The National Basketball Association is a professional basketball league and home to 29 teams based out of the United States, and one based out of Canada. The regular season of the NBA contains 82 games and takes place from October to April. The eastern conference is composed of the atlantic, central, and southeast divisions. And the western conference is composed of the northwest, pacific, and southwest division. Mid-season, the NBA All-Star Weekend takes place including eight special events. The NBA playoffs follow in June. During the offseason is the NBA Draft, the NBA free agency, and the NBA Awards. The NBA Awards shine light on the players selected to the All-NBA teams, All-Rookie Teams, All-Defensive Teams, Sixth Man of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, NBA MVP, and many more.
The NBA was officially formed in 1949, merging two smaller leagues. Upon the merger, the league was dominated by Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics. In 1969 the NBA logo was designed, modeling the silhouette of Hall of Famer Jerry West. In 1979, rookies Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were drafted, confirming the lifetime rivalry between their two respected teams. In 1984 Michael Jordan was drafted, but the late 80s were dominated by the Detroit Pistons and the Bad Boys era. The 90s were dominated by Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, followed by the dominance of the western conference in the 2000s behind the Kobe and Shaquille O’Neal led Lakers and the Tim Duncan and David Robinson led San Antonio Spurs. In the late 2000s, the Lakers-Celtics rivalry continued in the NBA Finals twice. The Celtics remain the winningest franchise in the NBA with 17 total championships, followed by the Lakers’ 16. With constant roster regroupings, younger players like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Dwight Howard, and James Harden became the faces of the NBA, ending and starting yet another era.
The 2010s brought LeBron James his first two rings with the star-studded Miami Heat but in between those victories, OG’s Dirk Nowitski and Tim Duncan snagged the last of their careers. The mid 2010s was dominated by Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and the Golden State Warriors who went on to face Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, and the Cleveland Cavaliers in three consecutive years. During that time, the Warriors added Kevin Durant and broke the NBA record for the most wins in a season with an alluring 73-9 record. With LeBron James signing onto the Lakers in 2018, there was ample room for a new team to make it out of the eastern conference. Taking his team all the way to the city’s first NBA Championship, Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors emerged victorious at the end of the 2018-19 season. For the 2019-20 NBA season, there are probably as many legitimate championship contenders as there has ever been. Newly designed teams like the Kawhi and PG-13 led Los Angeles Clippers and Stephen Curry and D’Angelo Russell led Warriors can emerge from the west. For the east, the Giannis Antetokounmpo led Bucks will look to redeem themselves while Kemba Walker and the Boston Celtics will try to emerge as a sleeper team. For the first time in years, this NBA season is wide open for new victors. This is a season you would regret missing unfold.