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The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a
professional basketball Professional sports, as opposed to amateur sports, are sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to p ...
league in North America. The league is composed of 30 teams (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada) and is one of the four
major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada The major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada are the highest professional competitions of team sport A team is a [group (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal ...
. It is the premier men's professional basketball league in the world. The league was founded in New York City on June 6, 1946, as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). It changed its name to the National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after merging with the competing National Basketball League (NBL). The NBA's regular season runs from October to April, with each team playing 82 games. The league's
playoff The playoffs, play-offs, postseason or finals of a sports league are a competition played after the regular season by the top competitors to determine the league champion or a similar accolade. Depending on the league, the playoffs may be eithe ...
tournament extends into June. As of 2020, NBA players are the world's best paid athletes by average annual salary per player. The NBA is an active member of
USA Basketball USA Basketball (USAB) is a non-profit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public ...
(USAB), which is recognized by the
FIBA The International Basketball Federation (FIBA ; French: ) is an association of national organizations which governs the sport of basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one ...
(International Basketball Federation) as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The league's several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices in
Midtown Manhattan Midtown Manhattan is the central portion of the New York City borough New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With an ...

Midtown Manhattan
, while its
NBA Entertainment NBA Entertainment is the production arm of the National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball sports league, league in North America. The league is composed of 30 teams (29 in the United ...
and
NBA TV NBA TV is an American sports-oriented pay television Pay television also known as subscription television, premium television or, when referring to an individual service, a premium channel, refers to subscription-based television T ...
studios are directed out of offices located in
Secaucus, New Jersey Secaucus ( ) is a town A town is a . Towns are generally larger than s and smaller than , though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts of the world. Origin and use The word "town" shares an origi ...

Secaucus, New Jersey
. In North America, the NBA is the third wealthiest
professional sport Professional sports, as opposed to amateur sports, are sports in which athletes receive payment for their performance. Professional athleticism has come to the fore through a combination of developments. Mass media and increased leisure have bro ...
league after the
National Football League The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any s ...
(NFL) and
Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization and the oldest major professional sports league in the world. , a total of 30 teams play in Major League Baseball—15 teams in the National League (NL) and 15 in the Ame ...
(MLB) by
revenue In accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement ' Measurement is the number, numerical quantification (science), quantification of the variable and attribute (research), attributes of an object or event, which can be used to comp ...
, and among the top four in the world. The
Milwaukee Bucks The Milwaukee Bucks are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often ...
are the reigning champions, having beaten the
Phoenix Suns The Phoenix Suns are an American professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member of the league's Western Conference (NBA), Western Conference Pacific Division (NBA), P ...
4–2 in the 2021 Finals.


History


Creation and BAA–NBL merger (1946–1956)

The Basketball Association of America was founded in 1946 by owners of the major
ice hockey Ice hockey is a contact Contact may refer to: Interaction Physical interaction * Contact (geology)A geological contact is a boundary which separates one rock body from another. A contact can be formed during deposition, by the intrusio ...

ice hockey
arenas in the
Northeastern The points of the compass are the Euclidean vector, vectors by which planet-based directions are conventionally defined. A compass rose is primarily composed of four cardinal directions—north, east, south, and west—each separated by 90 degree ( ...
and
Midwestern United States The Midwestern United States, also referred to as the Midwest or the American Midwest, is one of four census regions of the United States Census Bureau (also known as "Region 2"). It occupies the northern central part of the United States. It ...
and Canada. On November 1, 1946, in
Toronto Toronto (, ) is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016 in 2016, it is the List of the largest municipalities in Canada by population, most p ...

Toronto
, Ontario, Canada, the
Toronto Huskies The Toronto Huskies were a team in the Basketball Association of America The Basketball Association of America (BAA) is a professional basketball league in North America, founded in 1946. Following its third season, 1948–49, the BAA absorbed mo ...
hosted the
New York Knickerbockers The New York Knickerbockers were one of the first organized baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when ...
at
Maple Leaf Gardens Maple Leaf Gardens is a historic building located at the northwest corner of Carlton Street and Church Street in Toronto Toronto is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recor ...
, in a game the NBA now refers to as the first game played in NBA history. The first basket was made by Ossie Schectman of the Knickerbockers. Although there had been earlier attempts at professional basketball leagues, including the American Basketball League and the NBL, the BAA was the first league to attempt to play primarily in large arenas in major cities. During its early years, the quality of play in the BAA was not significantly better than in competing leagues or among leading independent clubs such as the
Harlem Globetrotters The Harlem Globetrotters is an American exhibition basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete with the primary objec ...

Harlem Globetrotters
. For instance, the 1948 ABL finalist Baltimore Bullets moved to the BAA and won that league's 1948 title, and the 1948 NBL champion
Minneapolis Lakers The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete with the primary obj ...
won the 1949 BAA title. Prior to the 1948–49 season, however, NBL teams from Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, and Rochester jumped to the BAA, which established the BAA as the league of choice for collegians looking to turn professional. On August 3, 1949, the remaining NBL teams–Syracuse, Anderson, Tri-Cities, Sheboygan, Denver, and Waterloo–merged into the BAA. In deference to the merger and to avoid possible legal complications, the league name was changed to the present National Basketball Association, even though the merged league retained the BAA's governing body, including
Maurice Podoloff Maurice Podoloff ( yi, מוריס פודולוף; August 18, 1890 – November 24, 1985) was an American lawyer and basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a recta ...
as president. To this day, the NBA claims the BAA's history as its own. It now reckons the arrival of the NBL teams as an expansion, not a merger, and does not recognize NBL records and statistics. The new league had seventeen franchises located in a mix of large and small cities, as well as large arenas and smaller gymnasiums and . In 1950, the NBA consolidated to eleven franchises, a process that continued until 1953–54, when the league reached its smallest size of eight franchises: the
New York Knicks The New York Knickerbockers, shortened and more commonly referred to as the New York Knicks, are an American professional basketball team based in the Boroughs of New York City, New York City borough of Manhattan. The Knicks compete in the Nat ...
,
Boston Celtics The Boston Celtics ( ) are an American professional basketball team based in Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwea ...
,
Philadelphia Warriors The Golden State Warriors are an American professional basketball team based in San Francisco San Francisco (/Help:IPA/English, ˌsæn fɹənˈsɪskoʊ/; Spanish language, Spanish for "Francis of Assisi, Saint Francis"), officially the C ...
,
Minneapolis Lakers The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete with the primary obj ...
,
Rochester Royals The Sacramento Kings are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete with the primary objec ...
,
Fort Wayne Pistons A fortification is a military construction or building designed for the defense of territories in warfare, and is also used to establish rule in a region during peacetime. The term is derived from Latin ''fortis'' ("strong") and ''facere'' ( ...
,
Tri-Cities BlackhawksTri-Cities most often refers to: * Tri-Cities, Tennessee *Tri-Cities, Washington The Tri-Cities are three closely linked cities ( Kennewick, Pasco, Washington, Pasco, and Richland, Washington, Richland) at the confluence of the Yakima River, Yakim ...
, and
Syracuse Nationals The Philadelphia 76ers (colloquially known as the Sixers) are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court ...
, all of which remain in the league today, although the latter six all did eventually relocate. The process of contraction saw the league's smaller-city franchises move to larger cities. The Hawks shifted from the
Tri-Cities Tri-Cities most often refers to: *Tri-Cities, Tennessee The Tri-Cities is the region comprising the cities of Kingsport Kingsport is a city in Sullivan County, Tennessee, Sullivan and Hawkins County, Tennessee, Hawkins counties in the U.S. ...

Tri-Cities
to
Milwaukee Milwaukee ( ) is the largest city in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in ...

Milwaukee
in 1951, and then to
St. Louis St. Louis () is the second-largest city in Missouri Missouri is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State ( ...

St. Louis
in 1955. The Rochester Royals moved from
Rochester, New York Rochester () is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routle ...

Rochester, New York
, to
Cincinnati Cincinnati ( ) is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Hamilton County, Ohio, Hamilton County. Settled in 1788, the city is located at the northern side of the confluence of the Licking River (Kentucky), Licking and Ohio Riv ...

Cincinnati
in 1957 and the Pistons moved from
Fort Wayne, Indiana Fort Wayne is a city in and the county seat of Allen County, Indiana, United States. Located in northeastern Indiana, the city is west of the Ohio border and south of the Michigan border. The city's population was 263,886 as of the 2020 Censu ...
, to
Detroit (strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrowing, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. The surface water generally flows at the same elevation on both sides and through the strait in either direction. Mo ...

Detroit
in 1957.
Japanese-American are Americans of Japanese people, Japanese ancestry. Japanese Americans were among the three largest Asian American ethnic communities during the 20th century; but, according to the 2000 United States Census, 2000 census, they have declined in n ...
Wataru Misaka Wataru "Wat" Misaka (December 21, 1923 – November 20, 2019) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball cou ...
broke the NBA color barrier in the 1947–48 season when he played for the
New York Knicks The New York Knickerbockers, shortened and more commonly referred to as the New York Knicks, are an American professional basketball team based in the Boroughs of New York City, New York City borough of Manhattan. The Knicks compete in the Nat ...
. He remained the only non-white player in league history prior to the first African-American, Harold Hunter, signing with the
Washington Capitols The Washington Capitols were a former Basketball Association of America (forerunner of the National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball sports league, league in North America. The l ...
in 1950. Hunter was cut from the team during training camp, but several African-American players did play in the league later that year, including Chuck Cooper with the Celtics, Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton with the Knicks, and
Earl Lloyd Earl Francis Lloyd (April 3, 1928 – February 26, 2015) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is ...
with the
Washington Capitols The Washington Capitols were a former Basketball Association of America (forerunner of the National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball sports league, league in North America. The l ...
. During this period, the Minneapolis Lakers, led by center
George Mikan George Lawrence Mikan Jr. (June 18, 1924 – June 1, 2005), nicknamed "Mr. Basketball", was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another o ...
, won five
NBA Championships The NBA Finals is the annual championship series of the National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball sports league, league in North America. The league is composed of 30 teams (29 ...
and established themselves as the league's first
dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press of the University of Oxford. It is the larges ...
. To encourage shooting and discourage stalling, the league introduced the 24-second
shot clock A shot clock is a countdown timer used in basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete with the primary objective of #Sh ...
in 1954. If a team does not attempt to score a field goal (or the ball fails to make contact with the rim) within 24 seconds of obtaining the ball, play is stopped and the ball given to its opponent.


Celtics' dominance, league expansion and competition (1956–1979)

In 1957, rookie center
Bill Russell William Felton Russell (born February 12, 1934) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is ...

Bill Russell
joined the
Boston Celtics The Boston Celtics ( ) are an American professional basketball team based in Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwea ...
, which already featured guard
Bob Cousy Robert Joseph Cousy (, born August 9, 1928) is an American retired professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, com ...
and coach
Red Auerbach Arnold Jacob "Red" Auerbach (September 20, 1917 – October 28, 2006) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular cou ...
, and went on to lead the franchise to eleven NBA titles in thirteen seasons. Center
Wilt Chamberlain Wilton Norman Chamberlain (; August 21, 1936 – October 12, 1999) was an American professional basketball player who played as a Center (basketball), center, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the sport's history. He pla ...

Wilt Chamberlain
entered the league with the Warriors in 1959 and became a dominant individual star of the 1960s, setting new single-game records in scoring (
100 100 or one hundred (Roman numeral Roman numerals are a numeral system A numeral system (or system of numeration) is a writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication Communication (from L ...
) and rebounding (55). Russell's rivalry with Chamberlain became one of the greatest rivalries in the history of American team sports. The 1960s were dominated by the Celtics. Led by Russell, Cousy, and Auerbach, Boston won eight straight championships in the NBA from 1959 to 1966. This championship streak is the longest in NBA history. They did not win the title in 1966–67, but regained it in the 1967–68 season and repeated in
1969 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar The Gregorian calendar is the used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by as a modification of th ...
. The domination totaled nine of the ten championship banners of the 1960s. Through this period, the NBA continued to evolve with the shift of the
Minneapolis Lakers The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete with the primary obj ...
to Los Angeles, the
Philadelphia Warriors The Golden State Warriors are an American professional basketball team based in San Francisco San Francisco (/Help:IPA/English, ˌsæn fɹənˈsɪskoʊ/; Spanish language, Spanish for "Francis of Assisi, Saint Francis"), officially the C ...
to San Francisco, the
Syracuse Nationals The Philadelphia 76ers (colloquially known as the Sixers) are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court ...
to
Philadelphia Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is ...

Philadelphia
to become the
Philadelphia 76ers The Philadelphia 76ers (colloquially known as the Sixers) are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court ...
, and the St. Louis Hawks moving to
Atlanta Atlanta () is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Georgia (U.S. state), most populous city of the U.S. state of Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia. With an estimated 2019 population of 506,811, it is also the List of United ...

Atlanta
, as well as the addition of its first expansion franchises. The Chicago Packers (now
Washington Wizards The Washington Wizards are an American professional basketball team based in Washington, D.C. The Wizards compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Southeast D ...
) became the ninth NBA team in 1961. From 1966 to 1968, the league expanded from 9 to 14 teams, introducing the
Chicago Bulls The Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team based in Chicago. The Bulls compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Central Division (NBA), Ce ...

Chicago Bulls
,
Seattle SuperSonics The Seattle SuperSonics (commonly known as the Seattle Sonics) were an American professional basketball team based in Seattle. The SuperSonics competed in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league's Western Confere ...
(now
Oklahoma City Thunder The Oklahoma City Thunder are an American professional basketball team based in Oklahoma City. The Thunder compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference (NBA), Western Conference Northwest D ...
),
San Diego Rockets The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete with the primary object ...
(who moved to
Houston Houston ( ) is the List of cities in Texas by population, most populous city in Texas, List of United States cities by population, fourth-most populous city in the United States, most populous city in the Southern United States, as well as th ...

Houston
four years later),
Milwaukee Bucks The Milwaukee Bucks are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often ...
, and
Phoenix Suns The Phoenix Suns are an American professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member of the league's Western Conference (NBA), Western Conference Pacific Division (NBA), P ...
. In 1967, the league faced a new external threat with the formation of the
American Basketball Association The original American Basketball Association (ABA) was a major men's professional basketball league from 1967 to 1976. The ABA ceased to exist with the ABA–NBA merger, American Basketball Association–National Basketball Association merger in ...
(ABA). The leagues engaged in a bidding war. The NBA landed the most important college star of the era,
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr.; April 16, 1947) is an American former professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers. ...
(then known as Lew Alcindor). However, the NBA's leading scorer,
Rick Barry Richard Francis Dennis Barry III (born March 28, 1944) is an American retired professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball cour ...

Rick Barry
, jumped to the ABA, as did four veteran referees—
Norm Drucker Norm Drucker (July 4, 1920 – February 6, 2015) was a major influence in professional basketball officiating for over 35 years. His NBA and ABA officiating career as both a referee and Supervisor of Officials spanned the careers of all-time pro bas ...
,
Earl Strom Earl "Yogi" Strom (December 15, 1927 – July 10, 1994) was an American professional basketball referee A referee (right) issues a Penalty card, yellow card to a player during a game of association football. A referee is an Official#Sports, o ...
, John Vanak, and Joe Gushue. In 1969, Alan Siegel, who oversaw the design of Jerry Dior's Major League Baseball logo a year prior, created the modern NBA logo inspired by the MLB's. It incorporates the silhouette of
Jerry West Jerome Alan West (born May 28, 1938) is an American basketball executive and former player. He played professionally for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His nicknames included "Mr. Clutch", for his ability ...

Jerry West
, based on a photo by Wen Roberts. The NBA would not confirm that a particular player was used because, according to Siegel, "They want to institutionalize it rather than individualize it. It's become such a ubiquitous, classic symbol and focal point of their identity and their licensing program that they don't necessarily want to identify it with one player." The iconic logo debuted in 1971 (with a small change to the typeface on the NBA wordmark in 2017) and would remain a fixture of the NBA brand. The ABA succeeded in signing a number of major stars in the 1970s, including
Julius Erving Julius Winfield Erving II (born February 22, 1950), commonly known by the nickname Dr. J, is an American former professional basketball player. Regarded as one of the most influential basketball players of all time, Erving helped legitimize the A ...

Julius Erving
of the
Virginia Squires The Virginia Squires were a basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete with the primary objective of #Shooting, shoot ...
, in part because it allowed teams to sign college undergraduates. The NBA expanded rapidly during this period. From 1966 to 1974, the NBA grew from nine franchises to 18. In 1970, the
Portland Trail Blazers The Portland Trail Blazers (colloquially known as the Blazers) are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon Portland (, ) is the in the of , and the of . It is a major in the region of the , at the of the a ...
,
Cleveland Cavaliers The Cleveland Cavaliers (often referred to as the Cavs) are an American professional basketball team based in Cleveland Cleveland ( ), officially the City of Cleveland, is a city in the of , and the of . It is located along the souther ...
, and
Buffalo Braves The Buffalo Braves were an American professional basketball franchise based in Buffalo, New York Buffalo is the in the of and the largest city in . 's census estimates, the city proper population was 255,284. The city is the of and ser ...
(now the
Los Angeles Clippers The Los Angeles Clippers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Clippers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Pacific Division (NBA), Pacific Division in the league's Western C ...
) all made their debuts expanding the league to 17. The New Orleans Jazz (now in
Utah Utah ( , ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. Utah is a landlocked U.S. state bordered to its east by Colorado, to its northeast by Wyoming, to its north by Idaho, to its so ...
) came aboard in 1974 bringing the total to 18. Following the 1976 season, the leagues reached a settlement that provided for the addition of four ABA franchises to the NBA, raising the number of franchises in the league at that time to 22. The franchises added were the
San Antonio Spurs The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio ("Cradle of Freedom") , image_map = Bexar SanAntonio.svg , mapsize = 220px , map_caption = Location withi ...
,
Denver Nuggets The Denver Nuggets are an American professional basketball team based in Denver. The Nuggets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference (NBA), Western Conference Northwest Division (NBA) ...
,
Indiana Pacers The Indiana Pacers are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often as ...
, and
New York Nets The Brooklyn Nets are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete with the primary objective ...
(now the Brooklyn Nets). Some of the biggest stars of this era were Abdul-Jabbar, Barry,
Dave Cowens David William Cowens (born October 25, 1948) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any p ...
, Erving,
Elvin Hayes Elvin Ernest Hayes (born November 17, 1945), nicknamed "The Big E", is an American retired professional basketball player and radio Sports analyst, analyst for his alma-mater Houston Cougars men's basketball, Houston Cougars. He is a member of th ...

Elvin Hayes
,
Walt Frazier Walter "Clyde" Frazier Jr. (born March 29, 1945) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is ...

Walt Frazier
,
Moses Malone Moses Eugene Malone (March 23, 1955 – September 13, 2015) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A co ...

Moses Malone
,
Artis Gilmore Artis Gilmore (born September 21, 1949) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete ...

Artis Gilmore
,
George Gervin George Gervin (born April 27, 1952), nicknamed "the Iceman", is an American retired professional basketball player who played in both the American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Virginia Squires, S ...
,
Dan Issel Daniel Paul Issel (born October 25, 1948) is an American former professional basketball player and coach. An outstanding collegian at the University of Kentucky, Issel was twice named an All-American en route to a school-record 25.7 points per ...
, and
Pete Maravich Peter Press Maravich ( sr-cyr, Пит Маравић; June 22, 1947 – January 5, 1988), known by his nickname Pistol Pete, was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five playe ...
. The end of the decade, however, saw declining TV ratings, low attendance and drug-related player issues – both perceived and real – that threatened to derail the league.


Surging popularity (1979–1998)

The league added the ABA's
three-point field goal A three-point field goal (also 3-pointer, three, or trey) is a field goal in a basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, ...
beginning in 1979. That same year, rookies
Larry Bird Larry Joe Bird (born December 7, 1956) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any pe ...
and
Magic Johnson Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. (born August 14, 1959) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A cou ...

Magic Johnson
joined the
Boston Celtics The Boston Celtics ( ) are an American professional basketball team based in Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwea ...
and
Los Angeles Lakers The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, of ...

Los Angeles Lakers
respectively, initiating a period of significant growth in fan interest in the NBA. The two had faced each other in the 1979 NCAA Division I Basketball Championship Game, and they later played against each other in three NBA Finals (1984, 1985, and 1987). In the 10 seasons of the 1980s, Johnson led the Lakers to five titles while Bird led the Celtics to three titles. Also in the early 1980s, the NBA added one more expansion franchise, the
Dallas Mavericks The Dallas Mavericks (often referred to as the Mavs) are an American professional basketball team based in Dallas. The Mavericks compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Western Conference (NBA), Western Conferenc ...
, bringing the total to 23 teams. Later on, Larry Bird won the first three three-point shooting contests. On February 1, 1984
David Stern David Joel Stern (September 22, 1942 – January 1, 2020) was an American lawyer and business executive who was the commissioner A commissioner is, in principle, a member of a Regulatory agency, commission or an individual who has been given a ...

David Stern
became commissioner of the NBA. Stern has been recognized as playing a major role in the growth of the league during his career.
Michael Jordan Michael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17, 1963), also known by his initials MJ, is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a ...

Michael Jordan
entered the league in 1984 with the
Chicago Bulls The Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team based in Chicago. The Bulls compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Central Division (NBA), Ce ...

Chicago Bulls
, spurring more interest in the league. In 1988 and 1989, four cities got their wishes as the
Charlotte Hornets The Charlotte Hornets are an American professional basketball team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Hornets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Sou ...
,
Miami Heat The Miami Heat (usually rendered in all caps In typography, all caps (short for "all capitalization, capitals") refers to text or a typeface, font in which all letters are capital letters, for example: TEXT IN ALL CAPS. All caps may be used ...
,
Orlando Magic The Orlando Magic are an American professional basketball team based in Orlando, Florida. The Magic compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Southeast Division ...
, and
Minnesota Timberwolves The Minnesota Timberwolves are an American professional basketball team based in Minneapolis Minneapolis () is a city in the U.S. state of Minnesota. With a population of 429,954 as of 2020 United States census, 2020, it is the most populous ...
made their NBA debuts, bringing the total to 27 teams. The
Detroit Pistons The Detroit Pistons are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often a ...

Detroit Pistons
won the back-to-back NBA Championships in 1989 and 1990, led by coach
Chuck Daly Charles Jerome Daly (July 20, 1930 – May 9, 2009) was an American basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or ins ...

Chuck Daly
and guard
Isiah Thomas Isiah Lord Thomas III (born April 30, 1961) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any p ...

Isiah Thomas
. Jordan and
Scottie Pippen Scotty Maurice Pippen Sr. (born September 25, 1965), usually spelled Scottie Pippen, is an American former professional basketball player. He played 17 seasons in the National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association ( ...
led the Bulls to two three-peats in eight years during the 1991–1998 seasons.
Hakeem Olajuwon Hakim or Al-Hakim may refer to: * Al-Ḥakīm (Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a lis ...
won back-to-back titles with the
Houston Rockets The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete with the primary object ...
in 1994 and 1995. The 1992 Olympic basketball Dream Team, the first to use current NBA stars, featured Michael Jordan as the anchor, along with Bird, Johnson,
David Robinson David Maurice Robinson (born August 6, 1965) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, ...
,
Patrick Ewing Patrick Aloysius Ewing (born August 5, 1962) is a Jamaican-American basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or i ...

Patrick Ewing
, Scottie Pippen,
Clyde Drexler Clyde Austin Drexler (born June 22, 1962) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any ...
,
Karl Malone Karl Anthony Malone (born July 24, 1963) is an American former professional basketball player. Nicknamed "the Mailman", he is considered one of the greatest Power forward (basketball), power forwards in NBA history. Malone spent his first 18 se ...
,
John Stockton John Houston Stockton (born March 26, 1962) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any ...

John Stockton
,
Chris Mullin Christopher Paul Mullin (born July 30, 1963) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, c ...
,
Charles Barkley Charles Wade Barkley (born February 20, 1963) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court i ...
, and star NCAA amateur
Christian Laettner Christian Donald Laettner (, ; born August 17, 1969) is an American former basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compe ...

Christian Laettner
. The team was elected to the
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an American history museum and hall of fame, located at 1000 Hall of Fame Avenue in Springfield, Massachusetts. It serves as basketball's most complete library, in addition to promoting and prese ...

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
, while 11 of the 12 players (along with three out of four coaches) have been inducted as individuals in their own right. and eleven players In 1995, the NBA expanded to Canada with the addition of the
Vancouver Grizzlies The Vancouver Grizzlies were a Canadian professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete with the primary ob ...
and the
Toronto Raptors The Toronto Raptors are a Canadian professional basketball team based in Toronto. The Raptors compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Atlantic Division (NBA) ...
. In 1996, the NBA created a women's league, the
Women's National Basketball Association The Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) is a professional basketball league in the United States. It is currently composed of twelve teams. The league was founded on April 22, 1996, as the women's counterpart to the National Basketba ...
(WNBA).


Lakers' and Spurs' dynasties (1998–2014)

In 1998, the NBA owners began a lockout that suspended all league business until a new labor agreement could be reached, which led to the season being shortened in half. The
San Antonio Spurs The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio ("Cradle of Freedom") , image_map = Bexar SanAntonio.svg , mapsize = 220px , map_caption = Location withi ...
won the championship at the end of the 1998–99 season, becoming the first former ABA team to win the NBA championship. After the breakup of the
Chicago Bulls The Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team based in Chicago. The Bulls compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Central Division (NBA), Ce ...

Chicago Bulls
championship roster in the summer of 1998, the
Western ConferenceWestern Conference or West Conference or ''variation'', may refer to: Basketball * Western Conference (NBA), one of the two conferences of the National Basketball Association * Western Conference (WNBA), one of the two conferences of the Women's Na ...
has dominated. The
Los Angeles Lakers The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, of ...

Los Angeles Lakers
of coach
Phil Jackson Philip Douglas Jackson (born September 17, 1945) is an American former professional basketball player, coach, and executive in the National Basketball Association (NBA). A power forward (basketball), power forward, Jackson played 12 seasons in ...

Phil Jackson
and the
San Antonio Spurs The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio ("Cradle of Freedom") , image_map = Bexar SanAntonio.svg , mapsize = 220px , map_caption = Location withi ...
of
Gregg Popovich Gregg Charles Popovich (born January 28, 1949) is an American professional basketball coach and executive. He is the head coach and president of the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (NBA), and head coach of the United Sta ...

Gregg Popovich
combined to make 13 Finals in 16 seasons, with 10 titles.
Tim Duncan Timothy Theodore Duncan (born April 25, 1976) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is a ...

Tim Duncan
and
David Robinson David Maurice Robinson (born August 6, 1965) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, ...
won the 1999 championship with the Spurs, and
Shaquille O'Neal Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal ( ; born March 6, 1972), known commonly as "Shaq" ( ), is an American former professional basketball player who is a sports analyst on the television program ''Inside the NBA''. O'Neal is regarded as one of the greates ...

Shaquille O'Neal
and
Kobe Bryant Kobe Bean Bryant ( ; August 23, 1978 – January 26, 2020) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A co ...

Kobe Bryant
started the 2000s with three consecutive championships for the Lakers. The Spurs reclaimed the title in
2003 2003 was designated the International Year of the Fresh Water Fresh water or freshwater is any naturally occurring liquid or frozen water containing low concentrations of dissolved salts and other total dissolved solids Total dissolved ...
against the Nets. In 2004, the Lakers returned to the
Finals Final, Finals or The Final may refer to: *Final (competition), the last or championship round of a sporting competition, match, game, or other contest which decides a winner for an event ** Another term for playoffs, describing a sequence of conte ...
, only to lose in five games to the
Detroit Pistons The Detroit Pistons are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often a ...

Detroit Pistons
. The league's image was marred by a violent incident between players and fans in a November 2004 game between the
Indiana Pacers The Indiana Pacers are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often as ...
and
Detroit Pistons The Detroit Pistons are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often a ...

Detroit Pistons
. In response, players were suspended for a total of 146 games with $11 million total lost in salary, and the league tightened security and limited the sale of alcohol. On May 19, 2005, Commissioner Stern testified before the United States House of Representatives, U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Government Reform about the NBA's actions to combat the use of Anabolic steroid, steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. The NBA started its drug-testing program in 1983 and substantially improved it in 1999. In the 1999–2000 season, all players were randomly tested during training camp, and all rookies were additionally tested three more times during the regular season. Of the nearly 4,200 tests for steroids and performance-enhancing drugs conducted over six seasons, only three players were confirmed positive for NBA's drug program, all were immediately suspended, and as of the time of the testimony, none were playing with the NBA. After the Spurs won the championship again in 2005 NBA Finals, 2005, the 2006 NBA Finals, 2006 Finals featured two franchises making their inaugural Finals appearances. The
Miami Heat The Miami Heat (usually rendered in all caps In typography, all caps (short for "all capitalization, capitals") refers to text or a typeface, font in which all letters are capital letters, for example: TEXT IN ALL CAPS. All caps may be used ...
, led by their star shooting guard, Dwyane Wade, and Shaquille O'Neal, who had been traded from the Lakers during summer 2004, won the series over the
Dallas Mavericks The Dallas Mavericks (often referred to as the Mavs) are an American professional basketball team based in Dallas. The Mavericks compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Western Conference (NBA), Western Conferenc ...
. The Lakers/Spurs dominance continued in 2007 with a four-game sweep by the Spurs over the LeBron James-led
Cleveland Cavaliers The Cleveland Cavaliers (often referred to as the Cavs) are an American professional basketball team based in Cleveland Cleveland ( ), officially the City of Cleveland, is a city in the of , and the of . It is located along the souther ...
. The 2008 NBA Finals, 2008 Finals saw a rematch of the league's Celtics–Lakers rivalry, highest profile rivalry, the
Boston Celtics The Boston Celtics ( ) are an American professional basketball team based in Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwea ...
and
Los Angeles Lakers The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, of ...

Los Angeles Lakers
, with the Celtics winning, for their 17th championship. The Lakers won back-to-back championships in 2009 NBA Finals, 2009 and 2010 NBA Finals, 2010, against the
Orlando Magic The Orlando Magic are an American professional basketball team based in Orlando, Florida. The Magic compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Southeast Division ...
and the Celtics. The 2010 NBA All-Star Game was held at Cowboys Stadium in front of the largest crowd ever, 108,713. A referee lockout began on September 1, 2009, when the contract between the NBA and its referees expired. The first preseason games were played on October 1, 2009, and replacement referees from the Women's National Basketball Association, WNBA and NBA Development League were used, the first time replacement referees had been used since the beginning of the 1995–96 season. The NBA and the regular referees reached a deal on October 23, 2009. At the start of the 2010–11 season, free agents LeBron James and Chris Bosh signed with the Miami Heat, joining Dwyane Wade to form the "Big Three (Miami Heat), Big Three". The Heat dominated the league, reaching the Finals for four straight years. In 2011 NBA Finals, 2011, they faced a re-match with the Dallas Mavericks but lost to the Dirk Nowitzki-led team. They won back-to-back titles in 2012 NBA Finals, 2012 and 2013 NBA Finals, 2013 against the
Oklahoma City Thunder The Oklahoma City Thunder are an American professional basketball team based in Oklahoma City. The Thunder compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference (NBA), Western Conference Northwest D ...
and the Spurs, and lost a re-match to the Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals, 2014 Finals. The 2011–12 season began with 2011 NBA lockout, another lockout, the league's fourth. After the first few weeks of the season were canceled, the players and owners ratified a new collective bargaining agreement on December 8, 2011, setting up a shortened 66-game season. On February 1, 2014, commissioner David Stern retired after 30 years in the position, and was succeeded by his deputy, Adam Silver.


Recent years (2014–present)

After four seasons with the Miami Heat, LeBron James returned to the
Cleveland Cavaliers The Cleveland Cavaliers (often referred to as the Cavs) are an American professional basketball team based in Cleveland Cleveland ( ), officially the City of Cleveland, is a city in the of , and the of . It is located along the souther ...
for the 2014–15 season. He led the team to their second Finals appearance with the help of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. The Golden State Warriors defeated the Cavaliers in six games, led by the "Splash Brothers" Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. The Cavaliers and the Warriors faced each other in the Finals a record Cavaliers–Warriors rivalry, four consecutive times. In the 2015–16 season, the Warriors finished the season 73–9, the List of NBA teams by single season win percentage, best season record in NBA history. However, the Cavaliers overcame a 3–1 deficit in the Finals to win 2016 NBA Finals, their first championship that season. In the 2016–17 season, the Warriors benefited from the recruitment of free agent Kevin Durant. The Warriors won the 2017 NBA Finals, 2017 and 2018 NBA Finals, 2018 Finals against the Cavaliers. After the departure of James in free agency in 2018, the Cavaliers' streak of playoff and Finals appearances ended. The Warriors returned for a fifth consecutive Finals appearance in 2019 NBA Finals, 2019 but lost to the Toronto Raptors, who won their first championship after acquiring Kawhi Leonard in a trade. The 2019–20 season was Suspension of the 2020 NBA regular season, suspended indefinitely on March 11, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. On June 4, 2020, the NBA Board of Governors voted to resume the season in a 22-team format with 8 seeding games per team and a regular playoffs format, with all games played in a "2020 NBA Bubble, bubble" in Walt Disney World without any fans present. This era also saw the continuous near year-over-year decline in NBA viewership. Between 2012 and 2019, the league lost 40 to 45 percent of its viewership. While some of it can be attributed to "cable-cutting", other professional leagues, like the NFL and MLB have retained stable viewership demographics. The opening game of the 2020 Finals between the
Los Angeles Lakers The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, of ...

Los Angeles Lakers
and
Miami Heat The Miami Heat (usually rendered in all caps In typography, all caps (short for "all capitalization, capitals") refers to text or a typeface, font in which all letters are capital letters, for example: TEXT IN ALL CAPS. All caps may be used ...
brought in only 7.41 million viewers to ABC, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That is reportedly the lowest viewership seen for the Finals since at least 1994, when total viewers began to be regularly recorded and is a 45 percent decline from game one between the Golden State Warriors and
Toronto Raptors The Toronto Raptors are a Canadian professional basketball team based in Toronto. The Raptors compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Atlantic Division (NBA) ...
, which had 13.51 million viewers a year earlier. Some attribute this decline to the political stances the league and its players are taking, while others consider load management, the uneven talent distribution between the conferences and the cord-cutting of younger viewers as the main reason for the decline.


International influence

Following pioneers like Vlade Divac (Serbia) and Dražen Petrović (Croatia) who joined the NBA in the late 1980s, an increasing number of international players have moved directly from playing elsewhere in the world to starring in the NBA. Since 2006, the NBA has faced EuroLeague teams NBA vs. EuroLeague games, in exhibition matches in the NBA Europe Live Tour, and since 2009, in the EuroLeague American Tour. The 2013–14 NBA season, 2013–14 season opened with a record 92 international players on the opening night rosters, representing 39 countries and comprising over 20% of the league. The beginning of the 2017–18 season saw a record 108 international players representing 42 different countries marking 4 consecutive years of at least 100 international players and each team having at least one international player. In 2018, the
Phoenix Suns The Phoenix Suns are an American professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member of the league's Western Conference (NBA), Western Conference Pacific Division (NBA), P ...
hired Serbian coach Igor Kokoškov as their new head coach, replacing Canadian interim coach Jay Triano, making Kokoškov the first European coach to become a head coach for a team in the NBA.


Other developments

In 2001, an affiliated minor league, the National Basketball Development League, now called the NBA G League, was created. Two years after the Hornets' move to New Orleans, the NBA returned to North Carolina, as the Charlotte Hornets, Charlotte Bobcats were formed as an expansion team in 2004. The Hornets Effect of Hurricane Katrina on the New Orleans Hornets, temporarily moved to Oklahoma City in 2005 for two seasons because of damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. The team returned to New Orleans in 2007. A new official game ball was introduced on June 28, 2006, for the 2006–07 season, marking the first change to the ball in over 35 years and only the second ball in 60 seasons. Manufactured by Spalding (sports equipment), Spalding, the new ball featured a new design and new synthetic material that Spalding claimed offered a better grip, feel, and consistency than the original ball. However, many players were vocal in their disdain for the new ball, saying that it was too sticky when dry, and too slippery when wet. Commissioner Stern announced on December 11, 2006, that beginning January 1, 2007, the NBA would return to the traditional leather basketball in use prior to the 2006–07 season. The change was influenced by frequent player complaints and confirmed hand injuries (cuts) caused by the microfiber ball. The NBA Players Association, Players' Association had filed a suit on behalf of the players against the NBA over the new ball. As of the 2017–18 season, the NBA team jerseys are manufactured by Nike, Inc., Nike, replacing the previous supplier, Adidas. All teams will wear jerseys with the Nike logo except the
Charlotte Hornets The Charlotte Hornets are an American professional basketball team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Hornets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Sou ...
, whose jerseys will instead have the Jumpman (logo), Jumpman logo associated with longtime Nike endorser
Michael Jordan Michael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17, 1963), also known by his initials MJ, is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a ...

Michael Jordan
, who owns the Hornets. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began an investigation on July 19, 2007, over allegations that veteran NBA referee Tim Donaghy bet on basketball games he officiated over the past two seasons and that he made calls affecting the point spread in those games. On August 15, 2007, Donaghy pleaded guilty to two federal charges related to the investigation. Donaghy claimed in 2008 that certain referees were friendly with players and "company men" for the NBA, and he alleged that referees influenced the outcome of certain playoff and finals games in 2002 and 2005. NBA commissioner
David Stern David Joel Stern (September 22, 1942 – January 1, 2020) was an American lawyer and business executive who was the commissioner A commissioner is, in principle, a member of a Regulatory agency, commission or an individual who has been given a ...

David Stern
denied the allegations and said Donaghy was a convicted felon and a "singing, cooperating witness". Donaghy served 15 months in prison and was released in November 2009. According to an independent study by Ronald Beech of Game 6 of the 2002 NBA Playoffs, 2002 Western Conference Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings, although the refs increased the Lakers' chances of winning through foul calls during the game, there was no collusion to fix the game. On alleged "star treatment" during Game 6 by the referees toward certain players, Beech claimed, "there does seem to be issues with different standards and allowances for different players." The NBA Board of Governors approved the request of the
Seattle SuperSonics The Seattle SuperSonics (commonly known as the Seattle Sonics) were an American professional basketball team based in Seattle. The SuperSonics competed in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league's Western Confere ...
to Seattle SuperSonics relocation to Oklahoma City, move to Oklahoma City on April 18, 2008. The team, however, could not move until it had settled a lawsuit filed by the city of Seattle, which was intended to keep the SuperSonics in Seattle for the remaining two seasons of the team's lease at KeyArena. Following a court case, the city of Seattle settled with the Professional Basketball Club LLC, ownership group of the SuperSonics on July 2, 2008, allowing the team to move to Oklahoma City immediately in exchange for terminating the final two seasons of the team's lease at KeyArena. The
Oklahoma City Thunder The Oklahoma City Thunder are an American professional basketball team based in Oklahoma City. The Thunder compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference (NBA), Western Conference Northwest D ...
began playing in the 2008–09 season. The first outdoor game in the modern era of the league was played at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on October 11, 2008, between the
Phoenix Suns The Phoenix Suns are an American professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member of the league's Western Conference (NBA), Western Conference Pacific Division (NBA), P ...
and the
Denver Nuggets The Denver Nuggets are an American professional basketball team based in Denver. The Nuggets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference (NBA), Western Conference Northwest Division (NBA) ...
. The first official NBA league games on European ground took place in 2011. In two matchups, the New Jersey Nets faced the
Toronto Raptors The Toronto Raptors are a Canadian professional basketball team based in Toronto. The Raptors compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Atlantic Division (NBA) ...
at the The O2 Arena (London), O2 Arena in London in front of over 20,000 fans. After the 2012–13 season, the New Orleans Hornets were renamed the New Orleans Pelicans, Pelicans. During the 2013–14 season, Stern retired as commissioner after 30 years, and deputy commissioner Adam Silver ascended to the position of commissioner. During that season's playoffs, the Bobcats officially reclaimed the Hornets name, and by agreement with the league and the Pelicans, also received sole ownership of all history, records, and statistics from the Pelicans' time in Charlotte. As a result, the Hornets are now officially considered to have been founded in 1988, suspended operations in 2002, and resumed in 2004 as the Bobcats, while the Pelicans are officially treated as a 2002 expansion team. (This is somewhat similar to the relationship between the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens in the National Football League, NFL.) Donald Sterling, who was then-owner of the
Los Angeles Clippers The Los Angeles Clippers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Clippers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Pacific Division (NBA), Pacific Division in the league's Western C ...
, received a lifetime ban from the NBA on April 29, 2014, after racist remarks he made became public. Sterling was also fined US$2.5 million, the maximum allowed under the NBA Constitution. Becky Hammon was hired by the
San Antonio Spurs The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio ("Cradle of Freedom") , image_map = Bexar SanAntonio.svg , mapsize = 220px , map_caption = Location withi ...
on August 5, 2014, as an assistant coach, becoming the second female coach in NBA history but the first full-time coach. This also makes her the first full-time female coach in any of the Major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, four major professional sports in North America. The NBA announced on April 15, 2016, that it would allow all 30 of its teams to sell corporate sponsor advertisement patches on official game uniforms, beginning with the 2017–18 season. The sponsorship advertisement patches would appear on the left front of jerseys, opposite Nike, Inc., Nike's logo, marking the first time a manufacturer's logo would appear on NBA jerseys, and would measure approximately 2.5 by 2.5 inches. The NBA would become the first major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, major North American professional sports league to allow corporate sponsorship logos on official team uniforms, and the last to have a uniform manufacturer logo appear on its team uniforms. The first team to announce a jersey sponsorship was the
Philadelphia 76ers The Philadelphia 76ers (colloquially known as the Sixers) are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court ...
, who agreed to a deal with StubHub. On July 6, 2017, the NBA unveiled an updated rendition of its logo; it was largely identical to the previous design, except with revised typography and a "richer" color scheme. The league began to phase in the updated logo across its properties during the 2017 NBA Summer League. The NBA also officially released new Nike, Inc., Nike uniforms for all 30 teams beginning with the 2017–18 season. The league eliminated "home" and "away" uniform designations. Instead, each team would have four or six uniforms: the "Association" edition, which is the team's white uniform, the "Icon" edition, which is the team's color uniform, and the "Statement" and "City" uniforms, which most teams use as an alternate uniform. In 2018, the NBA also released the "Earned" uniform.


Teams

The NBA originated in 1946 with 11 teams, and through a sequence of team expansions, reductions and relocations currently consists of 30 teams. The United States is home to 29 teams; another is in Canada. The current league organization divides 30 teams into two conferences of three divisions with five teams each. The current divisional alignment was introduced in the 2004–05 NBA season, 2004–05 season. Reflecting the population distribution of the United States and Canada as a whole, most teams are in the eastern half of the country: 13 teams are in the Eastern Time Zone, nine in the Central Time Zone (North America), Central, three in the Mountain Time Zone, Mountain, and five in the Pacific Time Zone, Pacific. ; Notes # ''An asterisk (*) denotes a franchise move. See the respective team articles for more information.'' # ''The Detroit Pistons, Fort Wayne Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers, Minneapolis Lakers and Sacramento Kings, Rochester Royals all joined the NBA (Basketball Association of America, BAA) in 1948 from the National Basketball League (United States), NBL.'' # ''The Philadelphia 76ers, Syracuse Nationals and Atlanta Hawks, Tri-Cities Blackhawks joined the NBA in 1949 as part of the BAA-NBL absorption.'' # ''The Indiana Pacers, Brooklyn Nets, New York Nets, San Antonio Spurs, and Denver Nuggets all joined the NBA in 1976 as part of the ABA–NBA merger.'' # ''The
Charlotte Hornets The Charlotte Hornets are an American professional basketball team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Hornets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Sou ...
are regarded as a continuation of the original Charlotte franchise, which suspended operations in 2002 and rejoined the league in 2004. They were known as the Bobcats from 2004 to 2014. The New Orleans Pelicans are regarded as being established as an expansion team in 2002, originally known as the New Orleans Hornets until 2013.''


Regular season

Following the summer break, teams begin training camps in late September. Training camps allow the coaching staff to evaluate players (especially rookies), scout the team's strengths and weaknesses, prepare the players for the rigorous regular season and determine the 12-man active roster (and a 3-man inactive list) with which they will begin the regular season. Teams have the ability to assign players with less than two years of experience to the NBA G League. After training camp, a series of preseason exhibition games are held. Preseason matches are sometimes held in non-NBA cities, both in the United States and overseas. The NBA regular season begins in the last week of October. During the regular season, each team plays 82 games, 41 each home and away. A team faces opponents in its own division four times a year (16 games). Each team plays six of the teams from the other two divisions in its conference four times (24 games), and the remaining four teams three times (12 games). Finally, each team plays all the teams in the other conference twice apiece (30 games). This asymmetrical structure means the strength of schedule will vary between teams (but not as significantly as the National Football League, NFL or Major League Baseball, MLB). Over five seasons, each team will have played 80 games against their division (20 games against each opponent, 10 at home, 10 on the road), 180 games against the rest of their conference (18 games against each opponent, 9 at home, 9 on the road), and 150 games against the other conference (10 games against each team, 5 at home, 5 on the road). The NBA is also the only league that regularly schedules games on Christmas Day. The league has been playing National Basketball Association Christmas games, games regularly on the holiday since 1947, though the first Christmas Day games were not televised until . Games played on this day have featured some of the best teams and players. Christmas is also notable for NBA on television, as the holiday is when the first NBA games air on network television each season. Games played on this day have been some of the highest-rated games during a particular season. In February, the regular season pauses to celebrate the annual NBA All-Star Game. Fans vote throughout the United States, Canada, and on the Internet, and the top vote-getters in each conference are named captains. Fan votes determine the rest of the allstar starters. Coaches vote to choose the remaining 14 All-Stars. Then, the top vote-getters in each conference draft their own team from a player pool of allstars. The top vote-getter in the league earns first pick and so forth. The player with the best performance during the game is rewarded with a NBA All-Star Game MVP, Game MVP award. Other attractions of the All-Star break include the Rising Stars Challenge (originally Rookie Challenge), where the top rookies and second-year players in the NBA play in a 5-on-5 basketball game, with the current format pitting U.S. players against those from the rest of the world; the Skills Challenge, where players compete to finish an obstacle course consisting of shooting, passing, and dribbling in the fastest time; the Three Point Contest, where players compete to score the highest number of three-point field goals in a given time; and the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, where players compete to dunk the ball in the most entertaining way according to the judges. These other attractions have varying names which include the names of the various sponsors who have paid for naming rights. Shortly after the All-Star break is the trade deadline, which is set to fall on the 16th Thursday of the season (usually in February) at 3pm Eastern Time Zone, Eastern Time. After this date, teams are not allowed to exchange players with each other for the remainder of the season, although they may still sign and release players. Major trades are often completed right before the trading deadline, making that day a hectic time for List of National Basketball Association general managers, general managers. Around the middle of April, the regular season ends. It is during this time that voting begins for individual awards, as well as the selection of the honorary, league-wide, post-season teams. The NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award, Sixth Man of the Year Award is given to the best player coming off the bench (must have more games coming off the bench than actual games started). The NBA Rookie of the Year Award, Rookie of the Year Award is awarded to the most outstanding first-year player. The NBA Most Improved Player Award, Most Improved Player Award is awarded to the player who is deemed to have shown the most improvement from the previous season. The NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, Defensive Player of the Year Award is awarded to the league's best defender. The NBA Coach of the Year Award, Coach of the Year Award is awarded to the coach that has made the most positive difference to a team. The NBA Most Valuable Player Award, Most Valuable Player Award is given to the player deemed the most valuable for (his team) that season. Additionally, ''Sporting News'' awards an unofficial (but widely recognized) NBA Executive of the Year Award, Executive of the Year Award to the general manager who is adjudged to have performed the best job for the benefit of his franchise. The post-season teams are the All-NBA Team, the NBA All-Defensive Team, All-Defensive Team, and the NBA All-Rookie Team, All-Rookie Team; each consists of five players. There are three All-NBA teams, consisting of the top players at each position, with first-team status being the most desirable. There are two All-Defensive teams, consisting of the top defenders at each position. There are also two All-Rookie teams, consisting of the top first-year players regardless of position.


Playoffs

The NBA playoffs begin in April after the conclusion of the regular season with the top eight teams in each conference, regardless of divisional alignment, competing for the league's championship title, the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy. Seeds are awarded in strict order of regular season record (with a tiebreaker system used as needed). Having a higher seed offers several advantages. Since the first seed begins the playoffs playing against the eighth seed, the second seed plays the seventh seed, the third seed plays the sixth seed, and the fourth seed plays the fifth seed, having a higher seed means a team faces a weaker team in the first round. The team in each series with the better record has home-court advantage, including the First Round. Before the league changed its playoff determination format for the 2006–07 season, this meant that, for example, if the team that received the sixth seed had a better record than the team with the third seed (by virtue of a divisional championship), the sixth seed would have home-court advantage, even though the other team had a higher seed. Therefore, the team with the best regular season record in the league is guaranteed home-court advantage in every series it plays. For example, in 2006, the
Denver Nuggets The Denver Nuggets are an American professional basketball team based in Denver. The Nuggets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference (NBA), Western Conference Northwest Division (NBA) ...
won 44 games and captured the Northwest Division and the third seed. Their opponent was the sixth-seeded
Los Angeles Clippers The Los Angeles Clippers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Clippers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Pacific Division (NBA), Pacific Division in the league's Western C ...
, who won 47 games and finished second in the Pacific Division. Although Denver won its much weaker division, the Clippers had a home-court advantage and won the series in 5. The playoffs follow a tournament format. Each team plays an opponent in a best-of-seven series, with the first team to win four games advancing into the next round, while the other team is eliminated from the playoffs. In the next round, the successful team plays against another advancing team of the same conference. All but one team in each conference are eliminated from the playoffs. Since the NBA does not re-seed teams, the playoff bracket in each conference uses a traditional design, with the winner of the series matching the first- and eighth-seeded teams playing the winner of the series matching the fourth- and fifth-seeded teams, and the winner of the series matching the second- and seventh-seeded teams playing the winner of the series matching the third- and sixth-seeded teams. In every round, the best-of-7 series follows a 2–2–1–1–1 home-court pattern, meaning that one team will have home court in games 1, 2, 5, and 7, while the other plays at home in games 3, 4, and 6. From 1985 to 2013, the NBA Finals followed a 2–3–2 pattern, meaning that one team had home court in games 1, 2, 6, and 7, while the other played at home in games 3, 4, and 5. The final playoff round, a best-of-seven series between the victors of both conferences, is known as the NBA Finals and is held annually in June. The winner of the NBA Finals receives the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy. Each player and major contributor—including coaches and the general manager—on the winning team receive a championship ring. In addition, the league awards the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award to the best performing player of the series. The league began using its current format, with the top eight teams in each conference advancing regardless of divisional alignment, in the 2015–16 season. Previously, the top three seeds went to the division winners.


Championships

The
Los Angeles Lakers The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, of ...

Los Angeles Lakers
and the
Boston Celtics The Boston Celtics ( ) are an American professional basketball team based in Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwea ...
have won the most championships with each having 17 NBA Finals wins. The Golden State Warriors and
Chicago Bulls The Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team based in Chicago. The Bulls compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Central Division (NBA), Ce ...

Chicago Bulls
are tied for the third most championships won, with 6 each. Following them are the
San Antonio Spurs The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio ("Cradle of Freedom") , image_map = Bexar SanAntonio.svg , mapsize = 220px , map_caption = Location withi ...
with five championships, all since 1999. Current teams that have no NBA Finals appearances: *
Charlotte Hornets The Charlotte Hornets are an American professional basketball team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Hornets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Sou ...
(formerly Charlotte Bobcats) *
Denver Nuggets The Denver Nuggets are an American professional basketball team based in Denver. The Nuggets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference (NBA), Western Conference Northwest Division (NBA) ...
*
Los Angeles Clippers The Los Angeles Clippers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Clippers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Pacific Division (NBA), Pacific Division in the league's Western C ...
(formerly
Buffalo Braves The Buffalo Braves were an American professional basketball franchise based in Buffalo, New York Buffalo is the in the of and the largest city in . 's census estimates, the city proper population was 255,284. The city is the of and ser ...
, San Diego Clippers)
* Memphis Grizzlies (formerly
Vancouver Grizzlies The Vancouver Grizzlies were a Canadian professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete with the primary ob ...
)
*
Minnesota Timberwolves The Minnesota Timberwolves are an American professional basketball team based in Minneapolis Minneapolis () is a city in the U.S. state of Minnesota. With a population of 429,954 as of 2020 United States census, 2020, it is the most populous ...
* New Orleans Pelicans (formerly New Orleans Hornets, Effect of Hurricane Katrina on the New Orleans Hornets, New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets)


Media coverage

As one of the major sports leagues in North America, the NBA has a long history of partnerships with television networks in the United States. The NBA signed a contract with DuMont Television Network in its eighth season, the 1953-54 NBA season, 1953–54 season, marking the first year the NBA had a national television broadcaster. Similar to the
National Football League The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any s ...
, the lack of television stations led to NBC taking over the rights from the 1954-55 NBA season, 1954-55 season until April 7, 1962–NBC's first tenure with the NBA. Currently in the U.S., the NBA has a contract with ESPN and TNT (U.S. TV network), TNT through the 2024–25 season. Games that are not broadcast nationally are usually aired over regional sports networks specific to the area where the teams are located.


International competitions

The National Basketball Association has sporadically participated in international club competitions. From 1987 to 1999 an NBA team played against championship club teams from Asia, Europe and South America in the McDonald's Championship. This tournament was won by the NBA invitee every year it was held.


Ticket prices and viewership demographics

In 2012, a ticket cost from $10 to $3,000 each, depending on the location of the seat and the success of the teams that were playing. In 2020, ticket prices for the NBA All-Star Game, NBA All Star Game became more expensive than ever before, averaging around $2,600, and even more on the secondary market.


Viewership demographics

According to Nielsen's survey, in 2013 the NBA had the youngest audience, with 45 percent of its viewers under 35, but the least likely, along with
Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization and the oldest major professional sports league in the world. , a total of 30 teams play in Major League Baseball—15 teams in the National League (NL) and 15 in the Ame ...
, to be watched by women, who make up only 30% of the viewership. As of 2014, 45 percent of its viewers were African Americans, black, while 40 percent of viewers were White American, white, making it the only top North American sport that does not have a white majority audience. As of 2017, the NBA's popularity further declined among White Americans, who during the 2016–17 season, made up only 34% of the viewership. At the same time, the black viewership increased to 47 percent, while Hispanic (of any race) stood at 11% and Asian viewership stood at 8%. According to the same poll, the NBA was favored more strongly by Democratic Party (United States), Democrats than Republican Party (United States), Republicans. Outside the U.S., the NBA's biggest international market is in China, where an estimated 800 million viewers watched the 2017–18 NBA season, 2017–18 season. NBA China is worth approximately $4 billion.


Controversies and criticism

The NBA has been involved in a number of controversies over the years and has received a significant amount of criticism.


Notable people


Presidents and commissioners

*
Maurice Podoloff Maurice Podoloff ( yi, מוריס פודולוף; August 18, 1890 – November 24, 1985) was an American lawyer and basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a recta ...
, President from 1946 to 1963 * J. Walter Kennedy, Walter Kennedy, President from 1963 to 1967 and Commissioner from 1967 to 1975 * Larry O'Brien, Commissioner from 1975 to 1984 *
David Stern David Joel Stern (September 22, 1942 – January 1, 2020) was an American lawyer and business executive who was the commissioner A commissioner is, in principle, a member of a Regulatory agency, commission or an individual who has been given a ...

David Stern
, Commissioner from 1984 to 2014 * Adam Silver, Commissioner from 2014 to present


Players

* NBA 75th Anniversary Team * Lists of National Basketball Association players ** List of foreign NBA players, a list that is exclusively for players who are not from the United States


Foreign players


International influence

Following pioneers like Vlade Divac (Serbia) and Dražen Petrović (Croatia) who joined the NBA in the late 1980s, an increasing number of international players have moved directly from playing elsewhere in the world to starring in the NBA. Below is a short list of foreign players who have won NBA awards or have been otherwise recognized for their contributions to basketball, either currently or formerly active in the league: *Dražen Petrović, Croatia – 2002 inductee into the
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an American history museum and hall of fame, located at 1000 Hall of Fame Avenue in Springfield, Massachusetts. It serves as basketball's most complete library, in addition to promoting and prese ...

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
, four-time Euroscar winner, two-time Mr. Europa winner, MVP of the 1986 FIBA World Championship and EuroBasket 1989, two-time Olympic silver medalist, World champion, European champion, 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors (2008), 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors. *Vlade Divac, Serbia – 2019 inductee into the
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an American history museum and hall of fame, located at 1000 Hall of Fame Avenue in Springfield, Massachusetts. It serves as basketball's most complete library, in addition to promoting and prese ...

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
, two-time Olympic silver medalist, 2001 NBA All-Star, two-time World champion, three-time European champion, 1989 Mr. Europa winner, 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors. *Šarūnas Marčiulionis, Lithuania – 2014 inductee into the
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an American history museum and hall of fame, located at 1000 Hall of Fame Avenue in Springfield, Massachusetts. It serves as basketball's most complete library, in addition to promoting and prese ...

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
. First player from the Soviet Union and one of the first Europeans to sign a contract with an NBA club and to play solidly in the league, helping to lead the way for the internationalization of the league in the late 1990s. *Toni Kukoč, Croatia – 2021 inductee into the
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an American history museum and hall of fame, located at 1000 Hall of Fame Avenue in Springfield, Massachusetts. It serves as basketball's most complete library, in addition to promoting and prese ...

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
, three-time NBA champion with Chicago Bulls (1996, 1997, 1998), 1996 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award, Sixth Man Award winner, named in 2008 as one of the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors. *Arvydas Sabonis, Lithuania – 2011 inductee into the
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an American history museum and hall of fame, located at 1000 Hall of Fame Avenue in Springfield, Massachusetts. It serves as basketball's most complete library, in addition to promoting and prese ...

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
, five-time Euroscar winner, two-time Mr. Europa winner, Olympic gold medalist in Basketball at the 1988 Summer Olympics, 1988 with the Soviet Union national basketball team, Soviet Union and bronze medalist in Basketball at the 1992 Summer Olympics, 1992 and Basketball at the 1996 Summer Olympics, 1996 with Lithuania men's national basketball team, Lithuania, 1996 NBA All-Rookie First Team, 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors. *Peja Stojaković, Serbia – NBA champion with Dallas Mavericks (2011), MVP of the EuroBasket 2001, member of the all-tournament team in the 2002 FIBA World Championship, 2001 Euroscar winner, two-time Mr. Europa winner, two-time NBA Three-Point Shootout champion, three-time NBA All-Star. *Dirk Nowitzki, Germany – NBA champion with Dallas Mavericks (2011), MVP of the 2002 FIBA World Championship and EuroBasket 2005, member of the all-tournament team in the 2002 FIBA World Championship, six-time Euroscar winner, 2005 Mr. Europa, two-time FIBA Europe Player of the Year, 2007 National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player Award, NBA MVP, 2011 Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award, 2006 NBA Three-Point Shootout champion and 14-time NBA All-Star. *Hedo Türkoğlu, Turkey – 2008 NBA Most Improved Player Award, Most Improved Player Award winner, member of the all-tournament team in the 2010 FIBA World Championship. *Pau Gasol, Spain – two-time NBA champion with Los Angeles Lakers (2009 and 2010), six-time NBA All-Star, 2002 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, NBA Rookie of the Year, two-time Mr. Europa, 2006 FIBA World Championship MVP, four-time Euroscar Award, Euroscar, two-time FIBA Europe Player of the Year Award, FIBA Europe Player of the Year, MVP of the EuroBasket 2009 and EuroBasket 2015, winner of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, NBA Citizenship Award in 2012. *Andrei Kirilenko, Russia – 2004 NBA All-Star, MVP of the EuroBasket 2007, 2007 FIBA Europe Player of the Year. *Tony Parker, France – four-time NBA champion with the San Antonio Spurs, 2007 NBA Finals MVP, six-time NBA All-Star and 2007 Euroscar winner. *Manu Ginóbili, Argentina – four-time NBA champion with San Antonio Spurs, 2008 Sixth Man Award winner, two-time NBA All-Star, 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors, Olympic gold medalist in Basketball at the 2004 Summer Olympics – Men's tournament, 2004 with Argentine national basketball team, Argentina. *Yao Ming, China – 2016 inductee into the
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an American history museum and hall of fame, located at 1000 Hall of Fame Avenue in Springfield, Massachusetts. It serves as basketball's most complete library, in addition to promoting and prese ...

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
, List of first overall NBA draft picks, first overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft and eight-time NBA All-Star. *Leandro Barbosa, Brazil – NBA champion with Golden State Warriors (2015), 2007 Sixth Man Award winner. *Andrea Bargnani, Italy – first overall pick in the 2006 NBA draft by the
Toronto Raptors The Toronto Raptors are a Canadian professional basketball team based in Toronto. The Raptors compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Atlantic Division (NBA) ...
. *Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greece – NBA champion with the
Milwaukee Bucks The Milwaukee Bucks are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often ...
(2021), 2021 NBA Finals MVP, two-time NBA MVP, 2017 Most Improved Player, five-time NBA All-Star. *Nikola Jokić, Serbia – 2021 National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player Award, NBA MVP, three-time NBA All-Star, 2016 NBA All-Rookie First Team, Olympic silver medalist. *Luka Dončić, Slovenia - 2019 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, NBA Rookie of the Year, two-time NBA All-Star, European champion On some occasions, young players, most but not all from the English-speaking world, have attended U.S. colleges before playing in the NBA. Notable examples are: * Nigerian
Hakeem Olajuwon Hakim or Al-Hakim may refer to: * Al-Ḥakīm (Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a lis ...
– first overall pick in the 1984 NBA draft, two-time champion, 12-time NBA All-Star, 1994 NBA MVP, two-time NBA Finals MVP, two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, NBA Defensive Player of the Year (only player to receive the MVP Award, Defensive Player of the Year Award, and Finals MVP award in the same season,) and Hall of Famer. * Congolese Dikembe Mutombo – fourth overall pick in the 1991 NBA draft, four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, eight-time NBA All-Star and Hall of Famer. * Dutchman Rik Smits – second overall pick in the 1988 NBA draft, 1998 NBA All-Star, played 12 years for the Indiana Pacers. * German Detlef Schrempf – two-time NBA Sixth Man Award winner, three-time NBA All-Star. * Canadians Steve Nash (two-time NBA MVP, eight-time NBA All-Star, Hall of Famer) and Andrew Wiggins (first overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, 2015 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, NBA Rookie of the Year) * Australians Luc Longley (three-time champion with the Chicago Bulls), Andrew Bogut (first overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft, 2015 NBA champion with Golden State Warriors) and Ben Simmons (first overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft, 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, NBA Rookie of the Year, three-time NBA All-Star). * Sudanese-born Englishman Luol Deng – 2007 NBA Sportsmanship Award winner, two-time NBA All-Star. * Cameroonians Joel Embiid (four-time NBA All-Star, 2017 NBA All-Rookie First Team) and Pascal Siakam (2019 NBA champion with Toronto Raptors, 2019 Most Improved Player, 2020 NBA All-Star) Since 2006, the NBA has faced EuroLeague teams EuroLeague vs. NBA games, in exhibition matches in the NBA Europe Live Tour, and since 2009 in the EuroLeague American Tour. The 2013–14 NBA season, 2013–14 season opened with a record 92 international players on the opening night rosters, representing 39 countries and comprising over 20 percent of the league. The NBA defines "international" players as those born outside the 50 United States and Washington, D.C. This means that: * Players born in U.S. possessions such as Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, most notably USVI native
Tim Duncan Timothy Theodore Duncan (born April 25, 1976) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is a ...

Tim Duncan
, are counted as "international" even though they are U.S. citizens by birth, and may even have represented the U.S. in international competition (like Duncan). * U.S.-born players are not counted as "international" even if they were born with citizenship in another country and represent that country internationally, such as Joakim Noah, and Kosta Koufos.


Coaches

* List of current National Basketball Association head coaches * List of National Basketball Association head coaches * List of National Basketball Association player-coaches * List of NBA championship head coaches * List of foreign NBA coaches * 50 Greatest Players in NBA History#Top 10 Coaches in NBA History, Top 10 Coaches in NBA History * List of female NBA coaches


NBA Cares

The league has a global social responsibility program, NBA Cares, that is responsible for the league's stated mission of addressing important social issues worldwide.


See also

* List of NBA champions * List of National Basketball Association awards * List of National Basketball Association seasons * National Basketball Association Cheerleading * National Basketball Association rivalries * NBA Salary Cap * List of NBA Playoffs Series * NBA Summer League * National Basketball Association criticisms and controversies, Criticisms and controversies * National Basketball Association music, Music * National Basketball Association Nielsen ratings, Nielsen ratings * List of NBA franchise post-season droughts * List of NBA franchise post-season streaks * NBA Store


References


Further reading

* * * *


External links

* ** The league also has an official English-language website with
more worldwide perspective
with emphasis on stories outside North America. Localized English-language versions, some of which are partnerships with regional media outlets, also exist fo
AfricaAustraliaCanadaIndiaNew Zealand
and th
Philippines

National Basketball Players Association

National Basketball Referees Association

NBA & ABA Basketball Statistics & History

NBA & ABA Transactions Archive
{{Authority control National Basketball Association, 1946 establishments in New York City Basketball leagues in Canada Basketball leagues in the United States, 1 Men's basketball Organizations based in New York City Professional sports leagues in Canada Professional sports leagues in the United States Sports leagues established in 1946 Multi-national professional sports leagues