The National Basketball Association is an international professional basketball league consisting of 30 teams located across the United States, Canada and Mexico. The league is considered as the second most popular professional American professional basketball league after the National Football League. It is also the second most popular sport behind the National Hockey League in terms of viewership and popularity. The NBA is an important part of the U.S. sports culture and thus it provides a great platform for the NBA players to promote their game and earn money.
Professional basketball leagues in other countries often invite international teams to play against NBA players. Thus, NBA players like Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers have been invited by Australian and Chinese teams to participate in their national competitions. There have also been instances when NBA players have gone overseas and played with top level teams. A few of these include legends like Magic Johnson, Allen Iverson and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Lakers. Players like LeBron James, Pau Gasol, Shaquille O’Neal and Jason Kidd have also expressed their interest to take up basketball coaching in foreign countries.
There are a number of NBA teams that represent different cities and countries. These teams include the Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, Boston Bruins and many others. Thus, the player who represents his team proudly is liable to earn good money. The best players earn big salaries not just because of their performance in games but also due to their popularity and celebrity status. Some players like Kobe Bryant and Lebron James earn huge contracts, while others like Jason Kidd and Chris Paul earn less but still manage to command a very good pay package.
Each NBA club has its own roster and players are chosen on a regular basis only depending on the situation and the player’s performance. The players who miss out on playing in an NBA game due to injury are compensated differently from those who are fit. This is done on a regular basis so that all teams are in a position to field their best players against other teams. The regular season schedule consists of sixteen teams that are played throughout the year.
The playoff schedule of NBA consists of a first round which is played between the teams finishing at the top of the table. Then, the other teams are split into two groups with one going to play in the Eastern Conference and the other in the Western Conference. The teams finishing in the same positions in both conferences earn a bye for the playoffs. The major difference in the NBA contract model is that the Eastern Conference team only gets a first round bye while the Western Conference team gets a second and third round bye.
The play-in tournament is another important part of NBA. It usually takes place during the second week of the season. As compared to the regular season, there are more teams taking part in this play-in tournament. The play-ins consist of teams such as Rooks, Cavalier, Trail Blazers, Magic, Heat, Jazz, and Bulls. Each team gets eight minutes per game and a play-in opponent must have a minimum of fifteen minutes to play.