The NBA: The All-Star League
The National Basketball Association, better known as the NBA, is the most important basketball league in the world. Everyone who plays this sport aspires to play at least one season among the all-star rosters of that league’s teams. In this article, we’ll be telling you a little bit about the NBA and what it means for the sport of basketball.
A brief history of the NBA
The American Basketball Association was founded in 1946. At its inception, it was made up of 11 teams. Of these, only three have been there from the beginning. These are the New York Nicks, the Boston Celtics, and the Golden State Warriors. These three teams have also played in each of the NBA’s seasons to date.
A little afterward, the organization changed its name to the one you know it as today. In other words, it became the NBA or the National Basketball Association. More teams, or franchises, joined, but in the 1950s, this number went down to 11. During this decade, they also started to allow African-American players to join the league. That changed the game completely: the games became more fast-paced and exciting.
Another important change was the 24-second possession rule. That was meant to make the games more dynamic and the rule still stands in today’s game.
Many experts consider the golden years of the NBA to be the late 70s to the early 80s. This was after they’d added the three-pointer line. Some stars who debuted during this era were Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, who would go on to have a famous rivalry. After that, it was the age of Michael Jordan in the NBA starting in 1984. Another fond memory from that time period is the so-called US “Dream Team,” which was made up of NBA players.
From the 90s to the beginning of the millennium, the Los Angeles Lakers were the dominant team in the league. Many important players also appeared at that time, such as Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan, and Kobe Bryant. From 2004 onward, 30 franchises compete there.
Competition system of the NBA
A year in the NBA is made up of the regular season, the postseason, and the finals. In the first of these, the teams play 82 games. They then go up against other teams in their own division in four opportunities. They go up against the other teams in their conference either three or four times and against those of the other conference twice. In this last part, they play as the local team once and as the visiting team once.
The regular season ends in April and then the playoffs begin. These are elimination or postseason games. This phase consists of three rounds of competition in which 16 teams from both of the conferences – eastern and western – participate. The winners of the first round go on to their conference semifinals. Afterward, the victors of this round go on to their conference finals.
At the end of it all, we have the finals. In these, the conference champion of the east goes head to head against the western champion in the best-of-seven competition. That means that the first team to win four games will be the champion of the NBA season.
Throughout the NBA’s history, more and more teams and franchises started to join on. As we said before, there were 11 at first. Yet today there are 30 – 29 of these are in the US and one is in Canada. This league is divided into two conferences. Those are the eastern and western conference. They, in turn, are further divided into three groups depending on the location of their cities.
1. Western conference
The western conference is divided into the northeast, southeast, and pacific groups. The teams in the first group are the Denver Nuggets, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Portland Trail Blazers, and the Utah Jazz.
The southwest has the Dallas Mavericks, the Houston Rockets, the Memphis Grizzlies, the New Orleans Pelicans, and the San Antonio Spurs. Finally, we have the pacific division. This includes the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Phoenix Suns, and the Sacramento Kings.
2. Eastern conference
The teams in this conference are divided into Atlantic, central, and southeast. In the first of these groups, you’ll find the Brooklyn Nets, the New York Knicks, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Toronto Raptors. The last of these is the only Canadian team on the list.
In the central division, you’ll find the Chicago Bulls, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Detroit Pistons, the Indiana Pacers, and the Milwaukee Bucks. Finally, the southeast group holds the Atlanta Hawks, the Charlotte Hornets, the Miami Heats, Orlando Magic, and the Washington Wizards.
The team with the highest number of titles in the NBA is the Boston Celtics (17). The Los Angeles Lakers take second place at 16. In terms of the players themselves, Bill Russell is the one who’s won the most with 11 championships. Michael Jordan, on the other hand, is the one who’s gotten the most individual awards. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the greatest scorer in the league’s history at 38.387 points. Finally, Wilt Chamberlain is the number one holder of the most personal records in the NBA.