The NBA, just like the rest of the major professional sports leagues in the United States (except the NFL), shares teams with Canada. This is more common and visible in the NHL but other competitions like MLS, MLB, and the association have also followed this path, allowing teams from the Great White North to compete in their tournaments.
As stated before, the association is not the exception to this ‘rule’ and even though the journey wasn’t easy for them, Canadian teams in the league have been somehow good in recent years, playing for important things.
In case you don’t know the history of how Canadian teams started playing in the league, today we’re going to take a look at it. How many teams from Canada are in the league right now? Let’s find out.
When did Canadian teams start playing in the NBA?
Back in 1995, the league made the decision to add two more franchises to the league, located in Canada. Vancouver and Toronto were selected to host two new teams, the Vancouver Grizzlies, and Toronto Raptors.
How many Canadian teams play in the NBA right now?
Even with all the expectations around these two teams, the Grizzlies couldn’t get things going and after six years, they were relocated to Memphis, where they became the Memphis Grizzlies that we all know now. That decision left the Raptors as the only Canadian team in the league.
Have Canadian teams won the NBA title?
As a matter of fact, they have. Back in 2019, the Toronto Raptors led by Kawhi Leonard were inspired and had a magical 2018/19 season. They ended the regular season as the 2nd best team in the Eastern Conference but were dominant in their run to the Finals, even beating the team with the best record in the East, and the league, in the Conference Finals.
They took down Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in the ECF before taking on the Golden State Warriors in the biggest series of all. The last NBA Finals before the COVID-19 pandemic saw the Raptors beat Golden State in six games, with Kawhi Leonard winning his second Finals MVP.