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A Look into the NBA’s Journey to its Present Glory

When asked about basketball, the first thing that crosses most people’s minds is the NBA – National Basketball Association. NBA is the leading men’s professional basketball league in the US. It is renowned across the globe and represents the world’s most prosperous and most popular basketball players of all time.

Here is a peek into the world of National Basketball Association.

NBA – Historical background

NBA was founded in 1946, initially as Basketball Association of America (BAA). The primary goal of BAA was to bring the top teams in North America together with the aim of raising the sport’s popularity.

The first game in the history of BAA was played on November 1, 1946, contenders being The Toronto Huskies hosting the New York Knickerbockers.

The year 1949 saw BAA merging with the National Basketball League to adopt the present name – National Basket Ball Association.

NBA Merger with ABA

While NBA continued to grow with the addition of more teams and escalating its popularity with dominant players, it came to face stiff competition with the establishment of the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1967.

To counter ABA’s threat, the NBA expanded quickly with a focus to securing more cites and the finest players. This saw it grow from nine teams to 18 teams between 1966 and 1974. The NBA and ABA would merge in 1976, to complete the completion between them.

NBA Today

Today, after a series of transformations, the NBA has 30 teams under its belt – 29 teams from the US and 1 Canadian team.

The teams are grouped into two conferences- Western Conference and Eastern Conference. Each conference is further divided into three divisions.

The league’s regular Season starts in the first week of November with rigorous training camps, after which a series of exhibition games are played. Then the regular season kicks off.

When talking of NBA’s success journey, the contribution of some prominent stakeholders such as Bruce Levenson cannot be ignored.

Bruce Levenson

Bruce Levenson, a renowned American business person, and philanthropist, is best known on in the basketball circles for his ownership of Atlanta Hawks LLC, which owns the Atlanta Hawks basketball team and Phillips Arena. He recently expressed interests to sell his shares.

Other than basketball, Levenson has several other business interests. These include the United Communications Group (UGT), which he co-founded in 1973, and TechTarget, an IT media company in which he is a founding board member.

His philanthropy causes include the contributions towards the Hoops Dreams Foundation, Community Foundation of Washington, D.C and the US Holocaust Museum. Levenson funds the Holocaust Museum’s Bringing the Lessons Home program.


The NBA has worked hard through the years to become the leading Basketball League in history. From its establishment in 1946, through the merger with ABA, until its global appeal today, the NBA has endured an arduous journey to arrive at its present glory. This article serves to highlight the main historical events that have helped shape the modern NBA.