Over the duration of more than 65 seasons since its inception in 1946, the NBA has become the preeminent global organization for professional basketball. The league is considered one of the “Big Four” in North America and is appreciated by both casual and die-hard fans, although a 2014 Harris Poll indicates that it is less popular than the NFL, MLB, collegiate football, and auto racing.
Despite not having the most spectators, the NBA remains a cultural juggernaut that influences fashion and music and generates enormous sums of money. The average NBA team was worth $1.1 billion in 2015, a 74% increase from the previous year. The Los Angeles Lakers are the most valuable franchise ($2.6 billion), followed by the New York Knicks ($2.5 billion), the Chicago Bulls ($2 billion), and the Boston Celtics ($1.7 billion).
The purpose of this article is to provide a wide range of information regarding the National Basketball Association. From the overall history of the league to the greatest games ever played, our goal is to make even the most naive basketball devotee capable of engaging in an intelligent discussion about the sport.
Despite the fact that basketball was invented in 1891 and disseminated to college campuses a few years later, the National Basketball Association did not come into existence until 1946. In that year, proprietors of prominent hockey arenas in Canada, the Northeast, and the Midwest established the Basketball Association of America. Other organizations, including the National Basketball League and the American Basketball League, had previously attempted professional basketball, but the BAA was the first to focus on larger venues in significant metropolitan areas.
Initial NBA Matchup
On November 1, 1946, the first game in league history was played between the New York Knickerbockers and the Toronto Huskies. Shooting guard/small forward Ossie Schectman is credited with scoring the first goal. The Knicks would triumph 68-66.
Development of the NBA and Consolidation
Despite the fact that the ABL had already ceased operations, the existence of both the BAA and NBL led to an intense struggle for dominance. Teams hopped from league to league, but by the 1948-1949 season, the BAA had established a distinct advantage. During that season, the two organizations merged. While the BAA’s leadership remained unaltered, the league resolved to rebrand itself as the National Basketball Association.
The NBA was left with a mixture of teams performing in large arenas and small facilities, such as local gymnasiums, after their rival league was eliminated. The latter were deemed undesirable for long-term success, so they were gradually eliminated or relocated to larger communities with higher revenue potential. By the 1953-1954 season, the NBA consisted of only eight teams: Knicks, Warriors, Celtics, Kings, Pistons, Lakers, 76ers, and Hawks.
Prior to the introduction of the shot limit, games were low-scoring and lacked the exhilaration desired by ticket buyers. This rule had an immediate effect on the product, increasing ticket sales and making it more fan-friendly.