The Basics of the NBA

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is one of the top sports leagues in the world. Its teams are known for their high-scoring games and star players. The NBA also offers a variety of off-court initiatives to promote diversity and social justice. Its roster of current stars includes Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks.

The NBA’s regular season runs from October through April, with each team playing 82 games. The playoffs then begin, with the top eight teams in each conference advancing to the knockout stage. Teams compete for a championship that is awarded to the highest seed in each conference.

Teams are allotted 15 players for the regular season, but they may carry up to three “two-way” players, who can play in both the NBA and G League. These players don’t count against the team’s regular season 15-man roster limit but do count toward a franchise’s total 21-man postseason limit. In addition to the 15-man rosters, teams can have two 10-day contracts that expire at the end of each week.

During the season, each team plays a total of 41 home and 41 road games. Home games are played in arenas with capacities ranging from 20,000 to 30,000, while road games are held in arenas with capacities of 11,000 to 10,000.

The NBA’s standardized game court is 50 feet wide and 94 feet long, with a rim that hangs 10 feet from the floor. The rim is surrounded by a 3-point arc, which extends from 23 feet 9 inches from the basket at the top of the rim to 22 feet from the baseline on each side. The NBA rules state that the ball must be inflated to between 8.5 and 9.5 pounds per square inch.

Teams start their season in September with training camps. They then play preseason games that do not count against their final season record. At the conclusion of the preseason, the coaching staff evaluates their players and cuts the weaker ones.

The NBA draft is conducted in June, and each team’s highest-ranked available player becomes that team’s first-round pick. The league’s collective bargaining agreement establishes a salary cap for teams to prevent super-teams from spending too much money on talent, but it has been broken in the past. Teams have found ways around the cap, pursuing high-profile free agents willing to take pay cuts, and by drafting talented young players. The Lakers, for example, have built their current squad through a combination of those tactics. The NBA has a worldwide audience, with fans in more than 200 countries and territories. NBA games are broadcast in over 50 languages. The NBA is also active in global communities, providing social impact through youth programs and partnerships. Its community development efforts focus on health, education, economic growth, and civil rights. The NBA has won numerous awards for its work in those areas. It has also partnered with other organizations to support peace, democracy, and sustainable development.