National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association (NBA) features 30 professional basketball teams split between the Eastern and Western Conferences. The league includes 29 American teams and the Toronto Raptors. Domestic and international players entertain fans with dunks, three-pointers, and amazing displays of athleticism.
The NBA began life as the Basketball Association of America in 1946. The league’s name changed to the NBA in 1949 after a merger with the National Basketball League. In the NBA’s early years, big-city franchises like the New York Knicks were joined by smaller markets like the Fort Wayne Pistons. The NBA and the American Basketball Association (ABA) competed for basketball fans from 1967 until the NBA-ABA merger in 1976. League expansion following the merger brought markets like Memphis, Toronto, Orlando, and Oklahoma City into the league.
The NBA has adopted new rules since its founding to increase the flow of the game. A 24-second shot clock was added in 1954 to prevent teams from running out the clock late in games. The three-point line was introduced to the NBA in 1979, allowing teams to expand the court and increase scoring opportunities. The creation of the defensive three-second violation in 2001 prevents the use of zone defenses that can slow down the pace of play.
Notable NBA Players
In 1997, the NBA announced a list of the 50 greatest players in league history. This list shows the evolution of professional basketball in North America. Early stars like Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and Bob Cousy pushed the boundaries of the game’s traditional rules. Following the NBA-ABA merger, talents like Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Julius Erving, and George Gervin added creativity to the game. The modern game has been lifted by the heroics of Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, LeBron James, and Steph Curry.
The Live NBA Experience
Arenas throughout the NBA infuse games with entertainment for all ages. An NBA game lasts under three hours but during that time, fans see dance teams, listen to DJs, and enjoy the antics of a team’s mascot. NBA teams often schedule artists, bands, and stunt teams for thrilling halftime shows. The intimate confines of an NBA arena allow fans to be part of the game by making noise at crucial moments.
Noteworthy NBA Events
NBA teams bring professional basketball overseas and to smaller markets in the United States during the preseason. The NBA uses Christmas Day games as an early-season showcase for the league’s top teams. Each February, the NBA All-Star Weekend attracts fans with the dunk and three-point contests as well as a high-scoring All-Star game. The league showcases the next generation of stars during the NBA Draft in late June.
NBA Schedule Information
Each NBA team plays an 82-game schedule during the regular season. The regular season starts in October and ends in April. The Eastern and Western Conferences are each divided into three divisions of five teams. NBA teams play each of their divisional rivals four times in a season along with 36 games against non-divisional conference teams and 30 games against teams in the other conference.
NBA Postseason Information
The eight teams with the best records in each conference earn spots in the NBA playoffs. Playoff teams are seeded based on their record and the first round is a best-of-five series. The following three rounds feature best-of-seven series. The winners of the Eastern and Western Conference Championships play for the league championship in the NBA Finals. Fans can expect the playoffs to last from April to June.
How to Buy NBA Tickets
NBA teams release their regular-season schedules in August and follow the release with ticket sales. As ticket sales begin, SeatGeek is a great resource to find seats to the NBA games you want to see in the upcoming season.
NBA Ticket Prices
Fans searching for NBA tickets will find an average ticket price of $94 per seat, according to SeatGeek data. Rivalry games and special events exceed this average. The best deals on tickets can often be found in early-season games or weeknight games with lighter crowds.