
Minneapolis Wolves
St. Louis Eagles

South Central:
Dallas Mavericks
Houston Rockets
New Orleans Hornets
Oklahoma City Thunder
San Antonio Spurs

North East:
Boston Celtics
Cleveland Cavaliers
New York Knicks
Philadelphia 76ers
Toronto Raptors

South East:
Atlanta Hawks
Charlotte Bobcats
Miami Heat
Orlando Magic
Washington Wizards

Gained Teams: Seattle, Vancouver, San Jose, San Diego, St Louis

Lost Teams: Oakland, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee, Memphis, New Jersey

NBA, or NHL?: If you've seen my NHL map, you might notice that this one is VERY similar to that previous alignment. many of the same cities are represented, and there was a similar purging of multi-team markets. Three Cascadia teams paired with two teams from regions where the sport is relevant. Moving teams out of non-traditional sports markets into ones with proven track records or previous experience.  
Wild west revival: The NBA has seen something of an exodus from the pacific coast in recent years, grouping a bunch of teams in LA and pulling two out of three Pacific Northwest teams out entirely. This realignment brings back the storied Sonics (at the expense of those thieves in Milwaukee) as well as their Canadian neighbors in Vancouver, while keeping the Kings in Sacramento. Additionally, the Clippers move back to San Diego, where they belong. 
Geographically Relevant Divisions: Currently, four of the five "Northwest" division teams aren't within three states of the Pacific Ocean. Those teams are aligned more appropriately, with Minnesota in the North Central, OKC in the South Central, and Utah and Denver close to their southern California rivals. 

four teams three times home and away: 24 games. 

RIVAL Division (North West v South West, North East v Mid East, Mid West v South East)
five teams twice home and away: 20 games. 

ALL others:
20 teams once home and once away: 40 games

Total: 84 games, +2

As a Seattle fan, I would HATE to take the Sacramento Kings from them. They've had some great teams and great times down there, and it's a good small market team that just needs to replace the league's smallest, crappiest arena. I've gone on record multiple times saying the Milwaukee Bucks are due for payback when that city stole our Seattle Pilots. 


  1. Interesting proposal. I think you did a good job of creating a 30 team system (especially since Stern is on the record as not wanting to expand). I did create a similar posting (for NBA and NHL) although I went to 32 for each league. May be worth checking out:;postID=22534317781639232

    1. I'm trying to click on the link you supplied, but it's saying that I don't have access. Unfortunate, because I love looking at maps like these.

  2. sadly I don't have the savvy of you to create the map (as nice as it would be to learn the skill as I also love looking at maps such as these...I am fairly new to blogging online and usually map out concepts in a powerpoint presentation) You may want to try this link however to reach the blog:

    1. I see. I went on your blog and noticed you have a NHL realignment as well. I was wondering if you had taken a look at this:

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  4. Did you create the realignment maps with a template or cut and pasting the old school method?

  5. The Clippers needed to move they will never be successful in LA with the Lakers in the same city

  6. Wait, why St. Louis when Kansas City has the recently built Sprint Center that was meant to lure an NBA team (but failed)?

    NBA ready, state of the art arena?
    Starved fanbase that hasn't had an NBA team since the Kings of the 80s?
    Perfect opportunity to steal some thunder from local franchises, since both suck horridly?


  7. Your map reeks of geographical illiteracy and a poor understanding of economics.

    Charlotte is in North Carolina, no team from Minnesota would call itself "Minneapolis", especially when they're likely going to move to Saint Paul (Your NHL post reeks of the same sort of phail too) and the NBA will NEVER return to Vancouver in a million years. The NBA is a regional league with fanbases mostly concentrated in the cores of cities with large African-Americna populations and the West Coast.