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The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the top professional basketball league in the United States. It has also become very popular internationally with many players from several countries becoming major stars in the league such as Yao Ming from China, Pau Gasol from Spain, Tony Parker from France, Manu Ginobili from Argentina, and Dirk Nowitski from Germany.

History of the NBA

In 1946 the Basketball Association of America (BAA) was formed and the first game was played in Toronto, Canada between the Toronto Huskies and the New York Knickerbockers. In 1949 the BAA merged with the National Basketball League (NBL) and became the National Basketball Association.

The original NBA had 17 teams, but this was thought to be too many. So they merged teams over the next few years until they were down to as few as eight teams in 1953-1954. In 1954 they also introduced the shot clock of 24 seconds to speed up the game and to get teams to shoot more. Another major change came in the 1979-80 season when the three point shot was introduced.

Since then the league has grown to thirty teams throughout the United States with one team in Canada. Many superstar players have gained international stardom such as Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James.

NBA Teams

There are currently (2021) 30 teams in the NBA. They are divided into two major conferences, the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. Each conference has three divisions of 5 teams.

For a list of NBA teams see NBA Teams.

NBA Season and Playoffs

Each team in the NBA plays 82 regular season games. They play 41 games at home and 41 away. Every team in the NBA plays every other team at least once during the season.

The top eight teams in each conference go to the playoffs. Teams are seeded according to their records and whether they won their division. The best team plays the worst team (1 vs. 8) and so on. The teams play a best of seven series where the first team with four wins takes the series and moves on in the playoffs. The team with the best record gets the home court advantage where they play one more game at home.


The Woman's National Basketball Association is a professional basketball league for women players. It was started in 1997. It was originally owned and funded by the NBA, but now several teams have independent owners. There are currently (2021) 12 teams in the WNBA. Some of the WNBA star players over the years include Lisa Leslie, Sheryl Swoopes, and Lauren Jackson.

Fun Facts about the NBA

More Basketball Links:

Basketball Rules
Referee Signals
Personal Fouls
Foul Penalties
Non-Foul Rule Violations
The Clock and Timing
Basketball Court
Player Positions
Point Guard
Shooting Guard
Small Forward
Power Forward
Basketball Strategy
Individual Defense
Team Defense
Offensive Plays

Individual Drills
Team Drills
Fun Basketball Games

Basketball Glossary

Michael Jordan
Kobe Bryant
LeBron James
Chris Paul
Kevin Durant

Basketball Leagues
National Basketball Association (NBA)
List of NBA Teams
College Basketball

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