Basketball, the most popular sport in the United States, is a limited-contact team sport consisting of five persons per team. The primary aim of each team is to accumulate points by getting the basketball through a hoop. Points won depend on where you’re shooting from – 3 points if you shoot from outside the 3-point arc, 2 points anywhere inside the arc, and 1 point per free throw. Free throws are awarded for fouls.
Basketball can be traced to Springfield, Massachusetts, where a Canadian-American gym teacher developed it in 1891. The United States basketball league, the NBA, has since grown to be the most prestigious basketball league in the world in all aspects. You can get some last minute NBA tickets to watch the biggest players in the biggest basketball league play.
History of Basketball and the NBA
On a rainy day in 1891, James Naismith tried to keep his class active and fit through vigorous exercise. This led to him inventing a game in which they would pass a soccer ball among themselves with the final aim of earning points by tossing the ball into a peach basket he mounted on the wall. Naismith had no idea it would turn out to be one of the most viewed sports in the world, with the 1998 NBA playoffs final attracting over 35 million viewers. You can get NBA playoffs tickets 2023 to watch the best two NBA teams lock horns.
The first official game of basketball took place January 20, 1892, with just nine players on a court half of present day basketball courts. The score ended 1-0. The game of basketball spread across the United States and Canada through the various International Young Men’s Christian Association training schools in which Naismith was working. It quickly became popular. During winter, when the field was too icy to play soccer, the soccer team (10 players per team then) split themselves in half and played basketball indoors. By 1897/98, teams of five became standard.
The National Basketball League (NBL) was created in 1937. Five current National Basketball Association (NBA) teams can trace their history to the NBL. These teams are:
- Los Angeles Lakers (formerly Minneapolis Lakers)
- Atlanta Hawks (formerly Tri-Cities Blackhawks)
- Detroit Pistons (formerly Fort Wayne Pistons)
- Sacramento Kings (formerly Rochester Royals)
- Philadelphia 76ers (formerly Syracuse Nationals)
In 1946, the Basketball Association of America (BAA) was formed. The three teams that co-founded the league are still current members of the NBA, namely:
- Boston Celtics
- New York Knicks
- Golden State Warriors
The present day NBA is made up of 30 teams. 29 from the United States and 1 from Canada.
The NBL and BAA merged in 1949 to create the National Basketball Association (NBA). Another merger occurred between the American Basketball Association (ABA) and the NBA in 1976 when the ABA threatened the dominance of the NBA. The ABA was established in 1967. The merger between the ABA and the NBA in 1976 led to the introduction of the 3-point shot. Four additional teams also joined the NBA from the NBA:
- Indiana Pacers
- San Antonio Spurs
- Denver Nuggets
- Brooklyn Nets (formerly known as New Jersey Nets)
The NBA quickly grew in popularity and became a major sport across the United States and, soon, across the world.
The NBA, just like the other three major leagues in the big four – National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB), and the National Football League (NFL), have the league season divided into the Regular season and the Playoffs. Before the regular season, there’s usually a pre-season.
Pre-season starts in September after about 3-4 months of rest. The pre-season is usually for the coach to assess his team and instill the necessary tactics and knowledge to his players in preparation for a tough regular season of 82 games“. Exhibition games are also held as a form of practice.
Each team is to submit a 15-man list (12-man active roster and 3-man inactive list) before the beginning of the season. Players with less than two years of experience in the league may be registered in the developmental G-league.
Out of the 82 games in the season, each team plays opponents in its conference 52 teams and opponents from the other conference 30 times. The regular season ends in mid-April.
The post-season tournament starts with a play-in to determine the 7th and 8th seeds that will advance to the playoffs. It is played between the 7th to 10th ranked teams in each conference. The 7th placed team plays the 8th, with the winner advancing as the 7th seed. The loser plays the winner of the game between the 9th and 10th placed teams. The winner advances as the 8th seed.
After the play-in tournament is the post-season playoffs. The top 6 teams in each conference automatically qualify for the playoffs and are joined by the 7th and 8th-seeded teams from the Play-in. Both conferences then conduct the playoffs in a bracket format. Each match-up is a game of 7. The team with the home advantage hosts games 1, 3, 5, and 7. The winner of the NBA playoffs is regarded as the current champion in the NBA.
The All-Star Break occurs in February, and it consists of various exhibition events, from the All-Star Game, Slam Dunk contest, 3-point contest, Skill Challenge, and the Rising Stars Challenge.
The All-Star Game is the finale of the All-Star break. Fans vote for the best player across the world, with the most votes getting to be captains of the Eastern and Western. The captains get to choose from a pool of All-star players voted by fans, head coaches, and the media. The player with the best performance in the All-Star Game gets the MVP award.
NBA Awards and Player Records
Bob Petit is the first player to reach the 20,000-point milestone in the NBA. He did so with the Atlanta Hawks and held the top-scoring record from 1964 to 1966. LeBron James now leads the NBA for the most, with 38,450 and counting. He surpassed Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul, who has 38,387.
Nigerian-born player Hakeem Olajuwon has the most blocks in the league, with 3830. He is also one of four players with an official quadruple-double. Nate Thurmond, Alvin Robertson, and David Robinson are the other four players. The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics have the most titles, with 17 each. The Boston Celtics won eight consecutive titles from 1959 to 1966.