Best NBA Destination (2014)


Memphis came out of the gates strong and dominated the competition in the 10Best Readers' Choice category of 'Best NBA Destination.' The Memphis Grizzlies make their home in FedEx Forum near Beale Street, and the lively nightlife in the Birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll adds to the overall fan experience.

  • Memphis (Home of the Grizzlies)

    Memphis (Home of the Grizzlies)

    The Memphis Grizzlies are based in FedEx Forum near lively Beale Street, winner of Best Iconic Street.  The bonus: take a trolley ride back to the hotel after partying.  Fans will find plenty else to do in the Birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll, not the least of which is Graceland, Elvis' former home (and our readers' pick for Best Iconic American Attraction).  
    Photo courtesy of Gregory

  • Oklahoma City (Home of the Thunder)

    Oklahoma City (Home of the Thunder)

    Watching the Thunder play in Chesapeake Energy Arena affords the chance to see reigning Kevin Durant and MVP-caliber Russell Westbrook amaze, to the ear-splitting roar of the crowd. When the team's off the court, fans have the revitalized Bricktown district practically just outside the door, as well as the nearby Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, home of the minor league RedHawks.
    Photo courtesy of Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau

  • Dallas (Home of the Mavericks)

    Dallas (Home of the Mavericks)

    Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and often the loudest fan in the building, has ensured that his team's games are among the best in terms of the fan experience. The Big D has plenty to offer outside the arena as well, including one of the largest arts districts in the USA, great steakhouses and shopping galore.
    Photo courtesy of Marco Becerra

  • Denver (Home of the Nuggets)

    Denver (Home of the Nuggets)

    Denver has a fun and easy-to-navigate downtown loaded with dining and entertainment options. While the Nuggets aren't the same as when Carmelo Anthony was there, a game at the Pepsi Center is still a good time, and - depending on the season - fans might even catch a Broncos or Rockies game while in town.  Beer-loving basketball fans will be in heaven.
    Photo courtesy of AndreyKrav

  • San Antonio (Home of the Spurs)

    San Antonio (Home of the Spurs)

    The reigning NBA champions, the San Antonio Spurs, have made the playoffs 24 of the last 25 seasons, so they're always a fun team to watch. The city of San Antonio oozes history, and between the Alamo, SeaWorld, Six Flags and the River Walk, there's something for every type of traveler. The Tex-Mex food is worth a trip itself.
    Photo courtesy of J Leet / San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau

  • Cleveland (Home of the Cavaliers)

    Cleveland (Home of the Cavaliers)

    One word: LeBron. Fans come from around the globe to see the game's most dynamic player in 'The Land' as he calls his home in Cleveland with the Cavaliers. World-class cultural attractions, like Cedar Point, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Cleveland Museum of Art add to the travel appeal of this renaissance city on Lake Erie.
    Photo courtesy of Keith Allison

  • Indianapolis (Home of the Indiana Pacers)

    Indianapolis (Home of the Indiana Pacers)

    Bankers Life Fieldhouse, a retro-style arena in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, is a monument of sorts to Naismith's game and a wonderful building that has been a model for other franchises looking to build a new arena. After the buzzer sounds, lucky fans might spot Indiana Pacers players grabbing a late-night bite at the nearby Steak 'n Shake.  
    Photo courtesy of Pacers Sports & Entertainment

  • Chicago (Home of the Bulls)

    Chicago (Home of the Bulls)

    Few fan photo opps can rival the Michael Jordan statue outside the United Center in Chicago, home of the Bulls - a must-see team this season with the return of Derrick Rose. The Windy City is a gem outside the arena as well, with its excellent museums, world-class shopping and visit-worthy culinary credentials.
    Photo courtesy of jimcchou

  • Boston (Home of the Celtics)

    Boston (Home of the Celtics)

    TD Garden, home of the 17-time World Champion Boston Celtics, is also home of The Sports Museum, where Celts fans can learn about the history of sports teams in the Boston area. Before and after the game, Beantown's rich history means there's plenty to see and do and the city's vibrant neighborhoods deserve exploration.
    Photo courtesy of Medioimages/Photodisc

  • Salt Lake City (Home of Utah Jazz)

    Salt Lake City (Home of Utah Jazz)

    While Utah Jazz may not be the team it was when Stockton and Malone were at their prime, the statues of the two legends outside EnergySolutions Arena are worth a visit. Stunning scenery makes Salt Lake City a worthwhile destination no matter the time of year, but as the NBA season progresses, visitors have access to some of the best skiing in the nation.
    Photo courtesy of Sean Buckley


In a close race for the runner up spot were Oklahoma City (home of the Thunder) and Dallas (home of the Mavericks), but OKC came out ahead in the end. Denver and San Antonio rounded out the top 5.

The winners of 'Best NBA Destination' category in our USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice contest are as follows:

  1. Memphis (Home of the Grizzlies)
  2. Oklahoma City (Home of the Thunder)
  3. Dallas (Home of the Mavericks)
  4. Denver (Home of the Nuggets)
  5. San Antonio (Home of the Spurs)
  6. Cleveland (Home of the Cavaliers)
  7. Indianapolis (Home of the Indiana Pacers)
  8. Chicago (Home of the Bulls)
  9. Boston (Home of the Celtics)
  10. Salt Lake City (Home of Utah Jazz)

Congrats to all our winners!  These cities make an excellent bucket list for sports fans.


License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo



AlertThe Experts

Sam Amick

Sam Amick

Sam Amick