Monday, March 30, 2009

The National Basketball Association

In 1946, the Basketball Association of America started the first basketball season in America. However, in 1949 the BAA merged with the National Basketball League to form the National Basketball Association which is better known as NBA.

In the beginning, NBA had seventeen franchises. However, this was reduced to eleven in 1950 after the franchises were consolidated. 1950 also witnessed a major change in NBA with the acceptance of first African American players. Chuck Cooper joined the Boston Celtics, Nat Clifton joined the New York Knicks and Earl Lloyd joined the Washington Capitols. In 1950, Minneapolis Lakers won the first NBA Championship.

In 1954, NBA had the smallest number of franchises with only 8 teams. These were Knickerbockers, Celtics, Warriors, Lakers, Royals / Kings, Pistons, Hawks and Nationals / 76ers. These eight franchises are still there today.

Until 1967 NBA played with the six team format when it expanded by the addition of two teams. This expansion was in response to the American Basketball Association being formed. The two teams were added in 1975 and 1977. In 1976, NBA reached an agreement with American Basketball Association which added four of its franchises to the NBA raising the total number of franchises in NBA to 22.

The current sixteen team tournament started in 1984. The first round was then changed to a best of five playoff. In 2003, the format was changed again to best of seven which is still being used. There are now thirty franchises in NBA and the division structure has been realigned with three divisions and each having five teams. These changes too place from 2004 to 2005.

By Nigel Kerry

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