The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball league in the United States with one team in Canada. It is widely considered to be one of the top leagues in the world. Notable players in the NBA include LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and others. Some of its biggest players have influenced the sport in other countries, including Asia and Europe. Some consider Michael Jordan to be a pioneer in globalizing the sport.

The regular season in the NBA begins in mid-October and runs through early April. Each team plays 82 regular-season games to determine its seeding for the postseason. There are eight spots available in the postseason. Each conference’s top two teams qualify automatically for the postseason, while other teams can enter as a wildcard. The top two seeds from each conference play in the NBA Finals, while the lower-seeded teams advance via the second round.

The NBA has seen its fair share of scandals in recent years, notably the practice of point shaving, which has been prevalent in both college and professional basketball. But it has been the NBA that has been most adamantly opposed to online betting on games, although it has softened its stance in recent years. It is still battling the state of New Jersey over the regulation of online sports betting. And there are still numerous other scandals in the league.

The current NBA playoff lottery has a lottery system based on three ping-pong balls. The lowest team in the lottery has the highest chance of winning, while the highest finisher will receive the third pick. There are also two supplemental draft picks for each team. The lottery draws for the draft in reverse order of how each team finished during the regular season. While the lottery is based on the team’s final regular season record, the teams may move around in order if they make trades.

The NBA began as the Basketball Association of America in 1946. The league played for three seasons before merging with the National Basketball League in 1949. The BAA started with eleven teams, but dropped four by the end of the season. The NBA continued to be a strong contender when the NBL expanded to five teams. The rivalry between the Birds and the Magic sparked a passionate following in the NBA. The NBA has grown into one of the most popular sports leagues in the world.

In the early days of the NBA, James Naismith invented the basketball as a way to keep college students active. Unlike today, early basketball teams had no coaches and relied on their brains and athletic prowess to score. And Naismith did not think basketball required any coaching. This allowed the game to develop and grow into the league it is today. The NBA has an impressive history of innovations and a vibrant, growing fan base.