The Incredible History Of The NBA

Basketball is today a sport played and followed all over the world. In the United States, it is governed by the National Basketball Association (NBA), which is a pro-basketball league based in North America.

Today, the league is made up of a total of 30 teams – 29 of which are based in the US, and the remaining 1 in Canada.

But the league has a rich and ever-evolving history. Below is how one of the cash-richest leagues in the world got started.

The Early Years

The league was founded all the way back on June 6, 1946, in New York City. But it wasn’t always called the NBA. Back then, it was called the Basketball Association of America, and only changed its name on August 3, 1949.

This change of name took place when the BAA underwent a merger with the National Basketball League. Then in 1976, the two leagues finally combined to form the National Basketball Association, or NBA.

The Format

Today, the regular NBA season is played between October and April each year, meaning each team would play 82 games. But there’s also a Playoff tournament, which extends all the way to June.

The NBA’s head office is located in Manhattan, with its television studios located in New Jersey.

How It All Came To Be

The BAA, which came to be in 1946, was founded by owners of several major league hockey arenas located in Canada, the North-Eastern United States, and Mid-Western United States.

The most famous game of all would have been the one hosted on November 1, 1946, by the Toronto Huskies, when they played against the New York Knickerbockers in Toronto, Ontario. Today, this game is widely regarded as the very first NBA game in history, with the very first basket scored by Ossie Schectman (NY Knickerbockers).

While there had been earlier attempts at founding a professional league for the game of basketball, the BAA was officially the very first league to play primarily in the major arenas of large cities.

Breaking The Colour Barrier

The NBA is also one of the first sporting leagues to have broken through the colour barrier.

This happened during the 1947-48 season when Wataru Misaka, a player of Japanese-American descent, came onto the court for the New York Knicks. He would remain the only non-Caucasian player in the league for the next two years, until African-American star Harold Hunter joined the Washington Capitols in 1950.

While Hunter was unfortunately cut from the Capitols squad at training camp, several African-American players ended up joining the league later that year. They included Nathaniel Clifton (New York Knicks), Earl Lloyd (Washington Capitols), and Chuck Cooper (Celtics).

The Initial Dominators

It would be incomplete to look at the history of the NBA without mentioning how the Boston Celtics dominated those early years of the league’s existence.

The trio of rookie center Bill Russell, coach Red Auerbach, and point guard Bob Cousy led the Celtics to an incredible 11 NBA titles across only 13 seasons.

This means the Boston Celtics dominated the NBA in the 1960s, and it also makes of them one of the oldest teams still playing in the NBA today.

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