The National Basketball Association is the major professional basketball league in the United States and Canada. It consists of 30 teams, 29 located in the United States and one in Canada. The NBA was founded in 1949 when the Basketball Association of America (BAA) merged with the rival National Basketball League. The NBA is the oldest of the four major North American sports leagues. It has been a part of the American pop culture since its inception and has had many famous players.
The game is played on a court that is 50 feet wide and 94 feet long. Each team has ten players and the goal is to shoot the ball into the opponents basket. The rims are 10 feet high, the free throw line is 15 feet from the rim and there is a 3-point arc that goes from 23 feet 9 inches at the top of the perimeter to 22 feet at the baseline. Each player has a maximum of 24 seconds to shoot the ball.
Before every NBA game fans stand to honor the men and women of the United States Military with a singing of the Star Spangled Banner. The NBA also honors its military history with a special tribute before games as well. During the early years of one of the NBA’s predecessor leagues, it was not uncommon for players to leave the league to join the military. The armed forces offered better pay and better accommodations than the NBA did at the time.
Currently, there are three types of teams in the NBA: original NBA franchises, expansion teams and relocated teams. Each of these types has its own unique story and is important to the development of the league as a whole. The original NBA franchises were formed in 1946 and had to fight for survival.
In its early years the NBA was rife with financial troubles and in 1951 the league was down to just 17 teams. This was because the owners of the original NBA and BAA were not able to make enough money to keep the teams competitive. The league would continue to lose teams for the next decade before finally settling on eight teams in 1956.
A few years later the NBA introduced a draft to help develop its talent pool. In the beginning, it was truly a crapshoot because few if any of the teams had video or scouting of the players being drafted. Despite this the draft had some real gems and by the 2000 draft some of the best players in the league were coming out of it.
Today, the NBA has two conferences with six divisions each with five teams. Throughout the season each team will play all of the teams in their division twice at home and twice on the road. They will also play all of the other teams in their conference once at home and once on the road. Then, after the regular season is over the top eight teams from each conference are seeded for the playoffs. The first team to win four games moves on.