The NBA, the top-level professional basketball league in the United States and Canada, has a rich and storied history. Its teams have won the most championships of any major American sports league, and the franchises are often regarded as among the most valuable in all of sports. In addition to winning regular season and playoff titles, the best teams compete in a Finals series to determine the league champion.

The top eight teams from each conference, based on their regular season record, qualify for the NBA playoffs. The top two seeds receive a bye into the second round. The remaining six teams are seeded based on their conference record. The lower seeded team plays the higher seeded team in a best-of-seven series. The team that wins four games in the best-of-seven series is crowned the champion of the NBA and awarded the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.

The NBA also awards Coach of the Year and Most Valuable Player during the playoffs. In addition, the NBA All-Star Game features the league’s best players and takes place in February each year. Fans vote throughout the United States and on the Internet to choose team captains, who then draft the rest of the all-star team from a pool of available players. The best-performing player during the All-Star Game is named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player of the Game.

In recent years, the NBA has struggled with the perception that it prioritizes money over talent. The league’s owners have poured billions into arenas, a trend that began in the 1980s when the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics led the league in revenues. However, those revenues have not increased as much as they should, and the NBA has faced criticism from fans and some investors that it does not invest enough in its players.

Despite the league’s financial struggles, the NBA has remained a dominant global brand and has continued to attract top players. The NBA is a global sport with millions of fans, and it continues to grow in popularity around the world.

The NBA has a stable revenue stream from its media rights deals with Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery own the rights through 2024-2025, and the NBA is likely to re-up with both companies without opening negotiations to other bidders, according to people familiar with the matter. But the NBA is in a period of transition as streaming becomes a dominant distribution method for television and other sports content. This could limit the value of its media rights down the road. In the meantime, the NBA has been taking steps to make the league more competitive in the new era. The NBA has started to focus more on player development, and it has shifted its marketing tactics. It has also introduced a number of rule changes designed to increase the physical demands of the game and reduce injuries. The league has also changed its salary structure to give teams more flexibility to sign their stars.