The National Basketball Association is one of the most popular sports in the United States and worldwide. Its combination of top talent and thrilling gameplay makes it a must-see for anyone who loves sports. The NBA is a professional league that features 30 teams, divided into two conferences – Eastern and Western. The conference winners advance to the playoffs, where they play best-of-seven series for the championship. The league has a number of individual awards, including the MVP, Rookie of the Year, and the Sixth Man of the Year.
The NBA is currently in its 67th season of operation. It was founded in New York City on June 4, 1946. The first league had seventeen franchises, located in both large cities and small towns, playing in both indoor arenas and smaller gymnasiums and armories. The NBA expanded in 1950, adding the Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, Rochester Royals, Fort Wayne Pistons, Syracuse Nationals, and the Atlanta Hawks. The following decade saw declining TV ratings, low attendance, and drug-related player issues – both real and perceived – threaten to derail the league.
In the late 1980s, the NBA began a process of consolidation that reduced its size to its current eleven franchises. The Minneapolis Lakers moved to Los Angeles, the Rochester Royals and Fort Wayne Pistons merged into the Detroit Pistons, and the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia Warriors, and Syracuse Nationals relocated to larger markets. The New York Knicks joined the league in 1958, and the Washington Wizards, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, and San Antonio Spurs were added in 1966 and 1968, respectively.
After the summer, the teams return to training camps in September to hone their skills and prepare for the regular season, which begins the last week of October. The training camp is also an opportunity for coaches to evaluate new players, re-evaluate existing players, and determine their 12-man active roster and 3-man inactive list for the start of the season. Teams may also send some of their non-roster players to the NBA G League, where they compete in a series of preseason games against other G League squads.
Once the regular season concludes, teams begin the playoffs in November and December. Each team plays its first four games in a round-robin format, then is seeded based on its record and whether it won its division (1 vs. 8). The top eight teams in each conference then enter the knockout stage, where they face each other. The team that wins the most games in its seven-game playoff series takes the championship.
The NBA is taking steps to respond to increased interest in the league from abroad. Global business accounted for 10% of total team and league revenue last year, and the NBA expects more growth this year, according to a person familiar with the matter. The league is increasing the number of games broadcast internationally, boosting its presence in international markets, and focusing on programs for kids.