The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the premier men’s professional basketball league in the United States and Canada. The league features 30 teams from across North America. It is the most popular sport in the United States and Canada and is considered one of the best sports leagues in the world. The league features basketball players from all over the world.
The NBA consists of 30 teams split into two conferences, each with 4 divisions. Each team plays 82 games during the regular season. The team with the highest record at the end of the regular season automatically qualifies for the playoffs. There are eight spots in each conference, with 16 teams making the playoffs each year.
In the 1980s, the NBA experienced a golden era that helped establish the league as it is known today. This decade was marked by tension and cold war politics, but it was also a time of great teams. One of the most successful teams of the decade was the Miami Heat. With a roster that included players such as LeBron James and Chris Bosh, the Heat reached the Finals four consecutive times. However, in 2011, they lost the Finals to the Dallas Mavericks.
The NBA season runs from mid-October to early April. Each team plays 82 games, playing against other teams within their division and those from outside. The playoffs are comprised of four rounds, with the final four teams choosing the champion of each division. The winning division earns the right to host the playoffs, while other teams are able to enter as a wildcard team.
NBA teams choose their players through a draft process. International players and college players declare for the draft. Each team is allowed one pick in the first and second round. However, the process of the NBA draft has not always been as simple as today. Prior to the 1980s, the draft was an extended process, with 21 rounds and 228 players being drafted.
Historically, the NBA has been a relatively small league with small markets. In fact, seven of its original cities do not have an NHL, MLB, or NFL team. However, in 1951 the BAA merged with the NBL, which allowed small towns to become part of the league. The NBA continued to grow, eventually expanding to fourteen teams.
The NBA recognizes that basketball is a global sport and has expanded its League Pass program to broadcast games in most countries. League Pass offers access to all 82 games of the current season, but is not available to citizens of some countries. Streaming games in countries where the NBA is banned is also not available. While this is great news for fans, it does present some drawbacks. For example, it is impossible to watch the playoffs in certain countries, such as North Korea, Cuba, and Belarus.
NBA League Pass is not a cable channel but a subscription service. It is accessible on mobile, web, and TV-connected devices. It also features hundreds of live games and has special features for die-hard fans. The app offers various camera angles and has guest broadcasters.