Step 1: The first clue in A1 requires you to know all of  the Shaquille O’Neal’s teams. They are listed below (teams already used are crossed out):

  1. Phoenix Suns
  2. Los Angeles Lakers
  3. Orlando Magic
  4. Boston Celtics
  5. Miami Heat
  6. Cleveland Cavaliers

The second clue in A1 says that the Magics in-state rival is in a corner. Their in-state are the Heat, so clue A1 implies that the Miami Heat are F1.

Step 2: Clue F1 says “Two other East NBA Champions from 2010s are touching me”. These Eastern Conference teams won NBA titles in 2010s:
  1. Toronto Raptors (2019)
  2. Cleveland Cavaliers (2016)

When combining clue A1 (Shaq played for the Cavaliers) with clue F1 it implies that the Cleveland Cavaliers are E1.











Step 3: Clue E1 explains that the California teams are all in row B. The California teams are:

  1. Sacramento Kings
  2. Los Angeles Lakers
  3. Golden State Warriors
  4. Los Angeles Clippers

Clue E1 (California teams in row B) combined with clue A1 (Shaq’s teams) indicates that the Los Angeles Lakers are B1.

Step 4: The second clue of B1 indicates the Minnesota Timberwolves are D4. The Lakers originally played in Minneapolis.
Step 5: The first clue of D4 implies that the Portland Trail Blazers are B3. The second clue of D4 along with clue F1 (Eastern Conference champions) makes the Toronto Raptors be in F2.











Step 6: The first clue in B1’s says Michael Jordan’s teams are in the corners. He played for the Bulls and the Wizards in the NBA. That clue along with clue B3 (Bulls are touching a California team) and clue E1 (California teams in row B) makes the Chicago Bulls in A5. Therefore, the Washington Wizards are F5.

Step 7: Clue A5 explains that the Texas based teams are in row D. The Texas teams are:
  1. Dallas Mavericks
  2. San Antonio Spurs
  3. Houston Rockets

Clue F2 says that Larry Bird’s teams, as a coach and a player are side by side with each other. Larry Bird played for the Celtics and coached the Pacers. Since the Celtics are one of Shaq’s teams they must be either in C1 or D1. However, since clue A5 says all Texas teams must be in row D, there is not enough room for both the Celtics and the Pacers in row D (4 open spots and 3 are reserved for the Texas teams, 4-3=1). Thus, the Boston Celtics are C1 and the Indiana Pacers are C2. This eliminates all but one of Shaq’s teams, so the last team must go in D1 (Clue A1). The Phoenix Suns are in D1.











Step 8: Clue C1 indicates the Philadelphia 76ers are E4.

Step 9: Clue E4 (Los Angeles teams touching) combined with clue E1 (California teams in row B) implies the Los Angeles Clippers are in B2.
Step 10: Clue B2 (S teams are touching) and clue A5 (Texas teams in row D) makes the San Antonio Spurs in D2.
Step 11: Clue E1 (California teams in row B) and clue D2 (W teams share a column) implies the Golden State Warriors are B5. With only one California team left and only one spot left in row B, it makes the Sacramento Kings reside in B4.











Step 12: Clue B4 (mile high and above Kings) indicates the Denver Nuggets are in A4.

Step 13: Clue A5 (Texas teams in row D) along with clue A4 (no mammals in column 3) implies the Dallas Mavericks (maverick is a mammal) are D5. Since there is only one spot left in row D, the Houston Rockets are D3.
Step 14: Clue B5 (Bucks in column 4) and clue D5 (row C is in alphabetical order) makes the Milwaukee Bucks F4 (The letter B is before P in the alphabet, so there is only one spot for the Bucks to go in column 4). Clue A4 (no mammals in column 3) and clue C2 (New York teams in column 2) indicate the the Grizzlies cannot be in either the second or third column (two spots left in column 2, both the New York teams are reserving them and a grizzly is mammal). Lastly, clue D5 (row C is in alphabetical order) eliminates the Grizzlies from row C, hence there is only one spot they can go, the Memphis Grizzlies reside in E5.











Step 15: Clue F4 (older New York resident is above the newer one) and clue C2 (New York teams in column 2) implies the New York Knicks are A2 while the Brooklyn Nets are E2. Clue E5 (an insect is in row A) suggests that the Hornets are in row A, and with only one spot left in row A the Charlotte Hornets reside in A3.

Step 16: Clue A3 (music is in the bottom row) indicates the Utah Jazz are F3 (last spot available in the bottom row). Clue D3 indicates that all of the teams with flying mascots (beside the Wizards) are in column 3. The flying mascots’ teams are (teams already used are crossed out):
  1. Houston Rockets
  2. Charlotte Hornets
  3. New Orleans Pelicans
  4. Atlanta Hawks

In order for clue D5 (row C is in alphabetical order) to hold the New Orleans Pelicans must be in C3 and therefore the Atlanta Hawks are E3. Now, the two remaining teams are the Thunder and the Pistons. Again, for clue D5 to hold the Detroit Pistons are C4 and the Oklahoma City Thunder are C5.

HOORAY! The puzzle is complete.