The National Basketball Association is one of the world’s most popular sports leagues, with 2.1 billion followers globally across all NBA and team social media platforms. It is also a leader in sports sponsorship, with over $2 billion spent annually on NBA sponsorships and other marketing initiatives. The NBA also works with internationally recognized youth-serving organizations through NBA Cares, its philanthropic arm.
The NBA is composed of 30 teams that are divided into two conferences, the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference. Each conference plays teams within their own division for the entire regular season, but during the postseason they play outside their conference. The Boston Celtics have won the most championships in the history of the league, with 16 titles.
In the 1960s, the Celtics dynasty of Bill Russell and Tom Heinsohn gave the NBA a jolt. They won 11 titles in 13 years, and are still regarded as the greatest sports dynasty in United States history.
After a period of expansion and contraction, the NBA reached its current size of 30 teams in 2000. Currently, the league has 29 teams in the United States and one in Canada.
Each year, the NBA holds a draft to determine the order of selection for its players. The first three picks are determined by an audited lottery, using ping-pong balls drawn in a controlled environment. After the lottery, teams choose in reverse order of their finish in the regular season.
During the offseason, the NBA holds training camp to prepare its teams for the upcoming season. This is a time for coaches to evaluate their players and determine the best lineups. In addition, it is a time when players and teams can make major trades before the trading deadline on the last Thursday of February.
The regular season begins in October, and the NBA All-Star Game is played during the midseason break in February. Players are nominated by fans and the media, and the top vote-getters become captains for each All-Star team. The All-Star Game features a mix of NBA superstars and rising stars, with an emphasis on teamwork.
The most common injuries for NBA players are lateral ankle sprains, patellofemoral inflammation (knee pain), and lumbar strains. A high rate of player injury is largely due to the physical nature of the sport, along with poor offseason conditioning and improper equipment and footwear. The NBA has worked to address these issues by instituting stricter equipment and footwear standards, as well as encouraging players and coaches to focus on proper training techniques. NBA players also have the option of using anti-inflammatory medications during games. The NBA also has a medical advisory committee that reviews injury data and makes recommendations to the league’s executive vice president of medical affairs. The committee is led by a former orthopedic surgeon and is made up of doctors from various specialties. The NBA also has a full-time athletic trainer who monitors players’ health and wellbeing. The trainer travels with the teams and is available for any medical emergencies.