How Many Nba Teams In The 60s

How Many Nba Teams In The 60s

How Many NBA Teams Were There in the 60s?

The NBA of the 1960s was an era of significant expansion and growth for the league. As the decade began, there were just 8 teams in the NBA: the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Philadelphia Warriors, Syracuse Nationals, Minneapolis Lakers, Cincinnati Royals, Detroit Pistons, and St. Louis Hawks. By the end of the decade, the league had expanded to 14 teams, with the addition of the Los Angeles Lakers, San Francisco Warriors, Chicago Bulls, Baltimore Bullets, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Seattle SuperSonics.

Expansion and Mergers

The expansion of the NBA in the 1960s was driven by several factors, including the increasing popularity of the league, the desire for more teams in the West, and the merger with the American Basketball League (ABL). In 1961, the Chicago Packers and Los Angeles Lakers joined the NBA as expansion teams. The following year, the San Francisco Warriors relocated from Philadelphia, and the ABL merged with the NBA, adding the St. Louis Hawks and Cincinnati Royals. In 1966, the Baltimore Bullets and Cleveland Cavaliers were added as expansion teams, and in 1967, the Seattle SuperSonics joined the league.

The Rise of the Lakers

One of the most significant developments in the NBA during the 1960s was the rise of the Los Angeles Lakers. Led by the legendary Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, the Lakers won their first NBA championship in 1957 and went on to win four more titles in the 1960s, establishing themselves as one of the most dominant teams in the league. The Lakers’ success helped to popularize the NBA in the West and paved the way for the league’s continued expansion.

The Celtics’ Dynasty

While the Lakers were rising in the West, the Boston Celtics continued to dominate the East in the 1960s. Led by Bill Russell, the Celtics won eight consecutive NBA championships from 1959 to 1966, a feat that has never been matched by any other team. The Celtics’ dynasty was built on defense, with Russell anchoring one of the greatest defensive teams in NBA history.

The ABA Challenge

In 1967, the American Basketball Association (ABA) was founded as a rival league to the NBA. The ABA initially had eight teams, but it quickly expanded to 11 teams by the end of the decade. The ABA posed a serious challenge to the NBA, with several talented players, including Julius Erving and George Gervin, joining the new league. The ABA and NBA eventually merged in 1976, with four ABA teams joining the NBA.

The Legacy of the 1960s

The 1960s was a transformative decade for the NBA. The expansion of the league to 14 teams, the rise of the Lakers, and the Celtics’ dynasty established the NBA as a major professional sports league. The ABA challenge also helped to raise the level of play in the league and increase its popularity. The 1960s laid the foundation for the NBA’s continued growth and success in the decades that followed.

Tips for Understanding the NBA in the 1960s

Understanding the NBA in the 1960s requires some context and knowledge of the era. Here are some tips to help you better understand the league during this time:

  • Read books and articles about the NBA in the 1960s. There are a number of excellent books and articles that provide detailed accounts of the league during this time. These resources can provide you with a wealth of information about the teams, players, and events that shaped the decade.
  • Watch classic NBA games from the 1960s. There are a number of classic NBA games from the 1960s available on DVD and streaming services. Watching these games can give you a firsthand look at the style of play and the atmosphere of the league during this time.
  • Talk to people who lived through the NBA in the 1960s. If you have the opportunity, talk to people who lived through the NBA in the 1960s. They can provide you with firsthand accounts of the league and the impact it had on popular culture.

FAQ on the NBA in the 1960s

Q: How many teams were in the NBA in 1960?
A: There were 8 teams in the NBA in 1960.

Q: Who were the dominant teams in the NBA in the 1960s?
A: The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers were the dominant teams in the NBA in the 1960s.

Q: Who were some of the best players in the NBA in the 1960s?
A: Some of the best players in the NBA in the 1960s included Bill Russell, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robertson, and Wilt Chamberlain.

Q: What was the biggest change in the NBA in the 1960s?
A: The biggest change in the NBA in the 1960s was the expansion of the league from 8 teams to 14 teams.

Q: What was the significance of the ABA challenge?
A: The ABA challenge helped to raise the level of play in the NBA and increase its popularity.


The NBA in the 1960s was a time of great change and growth for the league. The expansion of the league, the rise of the Lakers, and the Celtics’ dynasty helped to establish the NBA as a major professional sports league. The ABA challenge also helped to raise the level of play in the league and increase its popularity. The 1960s laid the foundation for the NBA’s continued growth and success in the decades that followed.

Are you interested in learning more about the NBA in the 1960s? If so, I encourage you to check out some of the resources listed in this article.

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