The National Basketball Association, commonly shortened to the acronym NBA, is the world’s largest professional basketball organization. The NBA is composed of thirty teams, with twenty nine located across the United States, and one in Toronto, Canada. There are two conferences in the NBA, each with fifteen teams: Western Conference and the Eastern Conference. The two conferences are broken down into three divisions each: the Northwest, Pacific, and Southwest divisions belong to the Western Conference; and the Atlantic, Central, and Southeast divisions are part of the Eastern Conference.
There are eighty two games in a regular season, and four rounds of playoffs. The eight best teams from each conference hold eligibility to play in the playoffs. The first best team of each conference plays the eighth best team of that conference; second best plays seventh ranked team; etc. All rounds of the playoffs have a best of seven series, which means the first team to earn four wins advances to the next round. The playoffs usually take about a month to a month and a half, and provide viewers with the longest playoff program by means of games and calendar time out of all major sports organizations in the United States.
The Basketball Association of America was founded in New York in the year 1946. Three years later, the BAA joined forces with its competitor league, the National Basketball League, to form what is now known as the National Basketball Association. The NBA is still headquartered in New York City, and has always been operated out of the same city. Although the NBA has remained named the National Basketball Association for the entirety of its existence, many teams in the NBA have come and gone, and been sold and purchased, or dissipated.
The NBA has not always been as popular as it is today – the NBA started to grow tremendously in the early 80s, right after the inception of the three point line. Around the same time the three point line was incorporated into regular gameplay, the Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were drafted into the National Basketball Association and helped grow the popularity of the league. They are known to have one of the best player rivalries in the history of basketball as a sport. In the mid-1980’s, Michael Jordan started playing in the NBA, and he truly helped the NBA rise in popularity.
Another reason the NBA has grown so much is because of super-wealthy owners and their virtually limitless potential to invest in their teams.
Mr. Bruce Levenson on wikipedia is the most recent owner of the Atlanta Hawks. He helped the Hawks reach the Eastern Conference Finals this year, where they lost to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Atlanta Hawks undoubtedly plays the best basketball as a team, thanks to Mr. Levenson’s honed ability to create a basketball team with such a great chemistry.
The National Basketball Association is one of the most popular major sports entertainment organizations in the United States, partially in thanks to Mr. Bruce Levenson.