7 Most Unique NBA Courts

Kevin W. Ryan@@kevry88Contributor IIIMarch 10, 2014

7 Most Unique NBA Courts

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    Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

    The National Basketball Association showcases 30 professional clubs scattered across America with each team representing their town in a unique way.  

    From hardwood court design to how a franchise chooses to remember its tradition and history, each basketball club has the freedom to differentiate themselves from the rest of the league. 

    Here are the seven most unique home courts in the National Basketball Association—enjoy. 

Barclays Center (Brooklyn, NY)

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    David Dow/Getty Images

    Unique Court Pattern

    The Brooklyn Nets have differentiated themselves in many ways, but the most visually stunning from a physical perspective is the herringbone-patterned hardwood court in the newly constructed Barclays Center.

    The Nets moved across the pond from Jersey to Brooklyn and, with the move, changed the entire image of the franchise, home court included.

    Under new ownership, the Nets picked up max contracts from NBA stars like Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce (with a hefty luxury tax to pay as a result).   

    Jay-Z was once the headline "owner" of the club and was simply a face for the franchise, having owned a minimal portion of the team (much like NBA legend Magic Johnson with the Los Angeles Dodgers). However, this political move paid immediate and immense dividends in rebranding the Nets both on and off the court. 

Madison Square Garden (New York City, NY)

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    Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

    Unmatched Historical Significance

    There are hallowed grounds in every professional sport worldwide. No home arena, however, is held in higher respect than New York City's Madison Square Garden.   

    Whether it's theatre, athletics or music, the building split by Manhattan's 31st and 33rd Streets is known as the world's foremost arena for entertainment. 

    The Knicks have not had equal championship success as the New York Yankees or New York Giants, but MSG is most unique for hosting the highest level of elite individual performances on any basketball court in the world.   

    The Knicks have two 60-point individual performances in their storied history. The most memorable showcase of individual talent came in 1995 when Michael Jordan dropped 55 points in the Garden just days after ending his dream to play professional baseball. 

    Jordan's performance set the standard for high-scoring games in Madison Square Garden, and his outstanding individual effort has since been matched in MSG by Kobe Bryant (61 points, 2009), Stephen Curry (54 points, 2013) and LeBron James (52 points, 2009).

    Carmelo Anthony's 62-point game stands as the current Knicks scoring record at Madison Square Garden. 

Oracle Arena (Oakland, CA)

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    Rocky Widner/Getty Images

    Most Energetic Atmosphere in the League

    Despite lack of historical success like many teams in the National Basketball Association, Northern California's faithful have rallied around the Golden State Warriors to create the NBA's most exciting game atmosphere. 

    Oracle's recent history is highlighted by some of the most exciting finishes in the last decade—including LeBron's clutch three-pointer as time expired, the first game-winning three-pointer for the growing legacy of "King James." 

    Aside from that nothing-but-net game-winner, "Roaracle" Arena has hosted it's fair share of home team entertainment like Andre Iguodala's clutch shooting to ice the "double game-winner" or one of Stephen Curry's many cold-blooded, game-winning finishes

    DubNation faithful nightly pack the Oakland arena and create one of the most incredible atmospheres professional sports has to offer. 

Staples Center (Los Angeles, CA)

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    Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

    Home to 2 NBA Franchises 

    Los Angeles' Staples Center has always been a popular destination to showcase elite, championship NBA talent because of the storied Los Angeles Lakers.  More recently, though, the building's second team has proven itself to be the best basketball team in Los Angeles. 

    Staples Center is the only arena in the NBA that hosts two different franchises, and since the Lakers' last title in 2010, the best team to call Staples Center home has been Chris Paul's Los Angeles Clippers.  

    The Clippers and their trademark "Lob City" have taken Staples Center by storm—leaving spoiled Lakers fans with distant memories of the glory days of Hall of Fame-caliber talent like Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, James Worthy, Jerry West and the NBA's all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. 

    The last meeting between the two teams did not end well, as the once dominant Los Angeles Lakers were absolutely humiliated by Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers by a final score of 142-94.

    The 48-point blowout on March 6th serves as a perfect example of the incredible role reversal of the two Staples Center teams. 

Boston Garden (Boston, MA)

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    Dick Raphael/Getty Images

    Celebration of Storied Past

    The Celtics differentiate themselves from the rest of the NBA for multiple reasons; their most compelling attribute is the tradition and how that history is celebrated. 

    Boston Garden has without a doubt the most championship banners of any arena in the country. From the Celtics' 17 NBA titles to their 21 retired jersey numbers, taking a lap around the Garden is utterly breathtaking for any sports fan. 

    Now that the NBA pulls in north of $5 billion in annual revenue, major businesses flood local arenas for naming rights, endorsement deals and any marketing material they can get their hands on.

    What is purely amazing in Boston, though, is how the franchise did not sell an advertisement on their home floor like the rest of the league, but has used the space to pay homage to one of the greatest coaches in sports history—Red Auerbach. 

United Center (Chicago, IL)

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    Bill Smith/Getty Images

    Home of "His Airness"

    Chicago's United Center will forever be known as "The House That Jordan Built."  

    With former NBA MVP Derrick Rose sidelined with a knee injury, the focus on athletic competition at the United Center belongs mainly to the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, though the Bulls remain in contention in the Eastern Conference.

    Whether it's the Hawks, Bulls, Bears, Cubs or White Sox, Chicago sports fans never forget their history in the sports world—and how could you, when the greatest basketball player to ever play the game won five MVP awards, six NBA championships and seven scoring titles all in your home town?

Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

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    Andrew D. Bernstein

    Unique Fan-Created Tradition

    Professional basketball in Oklahoma is still in its infancy, but the Thunder have created one of the most energetic atmospheres in the NBA despite calling Chesapeake Energy Arena home for just six seasons.

    Behind the world-class talent of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Thunder fans have been fortunate to witness playoff basketball for the last four seasons. 

    Aside from some of the most exciting basketball the league has to offer, the Thunder have one of the most unique traditions in all of professional sports: After the singing of the national anthem and the evening's starting lineups are announced, fans will remain standing and cheering until the home team scores their first bucket of the game.