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Basketball: all you need to know about NBA

nba history

Basketball   |   August 12, 2020

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NBA history

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is an American men’s professional basketball league founded in New York City in 1946. It is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada.

At first, it was called the Basketball Association of America (BAA) and it played under that name for three years, until merging with the National Basketball League and changing its name to NBA in 1949. On November 1946, the NBA had its first game played in Toronto, Ontario (Canada), when the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens.

The year of 1950 was when the NBA consolidated to eleven franchises and continued the process until 1953/54 when the league reached its smallest size of eight franchises. Those teams remain in the league until today: the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia Warriors, Minneapolis Lakers, Rochester Royals, Fort Wayne Pistons, Tri-Cities Blackhawks, and Syracuse Nationals.

The NBA is now composed of 30 teams – 29 in the US and 1 in Canada. Its regular season usually runs from October to April, with each team playing 82 games. The league’s playoff tournament extends into June. Since 2015, NBA players are the world’s best-paid athletes by average annual salary per player. Check out for more NBA curiosities in our special content page.

 

NBA teams

Eastern Conference

Atlantic

Boston Celtics: 17 wins

Brooklyn Nets: 0 wins

New York Knicks: 2 wins

Philadelphia 76ers: 3 wins

Toronto Raptors: 1 win

 

Central

Chicago Bulls: 6 wins

Cleveland Cavaliers: 1 win

Detroit Pistons: 3 wins

Indiana Pacers: 0 wins

Milwaukee Bucks: 1 win

 

Southeast

Atlanta Hawks: 1 win

Charlotte Hornets: 0 wins

Miami Heat: 3 wins

Orlando Magic: 0 wins

Washington Wizards: 1 win

 

Western Conference

Northeast

Denver Nuggets :0 wins

Minnesota Timberwolves: 0 wins

Oklahoma City Thunder: 1 win

Portland Trail Blazers: 1 win

Utah Jazz: 0 wins

 

Pacific

Golden State Warriors: 6 wins

Los Angeles Clippers: 0 wins

Los Angeles Lakers: 16 wins

Phoenix Suns: 0 wins

Sacramento Kings: 1 win

 

Southwest

Dallas Mavericks: 1 win

Houston Rockets: 2 wins

Memphis Grizzlies: 0 wins

New Orleans Pelicans: 0 wins

San Antonio Spurs: 5 wins

 

Top 5 NBA legends

Michael Jordan

mike jordan

Considered the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan made history for making everything possible during a game. The Chicago Bulls legend is now a former player and the principal owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. Jordan won his first NBA championship with the Bulls in 1991 and then again in 1992 and 1993.

Jordan joined the Chicago Bulls team in 1984 and quickly emerged as a league star, even gaining a reputation as one of the game’s best defensive players. He was also known as “Air Jordan” and “His Airness” because of his leaping ability, demonstrated by slam dunks from the free-throw line in Slam Dunk Contests.

 

Bill Russell

bill russel

Bill Russell played center for the NBA’s Boston Celtics from 1956 to 1969. He got the NBA Most Valuable Player title five times and also was a 12-time All-Star. He was responsible for the record 11 NBA championship titles for the Celtics during his 13-year career.

Russell didn’t just make history on the court, he was the first black player to achieve superstar status in the NBA. He also became the first black coach in North American professional sports and the first to win a championship after serving a three-season (1966–69) stint as player-coach for the Celtics.

 

Magic Johnson

magic johnson

Magic Johnson played point guard for the Lakers for 13 seasons. He was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA draft by the Lakers and won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his first season. After that, he won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s. He was in the 1992 United States men’s Olympic basketball team – also known as “The Dream Team” – which won the Olympic gold medal in 1992.

Between Johnson’s basketball achievements there are three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Star games, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations. Apart from that, he led the league in regular-season assists four times, and is the NBA’s all-time leader in average assists per game, at 11.2. 

 

LeBron James

lebron

LeBron James currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers and is widely considered to be one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history, getting close to Michael Jordan’s achievements.

His teams have played in eight consecutive NBA Finals (2011–2018 seasons) between the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers. In 16 seasons in the NBA, he won three league titles, winning in the three achievements the award for best player in the finals (2012, 2013 and 2016), apart from being named the most valuable player of the regular season on four occasions (2009 , 2010, 2012 and 2013). Individually, he holds many NBA records, such as the highest scorer in the history of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the All-Star Game and the Playoffs, as well as the player with the most selections for the All-NBA Team.

 

Shaquille O’Neal

shaq

Also considered one of the greatest players in NBA history, Shaquille O’Neal was drafted by the Orlando Magic in the 1992 NBA draft. It wasn’t long until he became one of the best league centers, winning Rookie of the Year in 1992–93 and leading the team to the 1995 NBA Finals.

After four years playing for the Orlando Magic, O’Neal signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers. They won three consecutive championships from 2000 to 2002. In his 19-year career, he played for other teams such as Miami Heat (in which he won his fourth NBA championship in 2006), Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics.

Which NBA legend can you relate to? Find out in this fun NBA quiz!


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