Brief History of the NBA
The history of the National Basketball Association, NBA, dates back from the mid-90s. In 1946, the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League were merged into NBA with 16 teams emerging from small towns and large cities. In the initial six years, it lost eight teams with only eight left to play and a severe financial crunch. Until 1955, it played with those eight teams however in 1961, there was the addition of the Chicago Packers, known as Washington Wizards today.
However, history shows that this expansion and successful turn weren’t because of Chicago Packers but much of the credit goes to Chicago Bulls that joined NBA in 1966. From 1966 till 2004, NBA witnessed a drastic expansion with 21 teams under its league.
Teams of the Era
The fame and achievements of NBA have always been directed by some significant teams, which historians also name as the ‘teams of the era’. The Minneapolis Lakers and star George Mikan have ruled the early decades of NBA, winning 5 championships from 1948 to 1956. The Boston Celtics conquered from 1957 till 1969 and led 11 championships. In the 1980s, the Lakers and Celtics together gave a new successful zone to NBA after winning 8 title championships. In the 1990s, the world witnessed Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan taking 6 titles and in 2000, the Lakers came back with a bang, taking 5 more titles under their name.
In the 1960s, when NBA was going through growth, expansion and success, a rival league was formed by the name of ABA. In 1976 the ABA and NBA merged.
In the 1980s, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird brought a tremendous growth to the league and ruled for a decade. This success and growth gave a new dimension to NBA, opening new doors of media and television for them. This was the time NBA signed TV shows and programs, officially appearing on screens other. With Jordan shining in the stadium and television screens, more cities wished to be part of NBA. During 98-99, four teams, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Minnesota Timberwolves and Charlotte Hornets joined the league, making the total of 27.
In 1995, NBA welcomed Canada with Vancouver Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors. Soon in 2001, the Grizzlies went back and only Raptors stood to represent Canada in the NBA.
NBA also formed its women league in 1996, as the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA)
The NBA faced severe setback after a 191 days lockout by its owners in the year 1998, resulting in 61% reduced games and cancellation of the All-Star Game.
The Western Conference dominated in 1998 with San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers together won 9 titles in fourteen seasons. The Lakers and Spurs continued this phase until 2007.
From 2007 onwards, NBA gave its fans some great games and nail-biting moments. The 2010 NBA All-Star Game took place with the largest crowd in the history. This time the title was enjoyed by The Mavericks, with Shawn Marion, Peja Stojakovic, Jason Kidd and Jason Terry.
July 2011 was time for another lockout, resulting in the cancellation of seasons. The owners agreed on a settlement with shortened 66-game season with a comeback by the Miami Heat. The Heat defeated Thunder and took their second NBA title in 6 years
In the NBA 2013 finals, Spurs and Heat played against each other defeating Spurs this time. During the rematch, when Spurs defeated Heat, David Stern retired from his position as the commissioner, after 30 years of service, giving the succession to Adam Silver.
In 2014, the James returned to Cavaliers and managed to reach the second finals, but the Golden State Warriors defeated them. In 2016 NBA finals, the Cavaliers and Warriors faced each other, and this time Cavaliers defeated Warriors in seven games, entitling for the first NBA championship. Until now, both Warriors and Cavaliers dominate the league and finals have been a matchup between the two.