The National Basketball Association (NBA) has undergone remarkable changes, establishing itself as the premier basketball league worldwide and leaving an indelible mark on the world of sports.
The NBA's story begins in 1946 when it was founded by Walter Brown as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). The BAA merged with the National Basketball League (NBL) in 1949, forming the National Basketball Association (NBA) with only 11 teams.
The first NBA Finals took place in the 1946-1947 season, and it was a significant moment that laid the foundation for the league's future. The matchup featured the Philadelphia Warriors and the Chicago Stags. The Philadelphia Warriors won the finals, winning the championship 4-1. This historic moment would soon be the starting point for decades of NBA Finals to come.
The 1980s ushered in a new era of NBA basketball, defined by the "Showtime" Lakers, led by the icon, Magic Johnson and headlined by Larry Bird. The rivalry between these teams brought the NBA into the mainstream.
This era also witnessed the emergence of Michael Jordan, who would go on to become one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Jordan's six championships with the Chicago Bulls and his influence off the court helped the NBA gain international recognition.
During the 1990s, the league's international appeal soared, thanks to players like Hakeem Olajuwon, Dirk Nowitzki, and Yao Ming. The 1992 Barcelona Olympics, which featured the "Dream Team" composed of NBA stars like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, showcased the league's international reach across Europe, Asia, and beyond, popularizing basketball on a global scale. Today, international players are integral to the league.
The NBA Draft, held annually, is a process through which teams select rookie players in a predetermined order. The draft order is determined by a lottery system, where the 14 teams with the fewest wins have a chance to secure the top picks. After the first 14 selections are made, the remaining teams choose their players in reverse order of their regular season performance, with the team holding the best record picking last. The annual draft is an eagerly anticipated event that never fails to excite viewers.
In recent years, the NBA has undergone further evolution, marked by its 2022/2023 regular season consisting of 82 games. Each team competes in 3 to 4 matches against their counterparts, totaling 56 games per team. Within their respective divisions, teams face each other four times, twice at home and twice on the road. These games determine which teams will advance to the playoffs and potentially reach the finals.
Additionally, the league's All-Star Games hosted every February include NBA's top players, selected from both the Eastern and Western Conferences. This highly anticipated event serves as a platform for the league's most iconic players and rookies to showcase their talents and celebrate the game of basketball. It's a tradition that brings fans together, celebrating the players' amazing talents.
The NBA’s list of all-time Legends continues to grow with each new generation, with names like LeBron James, Michael Stephen Curry, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, and many more.
The NBA continues to be a global cultural and sporting phenomenon that captures the hearts of fans all around the world, with its influence extending far beyond the basketball court.
Discover our NBA collection to wear to future games!