The nba is one of the biggest professional sports leagues in the world. Its players are some of the highest paid in sports. The league is based in the United States and has teams in thirty-two states and the District of Columbia, plus Canada. The NBA is governed by the Player’s Association, which represents the interests of its players.

The NBA season runs from November through April, with a break for the All-Star Game in February. After the regular season ends, teams compete in the playoffs, a best-of-seven series to determine the champion of each conference. The winning team receives the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy and earns a trip to the NBA Finals, which is typically held in June. The coach and key contributors on the winning team are also awarded rings.

Before the advent of the 24-second shot clock in 1954, stalling was commonplace in basketball. The goal of the clock was to encourage shooting and discourage stalling by forcing the opposing team to make a decision within 24 seconds. It also helped prevent the game from becoming boring for fans who were frustrated with the slow pace of the game.

When the clock was introduced, it was a controversial decision by the league’s owners and many players. Initially, there was a strong push to maintain the traditional 40-second clock, but ultimately the decision was made to adopt the 24-second clock as the standard for the entire league. The rule was originally only applied to the regular season, but it was later extended to the playoffs.

Once the playoffs begin, each team has home-court advantage in the first round if it is a higher seed than the opponent. Ties in the playoff brackets are broken by a combination of head-to-head record and intraconference record.

In the semifinals, each team plays its two best opponents in a three-game series. The two winners advance to the finals, which are a best-of-seven series between the victors of each conference. The team that wins the finals is crowned champion of the league and receives the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award.

In addition to the individual awards that are given to players, coaches and general managers each year, the NBA also gives out a number of team-based awards. The All-Rookie Team recognizes the top rookies in each conference, while the NBA Most Improved Player Award honors the league’s best improving player from the previous season. The Sixth Man of the Year is an award given to a reserve player who has contributed more to his team than just his on-court performance. The league also awards a Coach of the Year and an Executive of the Year.