A sports league that features 30 teams, the nba is the premier professional basketball organization in the United States. It also has a global presence, exporting its games and content to fans in more than 200 countries and territories and in more than 50 languages. The NBA has produced some of the world’s most famous players, including Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Shaquille O’Neal.

The NBA began with 17 teams in 1949 but has since merged, added and dropped franchises as it struggled to stay financially afloat. Eventually, the league came back on strong under commissioner David Stern, with aggressive marketing that highlighted star players such as Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. Other innovations included player limits on salaries and lucrative broadcast rights for cable and network television. The NBA also introduced a 24-second shot clock to speed up play and encourage shooting.

Today, the nba features 30 teams that are divided into two conferences of three divisions each, based on geographical location. There are five teams in each division, and each team plays all other teams within its own conference twice a year (56 total games per team). The top eight teams from each conference make the playoffs, with the No. 1 seed facing the No. 8 seed in the first round and so on.

Each year the NBA holds a draft, where teams select new players from college and international sources. The top 10 draft picks earn a spot on the team that drafted them, and the remaining picks are distributed to other teams in the league according to their record.

In February, the regular season pauses for the NBA All-Star Game. The top vote-getters from each conference are named captains, and fans and coaches choose the rest of the All-Star starters. Each All-Star Game includes a skills challenge and a 3-point contest, and the winners of each receive special awards.

The NBA season ends with the final playoff round, a best-of-seven series between the victors of each conference. The winner of the championship receives the Larry O’Brien Trophy. In addition, all players and major contributors on the winning team receive a championship ring. The NBA also offers several individual awards, such as the Most Valuable Player and the Sixth Man of the Year. The NBA is also active in community outreach, donating money to charities and funding programs such as its Global Outreach to Kids, which provides opportunities for children around the world to participate in basketball and other sports. The NBA has become a global brand that has made it one of the most popular sports in the world. Its sponsorship revenue has grown in recent years, and the naming rights for its arenas have attracted many large companies, including State Farm and Anheuser-Busch. The NBA generates about $861 million in sponsorship revenue each season.