The NBA (National Basketball Association) is one of the big four professional sports leagues in the United States of America and Canada.
The league is also considered as the best basketball league in the world and features some of the best players from across the continents.
The NBA started as the Basketball Association of America in 1946 before being rebranded to its current name in 1949 after merging with the
National Basketball League (NBA).
Presently there are 30 teams in the competition with 29 based in the United States and one in Canada.
The Toronto Raptors are the only Canadian side in the competition but won their first NBA title last season after defeating the Golden State Warriors.
The teams are split into two conferences Western and Eastern, with three divisions containing five franchises.
There are 82 regular season games, 41 games home and away, and is one of two leagues where each team plays all the others a campaign.
The top eight teams from each division at the end of the regular season enter the playoffs which are also split into the Western and Eastern conferences.
Teams are assigned seeds based on their win/loss record from the regular season and see the first team face the eighth team from the same division, the second with the seventh and so on.
Each playoff round is a best-of-seven series the Eastern Conference champions facing off against the Western Conference champions in the NBA finals.
The Boston Celtics are the most successful team in NBA history with 17 titles, the last of which came in 2008.
The Los Angeles Lakers come second with 16 titles but they have lost the finals 15 times too.
Only five current teams, the Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic, Brooklyn Nets, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz haven’t won the NBA title.
Legends of the game
The NBA has seen its fair share of quality talent not only from America but also from outside the US.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the record for most points scored in the history of the NBA while the likes of Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain Clyde Dexter, Magic Johnson and Julius Erving also hold special places in the hearts of the supporters.
There have seen quality African, Asian European and South American players also making a name such as Manu Ginobli, Tony Parker, Yao Ming, Pau Gasol and Hakeem Olajuwon.
Basketball has seen a lot of changes in the years, such as the introduction of the three-point and players have had to change their styles too.
Michael Jordan is possibly the greatest modern player to have graced the NBA and he was dominant with the Chicago Bulls during his time.
He did try his hand with the Washington Wizards but Jordan is a name synonymous with the game.
Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, Allen Iverson, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal are some of the best players from recent seasons with James still continuing his career with the Lakers.
A new breed of stars are ready to step up now with Giannis Antetokounmpo already showing his stuff for the Milwaukee Bucks and Zion Williamson looking to do well with the New Orleans Pelicans.
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