The 9 Most Iconic Basketball Courts In America

When you close your eyes and think of a basketball court, what comes to mind? Is it the parquet floor at the old garden? Fans painted blue screaming their faces off at Cameron Indoor? The chain-link fence around the court where you play pickup ball? These are the courts that have been home to more than basketball - they've been home to history.

The Palestra (Penn Quakers)

Palestra New Floor Basketball

We couldn't put this together without including "the most historic arena in college basketball". Since opening on New Year's Day, 1927, the Palestra has hosted more games, more teams, and more NCAA tournament games than any other arena in the world.

Allen Fieldhouse (Kansas Jayhawks)


If you've been watching college basketball for more than a year, you've already gotten to know Allen Fieldhouse well. The Jayhawks are one of the game's perennial contenders, and their court (the James Naismith Court, to be exact) is named after the man who invented the game of basketball and established KU's program in the early 1900s.

Madison Square Garden (New York Knicks)

New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony at Madison Square Garden in New York

What really need to be said about the Garden? Even when the Knicks are having a down year (or a down decade...) the lights seem brighter and the fans always bring their A-game. There's a reason why players care about scoring landmarks here a lot more than at Minnesota's Target Center (sorry, Target Center, but it's true).

Cameron Indoor Stadium (Duke Blue Devils)


Ask any college basketball fan what the hardest place to play is, and Cameron will be one of their first few answers every time. Well-known for its acoustics (the volume can regularly reach over 120 decibels, louder than a chainsaw from a few feet away), Cameron's unique atmosphere has turned it into a fortress for the Blue Devils.

Rucker Park


Where else comes to mind when you think of pickup basketball? The best of the best still come here to work on their game, and you won't find a more competitive atmosphere anywhere on the planet.

Rupp Arena (Kentucky Wildcats)


The largest basketball arena in the country, Rupp has been home to a seemingly endless stream of stars and legends. Since Rupp opened in 1976, Kentucky has led the NCAA in home attendance 25 times.

Staples Center (LA Lakers/LA Clippers)


Staples isn't just about the court - it's about the scenery. From Jack Nicholson sneering at referees to the parade of banners cascading down from the rafters, this place is one of the most visually appealing places to watch basketball in the country...even though it seems like many of the A-listers have traded Purple and Gold for Blue and Red recently.

The Cage


A small court surrounded by a 20-foot high chain-link fence, The Cage lives up to its wrestling-inspired moniker. It might not have Rucker Park's name recognition, but the Cage makes up for it with the unforgiving, raw intensity of the basketball on display.

The Boston Garden (Boston Celtics)


The old Garden might be gone, but we'll be damned if our list of iconic courts leaves it out. The parquet floor and the parade of NBA legends makes more than a landmark - it's an institution.


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