If you are a basketball fan, you must have heard of NBA. It is certainly the most popular and dynamic basketball league in the whole world. The National Basketball Association is situated in North America and consists of teams from the United States of America and Canada. Best known by its acronym NBA, the league gathers only the best players from all around the globe, not just from the USA. Why is it so popular? Firstly, it is full of extraordinary plays and players. Games can be pretty surprising as well. The unpredictability is a major factor here because even weak teams, the so-called outsiders, can beat some of the best teams in the league.
What do you know about the NBA? Do you know when the season starts? Or how many teams are there? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, then you should definitely read the article below and find out everything you wanted to know about this outstanding competition. Thus, let’s check the most important facts about this league.
History of the League
The National Basketball Association was founded in June 1946. This crucial agreement that marked the birth of NBA was reached at the Commodore Hotel in New York City. As it is usual at the beginning of any league, it consisted of a small number of teams, in this case only 11. The first name was also different, so during the initial years, it was not called NBA but the Basketball Association of America. NBA’s close ties with Canada root back to the very origins of the competition. In November 1946, the Toronto Huskies played host to the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens, in Toronto, which happens to be considered the first-ever NBA game in history.
The NBA evolved through time but its reputation and organizational strength only went up. The competition faced its ups and downs, overcoming many challenges along the way to establish itself as the top-notch competition worldwide.
Millions of players went through the league back in the day, but only some of them became all-time legends. Michael Jordan, David Robinson, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson are just some of the real icons of NBA league, all of which, however, found their names on the list of the 50 Greatest Players that the league published in 1996. Aforementioned Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the all-time scoring leader with 38,387 points scored during his 20 years long career, a record that will hardly ever be broken.
NBA Organizational Facts
The first-ever NBA president was Maurice Podoloff. Further through history, the leading title of the competition was changed into the commissioner. Today, the NBA league commissioner is Adam Silver.
From the organizational point of view, the NBA consists of two conferences, Eastern and Western which are also divided into three divisions each. There are 30 teams in total in the competition, 29 of them are from the United States of America and only one – Toronto Raptors – is from Canada.
There are 15 teams per conference and also 5 teams per division. Eastern conference includes the Atlantic, Central and Southeast division, where the best teams nowadays are Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers among others, while the Western includes Pacific, Southwest and Northwest division. Some of the most notable Western teams are Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs.
The regular season starts in October and ends in April during which each team plays 82 games. As it is usual in the United States, NBA also has a fixed membership, so there is no relegation at all.
NBA Schedule: Key Dates and Games
During the regular season, each team plays 82 games – 41 each home and away.
The very system and full breakdown of the matches can sound a bit complicated though. A team plays against rivals from its own division four times per year, both home and away of course so it will be 16 games in total. They also play against teams from other two divisions within the same conference.
What is tricky here is that a team faces six of the teams from other two divisions four times, which makes it 24 games, and also the remaining four teams three times, which makes 12 games. To conclude, each team plays against all the teams from the opposite conference twice, so there are 30 games more. When we add all of those, we get the already mentioned 82 games.
The regular part of the season is followed by the play-offs consisting of 16 teams – the top 8 from each of the two conferences. The best team from a conference faces the eighth team from the same conference, the second team plays against the seventh team and so on. Each round features a best-of-seven series, with a 2-2-1-1-1 format. This means that the first two games are played at the better-ranked team’s court, then two games at the lower ranked team’s court. This goes back and forth one game at a time, if there is a need for them, of course. The winners, best teams of each conference, meet in the NBA Finals, which is played in the same format.
The NBA season also includes the annual All-Star Game, an exhibition match played between only the best of the best NBA has to offer. It is played in February each year. Apart from the game itself, the All-Star event includes the Rising Stars Challenge, the Skills Challenge, the NBA Slam Dunk Contest and the Three Point Contest as well.
The NBA Draft is an important event in the NBA calendar. It is held each year in June, and it is basically a lottery during which the teams grab some young players from all around the globe which officially apply for the Draft.
How It’s Played
Basketball is such a popular game that it is almost unnecessary to discuss the rules of the game.
An NBA basketball game lasts 48 minutes. There are 4 quarters, lasting 12 minutes each. If the game is drawn, then there will be overtime, which lasts 5 minutes. The shot clock is 24 seconds, so what each team has to score a point per an offence. An NBA team consists of 15 players, 13 of which can be active during a game.
Each team can have 5 players on a court at any time. There are five positions as well, where we have a point guard, shooting guard, center, power forward and small forward.
To sum it up, everything you need to know about NBA league as a beginner and a person who’s never watched the competition before is mentioned in this article. If you still have any doubts about the quality and dynamic of the game, but you find this engaging, try to find a game on TV and you will be thrilled, you won’t regret it for sure. There is a strong reason behind the league’s growing popularity and the fact that every rising star dreams about once playing in the NBA.