The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball league in North America, consisting of 30 teams (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada).
The NBA is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, and is the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world. The league is divided into two conferences, the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference, with 15 teams in each conference.
The NBA’s regular season runs from October to April, with each team playing 82 games. Following the conclusion of the regular season, eight teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the NBA Finals, which is usually held in June and is played between the champions of the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. The league is headquartered in New York City.
Here are a few NBA curiosities:
- The NBA was founded in 1946 as the Basketball Association of America (BAA) before merging with the National Basketball League (NBL) in 1949 to form the NBA.
- The first NBA game was played on November 1, 1946, between the Toronto Huskies and the New York Knickerbockers, with the Knickerbockers winning the game 68-66.
- The Boston Celtics have won the most NBA championships, with 17 titles. The Los Angeles Lakers have won the second most, with 16 titles.
- The shortest player in NBA history was Muggsy Bogues, who was just 5 feet 3 inches tall and played for the Washington Bullets, Charlotte Hornets, Golden State Warriors, and Toronto Raptors. The tallest player in NBA history was Gheorghe Mureșan, who was 7 feet 7 inches tall and played for the Washington Bullets and New Jersey Nets.
- The highest scoring game in NBA history was a triple-overtime game between the Detroit Pistons and the Denver Nuggets on December 13, 1983, with the Pistons winning 186-184.
- The longest NBA game was a six-overtime game between the Indianapolis Olympians and the Rochester Royals on January 6, 1951, with the Royals winning 75-73.
- The NBA has a few unique rules, such as the “3-in-the-key” rule, which states that a player cannot be in the painted area under the basket for more than three seconds unless they are actively trying to score. This rule is designed to prevent players from camping out under the basket and blocking the lane.
- The NBA has a few traditions, such as the playing of the national anthem before every game, the awarding of the MVP trophy at the end of the regular season, and the presentation of the championship trophy to the winning team in the NBA Finals.
- The NBA has a few notable rivalries, such as the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers, who have met in the NBA Finals a record 12 times, and the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks, who have had a longstanding rivalry dating back to the 1970s.
- The NBA has a few notable records, such as the most points scored in a single game by Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors in a game against the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962. The record for most points scored in a single season is held by Michael Jordan, who scored 37.1 points per game for the Chicago Bulls in the 1986-87 season.
- The NBA has a few international players who have made a significant impact on the league, such as Yao Ming of China, who played for the Houston Rockets, and Dirk Nowitzki of Germany, who played for the Dallas Mavericks.
- The NBA has a few unique venues, such as the Staples Center in Los Angeles, which is home to the Lakers and the Clippers, and the Madison Square Garden in New York City, which is home to the Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets.
- The NBA has a few notable players who have made a significant impact on the league, such as LeBron James, who has won four NBA championships and four MVP awards, and Michael Jordan, who is widely considered one of the greatest players in NBA history and won six NBA championships and five MVP awards.
- The NBA has a few notable coaches who have made a significant impact on the league, such as Phil Jackson, who has won 11 NBA championships as a coach, and Gregg Popovich, who has won five NBA championships as the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs.
- The NBA has a few notable owners who have made a significant impact on the league, such as Mark Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks, and Jerry Buss, who owned the Lakers from 1979 until his death in 2013.