NBA commissioner Adam Silver has wanted to add an in-season tournament for years, and this year it became a reality. The new NBA Cup will run from November through December, with the final four teams advancing to a championship game at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Dec. 9. The winning team will receive a $500,000 bonus, and the championship game will be played for a new trophy named after former Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss.
The NBA was founded in 1946 and had seventeen franchises located in a variety of cities and sizes, from large arenas to smaller gymnasiums and armories. Over the course of the next several decades, the league consolidated down to eleven franchises and finally landed in its current form in 1950 with a combination of large and small markets.
In addition to the league’s original fourteen franchises, there are now two teams from each of the four major geographic regions of the United States. The NBA has also added several foreign franchises.
As part of the league’s growth, it has added a number of different rules over time, some that are meant to improve the game and others that are simply a matter of tradition. Some of the most important rule changes include the 24-second shot clock, which was introduced in 1954 to encourage shooting and discourage stalling; the three-point line, which was added in 1985 to allow more players to shoot from behind the basket; and the NBA Finals, which began in 1951 as the championship series and is now a best-of-seven format, culminating with the winner receiving the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.
There are other, less significant rules that help make the game more exciting and enjoyable for fans. For example, a team may only request a timeout when the ball is dead or in the hands of a player on the team making the request. Also, a team may not change its starting lineup during a timeout.
One of the most important rules in the NBA is the roster requirement, which mandates that each team have at least 12 active players on its roster. In cases of injury or illness, a team can use a Hardship exception to add more players to its roster. Each team’s regular-season roster is usually comprised of three perimeter players (point guard, shooting guard and small forward) and two post players (power forward and center). The league also requires teams to have at least one backup point guard and a backup power forward on their bench. These backup players are called “bench players” and come in handy when your starters need rest, get into foul trouble or are ejected from games. They also play in the NBA playoffs, which is where most of the real action takes place. This is where the best teams in the league shine. They are the ones that can keep up with their opponents, make crucial plays and come through in the biggest moments.