The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the premier men’s professional basketball league in the United States and Canada. The league is made up of thirty teams. The teams compete for a championship every season. Founded in 1894, the NBA is considered one of the most popular sports in North America. Its games attract millions of fans worldwide.
The NBA was facing some tough times before the 2001 season. The Western Division was experiencing a lot of financial problems. And rumors about a team’s relocation were rampant. So, the NBA began looking for new markets and ways to attract fans. The answer came in the form of a simple 24-second clock.
The NBA was originally a small footnote compared to other basketball leagues. But its consistency and big cities led it to success. It was also formed as a way for NHL owners to earn money while their players were not playing. The NBA’s first teams were in NHL cities. These cities eventually became a hub for the league, attracting fans from all over.
The regular season lasts from mid-October to early April, with each team playing 82 games. Teams compete within their divisions and outside their divisions to earn a spot in the playoffs. After the regular season, there are eight spots open in the playoffs. The winner of each division will advance to the postseason, where the champion will be crowned.
The NBA playoffs have changed in recent years. The format is now more favorable for teams with better regular season records, since the team with the best record is guaranteed home court advantage. The Denver Nuggets, for instance, were the first team to capture the Northwest Division in 2006, winning 44 games and defeating the Los Angeles Clippers, who won 47 games.
While the NBA is primarily a domestic league, it also features international players. In fact, NBA games have faced EuroLeague teams for the past few seasons, and this trend is continuing. In the 2013-14 season, the NBA featured 92 international players. These rosters represented 39 different countries. By the 2017-18 season, the league had more international players than ever.
The NBA Finals are a best-of-seven series between the winners of the two conferences. These series take place every year in June, and the winner is awarded the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. Major contributors are also awarded championship rings. The MVP of the Finals is awarded to the best player in the series. A player who wins the championship is also voted MVP of the NBA. However, this list is still incomplete.
Drafts are another way in which the NBA makes changes. The ’84 draft, for example, produced a franchise-changing bomb. The 16th pick was John Stockton, who would have been selected at the fourth pick had the draft been held in a different year. The ’96 and the ’03 draft classes were also notable. The 2009 draft class is on the verge of matching the great classes of the past.