The National Basketball Association, or NBA, is a professional basketball league comprised of 30 teams across North America featuring the best basketball players in the world.
The NBA is a collection of 30 teams, broken down by two conferences with three divisions apiece.
The Western Conference plays host to the Northwest, Pacific and Southwest Divisions, featuring the following 15 teams:
> Northwest: Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz
> Pacific: Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings
> Southwest: Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs
The Eastern Conference's 15 squads also break up across three divisions: the Atlantic, Southeast and Central.
> Atlantic: Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors
> Central: Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks
> Southeast: Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards
The National Basketball Association was founded on June 6, 1946 at the Commodore Hotel in New York City. Maurice Podoloff was the league's first president, a title later changed to commissioner. Eleven teams were part of that league, originally called the Basketball Association of America.Podoloff's name is now emblazoned on the NBA MVP trophy.
There are 82 games in the NBA's regular season.
The regular season tips off on 27 October and finishes on 13 April.
The NBA's list of all-time Legends continues to grow with each new generation, boasting names like Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Oscar Robertson, John Havlicek, Rick Barry, John Stockton, Karl Malone, Elgin Baylor, David Robinson, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley and many more.In 1996, the league announced its 50 Greatest Players list.
The top eight teams in each Conference reach the postseason, with the No. 1 seed facing No. 8 in the first round, No. 2 vs. No. 7 and so on.Each round features a best-of-seven series with a 2-2-1-1-1 format (two games at the top seed's home court, two games at the lower seed's home, then back and forth one game at a time).The winners of each Conference meet in the best-of-seven NBA Finals.
Beginning with the 2014-15 NBA regular season, the NBA launched its new state-of-the-art NBA Replay Center, based in Secaucus, N.J. The NBA Replay Center is fueled by a groundbreaking high-speed arena network to enhance the performance of NBA referees and to accelerate the replay review process.
NBA games are available on television in more than 200 countries around the world, including hundreds of national broadcasts in the USA every year on ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV.Fans can also watch games live and on-demand on NBA LEAGUE PASS around the world.
NBA All-Star 2016 will take place in Toronto, Canada from 12-14 February, 2016, marking the first time that the event has been held outside of the United States.
The starting lineups are selected each year by fans around the world, who can vote online at nba.com, the NBA app and on social media. Last year, Stephen Curry and LeBron James earned the greatest number of votes. The reserves are selected by NBA head coaches. If a player is unable to play due to injury, his replacement is selected by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.If a team has a starter who's unable to play, the head coach of that All-Star team will select his replacement from his bench (including any Commissioner-appointed players).
The two spots go to the head coaches of the teams with the best record in each Conference at the time of All-Star weekend.
The NBA Draft is held each year near the end of June, after NBA Finals. In 2015, the Draft took place on June 26 at Brooklyn's Barclays Center.
The pool of players includes all players over the age of 19 who are more than a year removed from high school, and who have also officially declared for the NBA Draft; all international players over the age of 22; all players over 19 who've signed a contract to play with an international professional team; and all US-born players who've played their four years of college eligibility.
Each spring, a lottery -- comprised of ping-pong balls drawn randomly in an audited event -- decides the fate of the 14 teams who did not qualify for the Playoffs. The teams with the fewest wins have the greatest chance at winning the Lottery. Three Lotto balls are drawn, deciding the first, second and third picks. After that point, the remaining picks go sequentially, in order of lowest finish to highest finish in the standings.After pick No. 14, the teams choose in reverse order of regular season finish (the team with the best record goes last).Teams may move up and down in the order with trades.
Each NBA team can have a maximum of 15 players, 13 of which can be active each game.
Each quarter lasts 12 minutes. Each overtime lasts 5.
The shot clock is 24 seconds.
The rims hang 10 feet from the floor, sitting on opposite ends of a court that's 50 feet wide and 94 feet long. Both ends of the floor feature a free throw line, 15 feet from the rim, and a 3-point arc that runs from 23 feet, 9 inches from the basket at the top of the perimeter to 22 feet at the baselines. The corner 3-pointer has become one of the league's most popular shots because of the difference.The basketball itself measures 9 inches in diameter, and must be inflated to between 8.5 and 9.5 pounds per square inch.
Tickets for every team are available on each team website.
The Boston Celtics have the most of any team, with 17.The Los Angeles Lakers are close behind with 16, including titles won when the team was in Minneapolis.The Chicago Bulls have 6 and San Antonio Spurs have 5, with all of the Spurs' titles coming since Tim Duncan joined the team.
The Celtics dynasty of the late 1950's through 60's dominates the list, with Bill Russell (11) leading the way. He's followed by Sam Jones (10); Tom Heinsohn, K.C. Jones, Tom 'Satch' Sanders, John Havlicek (8); Jim Loscutoff and Frank Ramsey (7). Bob Cousy has 6.Of the non-Celtics, Robert Horry leads the way with 7, followed by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen (6).
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has 6, followed by Michael Jordan and Bill Russell with 5 and Wilt Chamberlain and LeBron James, with 4.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar leads the all-time list, with 38,387 points. Karl Malone has second-most, at 36,928. Kobe Bryant has 32,482, to rank third.However, Michael Jordan leads the all-time list with 30.12 points per game.
A record 101 international players were on Opening Night rosters in 2014-15. Official numbers for 2015-16 will be released after final rosters are submitted.