The National Basketball Association is one of the most popular sports in the U.S., and has a global following of 2.1 billion followers. However, there are challenges for the NBA. For example, the average TV rating for pro basketball is under 4.0, which may limit the NBA’s revenue. Although the popularity of live sporting events remains strong, technology changes could threaten the sport’s popularity.

The NBA is divided into two conferences. Each conference has five teams and each team plays division opponents twice at home and three or four games on the road. If a team wins its division, it earns a spot in the playoffs. Teams are also eligible for the Play-In tournament, which matches the 7th and 8th seeded teams of each conference. These teams play each other in a game-by-game series until the winner is determined.

The league’s roster includes twelve players on active rosters and a three-man inactive roster. In addition, at least 100 international players are usually included on the team’s roster each season. As of the 2013-14 season, rosters represented 39 countries, making it the largest international player presence in the history of the league.

The NBA has contracts with ABC, ESPN, TNT, and DuMont Television Network. These networks will carry the NBA through the 2024-25 season. Since 2006, the NBA has also been facing teams from the European League of Basketball, or EuroLeague, in exhibition games.

Each year, the top vote-getter in each conference is named the Captain of the Conference. The captain is responsible for determining the rest of the All-Star starters. Players with a high number of votes are drafted from the player pool to the first team in the draft. A team can then assign a player with less than two years of experience to the NBA G League, if it needs additional help.

Each team will then participate in a training camp in late September and early October. This gives the coaching staff an opportunity to evaluate their players before the regular season begins. Once a team begins the regular season, they will play 82 games during the season. Most teams play in the eastern half of the country, while others are located in the western half. Some teams are based in cities such as New York, Boston, and Chicago.

Before the start of the season, all teams will play exhibition games in non-NBA cities. These games are considered part of the preseason, and are held in a variety of venues, including the Madison Square Garden in New York City and the Smoothie King Center in San Francisco.

Once the preseason is over, the regular season is scheduled to begin in mid-October and run through April. After a few weeks, the league pauses for the annual All-Star Game. This game features the best performance by each team during the season. Players are rewarded with the Game MVP award.

The NBA Finals is a best-of-seven series between victors in both conferences. The winner receives a Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy and is crowned the league champion.