1. Sacramento Kings
The Kings haven’t advanced to postseason play since 2007, but in 2016 they boasted the “greenest’ arena in the NBA. 15% of the arena’s power comes from solar panels on its roof and the other 85% comes from a nearby solar array.
2. Utah Jazz
In December, the Jazz had a losing record and looked destined for a bad season, but an incredible win streak to finish the season vaulted them into the playoffs. Led by rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell and Frenchman Rudy Gobert, they hope to continue their hot streak against The Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round.
The Jazz may not be able to claim the greenest arena but they recently installed more than 2,700 rooftop solar panels at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The new system is the equivalent to completely offsetting the electricity for 100 homes per year or powering approximately 89 home games for the Utah Jazz. It is expected to produce enough energy to equal one million pounds of coal or the benefit of planting 5,000 trees.This is crucial in a city that ranked sixth in the nation by the American Lung Association for poor air quality. The video below shows the installation of the panels on the arena.
3. Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers
The Lakers and Clippers share an arena, so they share third place. Both teams placed 9th and 10th in the Western Conference, just missing out on the playoffs. On the bright side, their arena holds 1,727 solar panels.
4. Boston Celtics
The Celtics are the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference, but injuries to key players Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward may keep them from advancing far in the playoffs. It’s too late for General Manager Danny Ainge to pull off a trade to change the team’s fortune, but Ainge isn’t sweating about the arena’s utility bills. The arena, TD Garden, is powered by a solar array 40 miles from the stadium. The design of the arena’s roof makes it nearly impossible for solar panels to be placed on top of it.
5. Golden State Warriors
The Warriors are winners of two of the past three NBA finals, so naturally, they make this list. The Kings, Lakers, Clippers, and Warriors are all located in California, the nation’s leader in solar panel installations. The Warriors have 537 solar panels on their practice facility. Sure that’s not as impressive as the other areas, but Steph Curry has solar panels on his house. That has to count for something.
NBA Honorable Mentions
The Portland Trailblazers and San Antonio Spurs are 100% powered by wind energy. The Brooklyn Nets’ arena’s roof is completely covered in grass. The Pheonix Suns have about 1,000 solar panels on their arena but they were so bad this season that I thought it was better not to talk about them at all. The NBA has encourages teams and arenas to go green through its NBA Green program.