The National Basketball Association is the premier men’s professional basketball league in North America. The league is composed of 30 teams and is one of the major professional sports in the United States and Canada. In addition, the NBA is considered one of the best leagues in the world. Founded in 1946, the NBA continues to grow into a thriving global business.
The current NBA organization features two conferences and three divisions. The playoffs are best-of-seven series with two games played at each team’s home court and two games at each other’s. The playoffs take place in May and June. The first round is played in June, followed by the conference semifinals and finals.
The NBA’s revenue grew nearly four-fold between the 2013-2014 season and the 2018-2019 season, and the league expects to top $10 billion by 2020. The pandemic season last year, however, reduced revenue by 10%. Despite these challenges, the NBA has continued to grow and prosper.
The NBA’s scheduling process was based on a complicated system that assigns point values to available dates. Teams were rewarded with more points if they could make consecutive games available. The NBA’s regular season schedule lasted around 165 days. In 2017, the league added an extra week to the schedule, increasing it to 176. In addition, the league eliminated the fourth game in five nights.
The regular season begins in October and ends in early April. Each team plays 82 regular-season games during this time. Teams compete within their divisions and outside of divisions to earn playoff spots. After the regular season, the top eight teams qualify for the postseason. The ninth and tenth-ranked teams then play in a mini-tournament. The seventh and eighth seeds must win one game each to qualify, and the 9th and 10th seeds must win two.
The NBA also grew in size. From 1949 to 1952, the NBA had seventeen teams, but quickly lost many of them. By the end of the decade, the league had eight teams. The number of teams grew from nine to fourteen, with the addition of the Chicago Bulls in 1966 and the Los Angeles Lakers in 1968. In the following decade, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Philadelphia Warriors, and the St. Louis Hawks moved to larger markets.
The NBA is divided into two conferences – the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. Each division features five teams. In 1946, the NBA was formed with 11 teams, with four losing their premier franchises to the rival National Basketball League. The NBA is the third-richest professional sport league in the world. Its championships are decided by divisions.
All-star games occur every year. The top vote-getters from each conference are named captains. The remaining 14 All-Stars are selected by coaches.