The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional league uniting twenty-nine men’s basketball teams from the United States of America and one from Canada. The NBA, which is deservedly considered the strongest basketball organization in the world, is among the “Big Four” of the most popular professional sports leagues in the USA (along with the NFL – American football, MLB – baseball and NHL – ice hockey).
By the middle of the 20th century, there were dozens of professional basketball teams in America, but there was no organization uniting them. Various leagues were created and disintegrated until the Basketball Association of America (BAA) was established on June 6, 1946. The BAA included eleven teams playing in the East and West divisions. The first match of the new league took place on November 1, 1946 in Toronto between the teams Toronto Huskies and New York Knickerbockers (now it is New York Knicks). The winner of the first Championship of the Basketball Association of America became Philadelphia Warriors (modern Golden State Warriors).
On August 3, 1949, the league received its current name, the National Basketball Association. The number of its participants has repeatedly changed (the least number of teams were in the NBA from 1953 to 1961 – eight); teams moved from city to city; some fell apart, but new ones were created in return. In the late sixties – the first half of the seventies of the last century, the NBA competed for the right to be the best basketball league in America with the American Basketball Association (ABA), created in 1967. In 1976, the NBA and ABA merged, which significantly strengthened the league and made the championship much more spectacular and interesting.
Now the National Basketball Association includes thirty teams, divided into two conferences: Eastern (Eastern Conference NBA) and Western (Western Conference NBA). In turn, each of the conferences is divided into three divisions of five teams, in the East it is the Atlantic (Atlantic), Central (Central) and Southeast (Southeast) divisions, and in the West it is the Northwest (Northwest), Pacific (Pacific) and Southwest.
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