The NBA is the most famous major American sports league in the world. While NBA games are not as well attended as MBL and NFL games, the league has international appeal, and its finest players are amongst the most recognised sports stars in the world.
The NBA comprises 30 professional basketball franchises from the United States and Canada split into an Eastern and Western conference. Every team in each conference plays 82 regular season home-and-away fixtures against teams from both conferences. The top 8 teams in each conference progress to the playoffs.
The NBA playoffs consist of teams competing in a knockout competition, where they participate in best-of-seven series. The winner of each series then progresses through to the next round, until two teams progress through to the seven game NBA Finals.
A wide variety of betting markets are available for regular season NBA games. Fans and punters can bet money on anything from series winners through to points scorers, with additional special betting markets available for big games including the NBA Finals.
The history of the NBA can be traced back to 1946, when the Basketball Association of America came into existence. While professional basketball teams had already existed for some time, along with a selection of semi-structured regional leagues, the Basketball Association of America is recognised as being the first high profile national league.
The NBA itself was created in 1949, when the BAA merged with the smaller National Basketball League. This resulted in the incorporation of the most popular and powerful clubs in the country into a single league. The NBA took more than a decade to find its feet, fluctuating in size as franchises came in and out of existence or relocated to different cities.
The NBA entered a golden period during the late 1970s, when top players like Magic Johnson became household names for the first time. During this period the NBA expanded to include additional teams from the rival American Basketball Association, and it also began attracting international interest.
During the past two decades the NBA has become something of a global phenomenon, with a wide selection of the world’s top basketball players plying their trade in the league. International interest in the NBA has also invigorated domestic leagues around the world, increasing the popularity and competitiveness of the sport around the globe.
The Boston Celtics are the most successful franchise in the history of the National Basketball Association, having triumphed at the NBA Finals on 17 occasions. The LA Lakers are the second most successful team in the history of the NBA Finals with 14 wins. Together, these two teams account for half of all NBA titles won to date.