Over its 60 plus years of existence the NBA has been intertwined with American life and events that have shaped America have left lasting impacts on the NBA. Evens such as the 1970s gas shortages have give us the 2-3-2 format in the NBA finals. But what does the future have in store for the NBA? How will future events such as terrorism, and global warming mean for the NBA? Well, you are about the find out.
This article will look at ever increasing 1 year spans of time starting with the year 2022 and going until the year 2100. How will the next 80 years look, and what changes will it bring?
Lets find out.
2022: The free agency class of 2022 which was proclaimed to be the greatest class ever fizzled out early with few players staying in their locations. However, the American economy did not stay and hit the bottom in the summer of 2022. The recession of 2022 hit the sports entertainment world hard. The NBA would survive though but the damage had been done.
2023: In the Collective Bargaining Agreements of June 2023 the NBA abolished the salary cap in order to get the players union to concede guaranteed contracts. At first this was seen by fans as a great thing because the backlash had yet to be seen. With incomes at an all-time low since 1980 many of the smaller market teams could not afford to keep their star players so they sold them off to the bigger markets who had the money.
2024: Just 3 years into the new CBA the Milwaukee Bucks had amassed a salary of over 200 million dollars, while the Chicago Bulls total salary was less than 25 million dollars.
2025: The economy rebounded in 2025 so did the NBA income levels, but all this meant was the bigger markets had more money to spend.
2026: The Sacramento Kings move to Cleveland,Ohio, Kicking out the Cavaliers who move to Nashville, Tennessee
2027: The economic rebound was based mostly on green energy technologies, which normally do not have anything to do with the NBA, but the 4th largest city in America is Houston,Texas. Texans and it’s based on energy production; mainly oil. As oil starts to become less of a commodity as the Rockets, Mavericks and Spurs begin to see a decline.
2028: America’s western movement continues throughout most of the decade with cities like Baltimore, Charlotte, Milwaukee, Orlando and New Orleans seeing a huge boom in population during this time. Conversely, cities like Dallas, San Antonio, Detroit, Cleveland, and Houston start to see their populations decline.
2029: The Supreme Court of the United States rules against the NBA’s 19 year old age limit allowing anyone as young as 16 to join the NBA.
2030: The decline in Dallas hit’s the city and the Mavericks so bad that they are forced to sell Luka Doncic to the Hawks. It took them 12 years but in 2030, Luka Doncic will be a Hawk
2031: Violence in Detroit following an uprising in the Muslim communities over a court ruling over a depiction of their profit Muhammad leaves the city on the brink of destruction. Due to the violence and turmoil The Pistons are relocated to San Diego, California.
2032: The NBA expands in the US for the first time since it expanded to Charlotte when it grants franchises to Omaha, and Seattle raising the total number of teams to 32.
2033: Climate changes begin to impact the NBA hard and force historic franchises out of their historic homes.
2034: In New Orleans, Hurricane James strikes the city inundating it with upwards of 10 feet of water. Unlike with Katrina 19 years prior the city is unable to recover. The 300 year old city is abandoned and the Pelicans are relocated to St. Louis.
2035: This year sees a huge hurricane hit Florida, both the Heat and Magic have their new arena’s damaged and have to play the 2035-2036 season in various cities across North America. This is only a temporary hurdle for both of them as they return to their home cities in 2040.
2036: The NBA signs an agreement to hold a world basketball playoff system, where the NBA champion would than play in a playoff bracket consisting of the champions of the 7 other major basketball leagues around the world. The NBA does this because during the preceding decades many of these other leagues had been attracting NBA players to their leagues raising their competition.
2037: The city of Atlanta was no longer a viable option for an NBA franchise and the Hawks are sold to an investment group from Boise, Idaho.
2038: The future does not look bright for other rust belt teams either, The USA sees a huge hurricane hit the North-east,The Celtics, Knicks, Nets and Hornets have their new arena’s damaged and have to play the 2038-2039 season in various cities across Asia. This is only a temporary hurdle for all of them as they return to their home cities in 2040.
2039: Future Legend Terrell Nance is drafted to the Pacers.
2040: An eco-leftist party gains control of the both the House and Senate. They impose new laws which require NBA arena’s to be 75% more efficient than they previously were by the year 2030. This is a death blow to the stoic Madison Square Garden which after over 100 years closes down as a new state of the art arena is built. New arena’s pop up all over the country as they are cheaper than retro fitting the existing ones.
2041:Only a handful of players from our era are still in the game, and massive relocations of franchises has forever changed the NBA geography.
2042: The league expands to Vancouver, San Diego, Baltimore and Montreal, The Foldation Period.
2043: The Nashville Cavaliers fold
2044: The Indiana Pacers fold
2045: It only took 2 teams but It ended.
2046: Gregg Popovich finally retires as coach of the San Antonio Spurs.
2047: It starts to turn disastrous as the Los Angeles Clippers do not rejoin the league when it reaches 2047. Denver, Utah, Chicago, Portland and Orlando need to take out loans to stay afloat.
2048: The 2047-2048 season begins with a lot of fan fair, it’s the 102nd NBA season and the league means to make it a memorable one. The NBA plays games in cities which it had once abandoned such as New Orleans, Cleveland and Detroit. At the all-star game they announce the greatest 100 players of all-time headlined by the only surviving member of the NBA’s 50 greatest: Shaquille O’Neal.
2049: Terrell Nance becomes the new MJ
2050: The American southwest doesn’t have enough water. The iconic green lawns and palm trees of LA are no more. The city has no water and the Lakers are forced to play their home games in Mexico City.
2051: The governments of many cities refuse to help aid teams in building new arenas, and many start looking for new cities. The NBA does come up with a clever solution to this problem however, they allow advertising on jersey’s, courts, and even allow teams to change their names to support their investors.
2052: We end up with new teams like the Montreal Gothics, Jacksonville Jump, and El Paso Peppers.
2053: During the 2053 all-star game the NBA announces that it will expand to Europe finally, adding 6 teams there as well as relocating two others. The Pelicans and Heat both move across the pond to form an 8 team European conference. The re-alignment sees an 13 team Western conference, a 13 team Eastern conference and the 8 team European conference. The playoffs are redone where the top 16 teams are seated 1-16 regardless of conference affiliation. This works remarkably well for the NBA.
2054: Things get much worse in Phoenix, There is no water and it has 128 degree temperatures. The Colorado river is mere dribble by the time it hit’s the Grand Canyon. Most residents flee the area and it’s population which was close to 10 million drops to less than a million. The Suns join the residence and flee to Syracuse which has rebuilt itself after nearly a century of decline.
2055: The NBA impose new laws which require NBA arena’s to be 75% more efficient than they previously were by the year 2060.
2056: The League Adds the cities of Raleigh, Austin, San Jose, San Francisco, Tampa and Charleston
2057: The league hits 42 teams when the city of Richmond, VI joins the NBA
2058: The European expansion turns into a nightmare as 3 European teams settle in the United States.
2059: The league imposes a hard cap for the first time. For nearly 40 years team’s salaries had run amuck with some getting as high as 400 million dollars, but now the salary hard cap is set at 200 million dollars and no player can make more than 100 million per season.
2060: The Spurs are purchased by a group out of Rio de Janiero, Brazil who intends to relocate them to South America
2061:With their lease up at the Buzz Arena, the Hornets sign a 10 year lease agreement with the San Francisco 49ers of the NFL to play eight home games a year at the Memphis Pyramid. As part of the relocation, the Hornets officially relocates to Santa Clara. The Hornets go to the West.
2062: Unable to secure a feasible plan to finance a new stadium, the St Louis Pelicans reach an agreement to relocate to Cheyenne,WY for the 2022 season. The team, now known as the Wyoming Pelicans, will remain in the NFC South. The same year, the first NBA Championship played on non-U.S. soil takes place in London, where the Knicks blow out the Kings 191-105.
2063: The NBA absorbs the NFL. the conferences are now at 8. and the teams are at 72.
2064: The Dallas Mavericks officially change their name to the Dallas Mustangs, a symbolic gesture for a city with the highest population of Hispanic residents in the United States. Meanwhile, financial difficulties force the Microsoft-owned Portland Trailblazers to sell the team to Hong Kong venture capitalists, who relocate the team to Nashville, where the team is rechristened as the Nashville Olympians.
2065: Jayson Tatum Jr of the Orlando Magic, makes history by becoming the first openly gay NBA player.
2066: Two expansion teams enter the league; the Rhine Panzers, who play at Signul Iduna Court in Dortmund, Germany, and the Vancouver Huskies, an interstate team that splits its home games between venues in Seattle and Portland. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the Southeast Conference dissolve into an all new franchise, the North Florida Sharks, who splits its home games between venues in Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville.
2067: The NBA announces several sweeping organizational changes, beginning with its name; to better permeate international markets and avoid confusion with that “Old leauges,” the NBA officially changes its name to the Basketball World Association (called BWA, colloquially.) The “new” association also announces two more expansion teams, the Scottish Knights (who play 6 games a year at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium and 2 at Glasgow’s Celtic Park) and the Guadalajara Guerreros (playing at a renovated Jalisco Stadium, financed by the team’s majority owner, Telmex.) With 76 teams in the league, BWA announces a major overhaul of its’ conferences and divisions, fully abandoning the terms “West Conference” and “East Conference” in favor of the geographically-realigned “Atlantic Gridiron Conference” and the “Pacific Gridiron Conference.”
2068: Facing financial ruin, the Cleveland Kings sign a joint agreement with a consortium to split the team’s home games, four stands a piece, at venues in Houston and San Antonio (who have been without a team for almost two decades.) The “new” team is simply re-dubbed the “Texas Emperors.”
2069: For the first time ever, two non-U.S. teams face off in the finals, with the Mexico City Lakers defeating the Toronto Raptors 26-13 in Toronto.
2070: A new scoring system is implemented, with field goals being worth one point for every ten yards out. Philadelphia Eagles Player Henry Windsor breaks the league record the same season for longest free throw, netting his squad the first ever “four-point” shot when he dinks an 83 yard shot in a game against the Utah Jazz.
2071: The New York Knicks move into Manhattan Stadium, which has been in construction for 20 years. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets relocate to Staten Island, playing games at the most expensive stadium ever constructed, The Shawn Carter Dome. Both teams retain their respective “New York and Brooklyn” monikers and nicknames.
2072: The Boston Celtics, under new ownership from a consortium of Cuban and Puerto Ricans business leaders, change their nickname to the Boston Conquistadors. As a result, the Conquistadors split their home schedule between four games in southern Massachusetts and two games a piece in Havana and San Juan. Meanwhile, mounting political pressure results in the Milwaukee Bucks changing their official team nickname to the Wisconsin Bucks -- a sardonic nod to not only the city's former USFL squad, but a sly ode to the teams' primary financier, Federal Express.
2073: The Tennessee Titans and Memphis Grizzlies move, Tennessee splitting its home games four a piece at sites in Nashville and Memphis and The Grizzlies move to Honolulu, Hawaii. Meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals and both Detriot Teams (The Lions and the Suns) become multi-state, regional teams that plays their home games in Phoenix, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque (Cardinals), Detriot, Indianapolis, Toledo (Suns), Kenosha and Mcmillian (Lions). The new teams are rebranded as the Southwestern Cardinals and the Michigan Suns (The lions name was later picked up in September when they introduced the Cincinnati Lions).
2074: Following a cataclysmic hurricane that leaves The Northeast in ruins, the Boston Conquistadors relocate to Belfast, UK. They maintain the Conquistadors nickname, while the Washington Wizards permanently relocate to Lincoln, NE.
2075: The Orlando Magic relocate to St. Petersburg, Florida, where they become known as the Tampa Bay Magic.
2076: Terrell Nance retires, Meanwhile, The Rhine Panzers become the first European team to win a BWA Championship, defeating the Wisconsin Bucks 67-6 in the most lopsided Big Game victory ever.
2077: BWA Championship #131 ends in grand fashion, with the Santa Clara Hornets defeating the highly-favored Atlanta Falcons 26-20 in the final. Hornets PF Charles Woodson is named MVP, after he picks off Matt Ryan at the Falcons’ own five and returns the 95 points for the game winner.
2078: Facing dual bankruptcy, long-term rivals the Cleveland Browns and the Rochester Bombers decide to merge into a single team, the Ohio Barons, who play six home games a year at Ohio Stadium in Columbus (the other two home games are split between Cleveland, Rochester and Cincinnati venues.)
2079: The Midwest, now a bustling industrial mecca propped up by new technological firms (the “New Silicon Valley”, its nickname becomes) gets two expansion teams: the Wichita Aeros (owned by Berkshire Hathaway, who play four games a piece at sites in Wichita and Omaha) and the Exxon-owned Charleston Dragons. The Carolina Panthers, facing insolvency, are bought out by IBM and relocated to the Richmond, Virginia area. The team is now known as the “Virginia Crusaders.”
2080: With 88 teams in the league after the Monterrey Gladiadores begin play, BWA announces an all new conference realignment, with 22 divisions of 4 geographic rivals apiece
2081: The long-roaming Golden State Warriors find a permanent home in Alberqueque, New Mexico (now the 8th largest city in the nation) and change their team nickname to the New Mexico Jaguars. Meanwhile, the first “Corporate Team” is established when Wal-Mart Co. (annual revenue: $6.3 trillion) purchases the Seattle Supersonics and the Philadelphia 76ers and relocates the franchises to Bentonville, Arkansas and Jacksonville, FL. Following a lengthy antitrust case, BWA manages to “buy back” the squad, The Supersonics who remains in the Bentonville area under the name the Midwestern Hammers, as the 76ers are now known as the Jacksonville Alligators.
2082: Expansion teams in Riyadh, Doha, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Mumbai and Karachi play their first seasons. With 96 teams in the league, BWA redraws its conferences, with six divisions of four teams in each. The season concludes rather anticlimactically, however, with the Wisconsin Bucks besting the Toronto Raptors in match-up that sees the league's two smallest-markets compete for the global championship...
2083: The official playoff format expands to 48 teams, with first round byes (similar to the playoff brackets used in the NHL today.)
2084: The Doha Emirs become the first Asian team to win a Championship, defeating the San Diego Pistons 321-95 in the most lopsided Big Game victory ever.
2085: In an attempt to gauge further international interest, the first BWA Championship in Asia is held in Shanghai. The move inadvertently starts a new tradition, with international cities vying for the Super Bowl the same way cities vie for the Olympics in the modern era. The league’s championship game, as a result, is held in venues in Pakistan, Nigeria, Russia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (now known as Konystan and one of the world’s ten richest nations) over the remainder of the decade.
2086: The highly touted “Intergalactic Bowl” -- an exhibition game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bulls, held on a U.S. lunar base -- is cancelled when league officials realize its impossible for QBs to throw spirals in the vacuum of space.
2087: Amidst the greatest recession in a quarter century, several BWA teams fall into complete disarray. The Philadelphia Eagles and The Brooklyn Nets decide to merge into a single team, the Northeast Huskies, who play six home games a year at Philly Stadium in Philadelphia (the other two home games are split between Brooklyn and Queens venues.) Also facing financial ruin, the Mexico City Lakers sign a joint agreement with a consortium to split the team’s home games, four stands a piece, at venues in Guatamala, Salvador and Tegupigalpa. The “new” team is simply re-dubbed the “Central America Cactusus.”
2088: The Official BWA Championship Game is named “The Jordan Finals,” with a new trophy christened as “The Kobe Bryant Cup.”
2089: Unable to reach new stadium deals, both the Alaska Chill and the El Paso Peppers agree in principle to a joint lease agreement for the state of Arizona. Both teams, officially rechristened as the Glendale Fires and the Mesa Peppers, respectively, will begin play in 2090. The two teams will remain in their respective conference -- the AFC West.
2090: The BWA announces its first 6 Australian teams, the first 5 was when the Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans, Detroit Suns, San Diego Pistons and Jacksonville Jaguars, unable to secure new stadium deals, relocate to Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne, respectively. The rechristened Sydney Numbats will play at a renovated SCG (with the BWA footing half of the renovation bill) while the ex-Bills, now rechristened as the Perth Kangaroos agree to play five seasons at the RAC Arena while an all new stadium is constructed in Exmouth,WA (which opens in 2023.) Ironically, The Texans, Suns and Pistons are also renamed to the Brisbane Platypus, The Adelaide Crows and the Melbourne Swans.
2091: The New England Patriots move to Boston, MA to become the Boston Patroits
2092: The Perth Kangaroos become the first Aussie team to win a NBA Championship, defeating the Green Bay Packers 244-58 in the most lopsided Big Game victory ever, a month after, The Packers fold.
2093: The highly touted "ISS Championship” -- an exhibition game between the Memphis Titans and Boise Hawks, held on the International Space Station -- is staged but league officials realize the PFs throw spirals in the vacuum of space.
2094: Charlotte Hornets PF Victor Gentry. breaks the league record the same season for most points, reaching 81,000 points when he slams a 122 points in a game against the Boston Patriots. (In September, Teams are placed on Mars)
2095: The Luna Stars become the first non Earth-based team to win a NBA Championship, defeating the Toronto Raptors 249-213. The Stars go on to become the league’s preeminent squad, winning two out of the next five NBA Championships
2096: The Cascadia Novas enter the league after the departure of the Huskies, an interstate team that splits its home games between venues in Seattle and Portland. Meanwhile, the Chicago Bulls dissolve into an all new franchise, the Atlanta Owls, who plays its home games between venues in Atlanta
2097: The Charleston Dragons move to Raleigh, who's stadium has been in construction for 12 years. Meanwhile, the Baltimore Bullets relocate to Charleston, playing games at the most expensive stadium ever constructed, The Shawn Carter Dome. Both teams are renames the Charleston Bullets and the Raleigh Dragons.
2098: In an attempt to gauge further international interest after the Baltimore Ravens join the league, the first Super Bowl in Africa is held in Cairo. The move inadvertently starts a new tradition, with international cities vying for the Super Bowl the same way cities vie for the Olympics in the modern era. The league’s championship game, as a result, is held in venues in Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia (Now Called Abnissiya), South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (now known as Konystan and one of the world’s ten richest nations) over the remainder of the decade.
2099: Things are even worse in the city of Alberqueque where there is no water and 144 degree temperatures. The Colorado river is again a mere dribble by the time it hit’s the Grand Canyon. Most residents flee the area and it’s population which was close to 90 million drops to less than 2 million. The Jaguars join the residence and flee to Seattle which has rebuilt itself after nearly 15 years of decline.
2100: This season marks the end of the NBA as we know it. The BWA outlasts the 7 other large leagues to become the massive new global basketball league, The 2100 season begins with a lot of fan fair, its the 2100AD BWA season and the league means to make it a memorable one. The NBA plays games in cities which it had once abandoned such as Boise, Memphis, Orlando, Phoenix, Milwaukee, Cleveland and Detroit. At the all-star game they announce the greatest 500 players of all-time headlined by the only surviving member of the NBA’s 100 greatest: Terrell Nance. With 120 teams in the league, BWA redraws its conferences, with 4 divisions of 30 teams in each. The season concludes rather anticlimactically, however, with the Baltimore Ravens besting the Omaha Storm in match-up that sees the league's two smallest-markets compete for the global championship...