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what is the national basketball association?
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball league in North America comprising 30 franchises, of which 29 are located in the United States and one in Canada (Toronto Raptors). The league was founded in 1946, then named the Basketball Association of America (BAA). In 1949, the BAA merged with the rival National Basketball League (NBL) to form the National Basketball Association.
In another words,
The NBA is a global sports and media business built around three professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association and the NBA G League. The league has established a major international presence with games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 49 languages, and NBA merchandise for sale in more than 125,000 stores in 100 countries on 6 continents. NBA rosters at the start of the 2016-17 season featured a record 113 international players from 41 countries and territories. NBA Digital’s assets include NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA App and NBA LEAGUE PASS.
The NBA has created one of the largest social media communities in the world, with more than 1.3 billion likes and followers globally across all league, team, and player platforms. Through NBA Cares, the league addresses important social issues by working with internationally recognized youth-serving organizations that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes.
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.
The BAA incorporated in 1946, challenging the hegemony of the nine-year old NBL. The BAA established itself in bigger cities than the NBL, which existed only in small Midwestern cities like Fort Wayne, Sheboygan and Akron. While the NBL held its games in small gymnasiums, the upstart BAA played its games in large major-market arenas such as the Boston Garden and New York City’s Madison Square Garden. By the 1948-49 season, the BAA had begun to attract some of the country’s best players, and four NBL franchises—Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Minneapolis and Rochester—moved to the BAA, bringing their star players with them. George Mikan, the biggest attraction in either league who by himself could virtually assure a team’s success, defected to the new league with the Minneapolis Lakers.
On August 3, 1949, representatives from the two leagues met at the BAA offices in New York’s Empire State Building to finalize the merger. Maurice Podoloff, head of the BAA since its inception, was elected head of the new league. The new NBA was made up of 17 teams that represented both small towns and large cities across the country. Through the 1950s, though, the number of teams dwindled, along with fan support, and by the 1954-55 season, only eight teams remained. That year, the league transformed the game with the creation of the 24-second clock, making play faster-paced and more fun to watch. Fans returned, and the league, now financially solvent, expanded throughout the 1960s and ’70s. Today, the NBA attracts players—and millions of fans—from countries around the world.
The smallest city to ever host an NBA game
The City of Negaunee, Michigan, is known as a mining town in the Upper Peninsula, that has turned into winter sports hub with one of the best luge tracks west of the Mississippi River. With a population of just 4,500 people, it seems to be an unlikely place to find an NBA game. But on January 16, 1952, that is exactly what happened. Negaunee, Michigan, became the smallest city to ever host a regular NBA season game.
Of the four major North American professional sports leagues the NBA has always had a reputation for having some of the smallest markets. Seven NBA markets do not have a corresponding NFL, MLB or NHL team. The BAA’s merger with the NBL also added several cities like Waterloo, Iowa; Anderson, Indiana; Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and Moline, Illinois to the ranks of small towns home to an NBA team. But by 1952 the NBA had done away with much of the smaller markets in the league. In the 1951-52 season the NBA was struggling.
The league had shrank for the 18 teams it had just 2 seasons prior to just 10 teams for that season. The Western Division was rife with trouble, all 5 teams had serious financial issues and rumors were rampant about their possible relocation. This relocation talk is what spurred the NBA to look into new markets and other ways to attracted new fans.
Starting in 1950, before the leagues contraction, the NBA started hosting games in neutral cities hoping to relocate teams out of Waterloo, Anderson and the ever problematic Denver, Colorado. On January 30, 1950, the Nationals beat the Olympians in Louisville, Kentucky. The NBA would host 7 more games that season in neutral site venues and a few more in Boston, Philadelphia and New York City.
These Neutral site games where intended to try and save some of these teams, of the 8 games played only Nationals, Blackhawks, Olympians and Warriors would survive the next two seasons.
The NBA kept trying even as neutral site games failed to save teams, the following season the NBA scheduled 7 neutral site games. Two of the games being in Milwaukee, which the Blackhawks moved to and became the Hawks. This brings us to the 1951-52 season and the NBA game in Negaunee, Michigan.
The Neutral site games had gained some popularity as had good attendance, this in turn brought in money. But Negaunee is an odd choice, even by 1950s standards. At the time the city had about 6,400 people and nearby Marquette had just 17,000 at the time. Marquette is the logical choice for the game as it is also home to Northern Michigan University, which has a basketball gym. But the city pushed hard for games to be played there, and prior to the season it was announced that the city would host an NBA game between
the Milwaukee Hawks and the Baltimore Bullets.
League growth and membership
By the early 1980s the NBA was plagued by money-losing franchises, low attendance, declining television ratings, and limited national appeal. The league soon rebounded under the leadership of David Stern, NBA commissioner from 1984, who helped transform it into an international entertainment company. Aggressive marketing highlighted star players such as Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and, especially, Michael Jordan. Moreover other innovations included league limits on player salaries, lucrative broadcast rights for network and cable television, and expanded All-Star Game festivities.
The NBA membership was divided into two conferences, each with three divisions. However there were 30 teams, aligned as follows:
Eastern Conference,Western Conference
The top-ranking teams at the end of each season engage in a playoff to determine the NBA champion,
which claims the title of world champion. Probably the most dominant team in NBA history was the Boston Celtics, which, led by centre Bill Russell, won 11 of 13 titles from 1956–57 to 1968–69; however,
the league in those years contained only 8 to 14 teams,
and team owners widely avoided signing African American players at the time. Other outstanding clubs were the Minneapolis (later Los Angeles) Lakers in the 1950s, the Los Angeles Lakers in the ’80s,
and the Chicago Bulls in the ’90s.
Worldwide, basketball tournaments are held for boys and girls of all age levels. The global popularity of the sport is reflected in the nationalities represented in the NBA. Players from all over the globe can be found in NBA teams.
Steve Nash, who won the 2005 and 2006 NBA Most Valuable Player Award, is Canadian; Kobe Bryant is an American who spent much of his childhood in Italy; Dallas Mavericks superstar and 2007 NBA MVP Dirk Nowitzki is German; All-Star Pau Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies is from Spain; 2005 NBA Draft’s top overall pick Andrew Bogut of the Milwaukee Bucks is Australian; 2006 NBA Draft’s top overall pick Andrea Bargnani of the Toronto Raptors is from Italy; Houston Rockets Center Yao Ming is from China; Cleveland Cavaliers big man Zydrunas Ilgauskas is Lithuanian; and the San Antonio Spurs feature Tim Duncan of the U.S.
Virgin Islands, Manu Ginobili of Argentina (like Chicago Bulls player Andrés Nocioni) and Tony Parker of France. The all-tournament teams at the two most recent FIBA World Championships,
held in 2002 FIBA World Championship in Indianapolis and 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan,
demonstrate the globalization of the game equally dramatically. Only one member of either team was American, namely Carmelo Anthony in 2006.
As a result, the 2002 team featured Nowitzki, Ginobili, Predrag Stojaković of Yugoslavia, Yao Ming of China, and Pero Cameron of New Zealand. Ginobili also made the 2006 team; the other members were Anthony, Gasol, his Spanish teammate Jorge Garbajosa and Theodoros Papaloukas of Greece. The only players on either team to never have joined the NBA are Cameron and Papaloukas. The only Japanese NBA player is Kenny Nakazawa.