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The National Basketball League is the most watched professional men’s basketball league in the entire world. The NBA is comprised of 30 North American teams - 29 from the USA and 1 Canadian - is spectated by millions of people each and every year.
The NBA is just one of the 4 major sports leagues of the US (among Major League Baseball, National Football League, and National Hockey League) but the players within the NBA receive the highest salaries among all of the world’s athletes.
The Founding of the National Basketball Association
On June 6th, 1946 the National Basketball Association was founded in New York City. Back then the league was called the Basketball Association of America. The name was changed in 1949 after joining forces with the National Basketball League.
The main headquarters of the league are located in Midtown Manhattan, although there are several international and individual team offices around the globe.
Boston Celtics Dominate Early On
Early in NBA history, the Boston Celtics were the team to watch. This was especially true starting in 1957 when Rookie of the Year Bill Russell joined the roster. There were already a few start players on the team, but Russell put the Celtics over the edge and was one of the main reasons for such an intense winning streak.
From 1959 to 1966 the Celtics won a whopping 8 championship titles, which continues to be the most consecutive winning years in NBA history. In the 60’s alone, the Celtics took home 9 out of 10 championship trophies for that decade.
A Rise in NBA Popularity in the 80’s and 90’s
The NBA was popular from its origination in the late 40’s but it saw a major peak in popularity during the decades of the 80’s and 90’s. Nobody can say for sure why this happened, but many people attribute it to the insane amount of star players that infiltrated the league.
From 1979 to 1998, the NBA saw players like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Patrick Ewing. These are just a few of the impressive players that were in and out of the NBA during this time.
International Influencers Throughout the Years
There have been quite a few international players to join the National Basketball Association over the years, but this did not really start to take off until the late 1980’s. From the 80’s on it has become much more acceptable for teams to accept international basketball stars onto the roster.
The Modern Era of the NBA
The Boston Celtics are no longer the leading dominators of the league; it is never certain from year to year who will go home with the championship title. In the past decade or so, the strongest teams of the NBA have included the Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, and of course the Boston Celtics. Some of the most well-known players of our time are LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry.