What is the National Basketball Association?


What is the National Basketball Association, known as NBA?

The National Basketball Association, more known as the NBA, is a professional basketball league formed in the United Stats of America in 1949 by the merger of two rival organizations, the National Basketball League (founded in 1937) and the Basketball Association of America (founded in 1946).

In 1976 the NBA absorbed four teams from the American Basketball Association (ABA), which disbanded that year.

League growth and membership

By the early 1980s the NBA was plagued by money-losing franchises, low attendance, declining television ratings and, limited national appeal. The league soon rebounded under the leadership of David Stern, NBA commissioner from 1984, who helped transform it into an international entertainment company. Aggressive marketing highlighted star players such as Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and, especially Michael Jordan.

Other innovations included league limits on players salaries, lucrative broadcast rights for networks and cable television and, expanded All-Star Game festivities.

The National Basketball Association membership was divided into two conferences, each with three divisions. At total, there were 30 teams, aligned as follows:

Eastern Conference

Western Conference

When the NBA was founded, each team only played around 60 games per season, but that number soon went up when new franchises joined the league and the NBA began to earn more money. The first time NBA teams had to play 82 games in one season was in the 1967-1968 season. That season, two expansion teams, the San Diego Rockets and the Seattle Supersonics, joined  the league. Therefore, the total amount of games went up from 81 to 82 games per season. At that point, the NBA had 12 active teams, which meant that each team had to play against each other team in their conference eight times and, against teams in other conferences seven times. Since then, 18 more NBA teams have joined the league, but the amount of games per team has stayed the same. Now, each team plays about 3.5 games per week in about 165 games.

The NBA uses a formula to decide on the scheduling of games. That formula consists of 5 different factors that can be divided in different categories. The five factors are: the scheduling formula, court availability, official breaks, conflicts and broadcasters.

Scheduling Formula
  1. Each team has to play four games against the other four teams in their division. (16 games in total)
  2. Four games against six out-of-division conference teams. (24 games in total)
  3. Three games against the other four teams in the conference. (12 games)
  4. Two games against all teams in the opposing conference. (30 games)

There are 15 teams in a conference and, after a team plays against all four teams in their division, there are still 10 opponents left. Then, a five-year rotation decides which of those teams are played against four times and which teams are played against three times.

Court Availability

Before the end of the previous season, every team has to submit a list with 50 dates their home court will be available, under which 4 Mondays and 4 Thursdays.

Official Breaks

There are several pre-determined days when there are no games, such as holidays and during the All-Star weekend.


Some NBA teams play on courts or arenas that house several professional sports teams, such as the LA Lakers and the LA Clippers and, the NY Knicks and the NY Rangers (NHL). These scheduling conflicts have to be resolved beforehand. For example, there has to be enough time between a Knicks and Rangers game, so they can convert the court.


The broadcasters pay a lot of money to gain the rights of the NBA, therefore they have some say in when the games will be played. For their convenience, the time a game starts can be moved to better fit their broadcasting schedule.

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.
Cookies settings
Privacy & Cookie policy
Privacy & Cookies policy
Cookie name Active

Privacy Policy

What information do we collect?

We collect information from you when you register on our site or place an order. When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your: name, e-mail address or mailing address.

What do we use your information for?

Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways: To personalize your experience (your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs) To improve our website (we continually strive to improve our website offerings based on the information and feedback we receive from you) To improve customer service (your information helps us to more effectively respond to your customer service requests and support needs) To process transactions Your information, whether public or private, will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other company for any reason whatsoever, without your consent, other than for the express purpose of delivering the purchased product or service requested. To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature To send periodic emails The email address you provide for order processing, will only be used to send you information and updates pertaining to your order.

How do we protect your information?

We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you place an order or enter, submit, or access your personal information. We offer the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our Payment gateway providers database only to be accessible by those authorized with special access rights to such systems, and are required to?keep the information confidential. After a transaction, your private information (credit cards, social security numbers, financials, etc.) will not be kept on file for more than 60 days.

Do we use cookies?

Yes (Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computers hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the sites or service providers systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information We use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart, understand and save your preferences for future visits, keep track of advertisements and compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may contract with third-party service providers to assist us in better understanding our site visitors. These service providers are not permitted to use the information collected on our behalf except to help us conduct and improve our business. If you prefer, you can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies via your browser settings. Like most websites, if you turn your cookies off, some of our services may not function properly. However, you can still place orders by contacting customer service. Google Analytics We use Google Analytics on our sites for anonymous reporting of site usage and for advertising on the site. If you would like to opt-out of Google Analytics monitoring your behaviour on our sites please use this link (https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout/)

Do we disclose any information to outside parties?

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.


The minimum information we need to register you is your name, email address and a password. We will ask you more questions for different services, including sales promotions. Unless we say otherwise, you have to answer all the registration questions. We may also ask some other, voluntary questions during registration for certain services (for example, professional networks) so we can gain a clearer understanding of who you are. This also allows us to personalise services for you. To assist us in our marketing, in addition to the data that you provide to us if you register, we may also obtain data from trusted third parties to help us understand what you might be interested in. This ‘profiling’ information is produced from a variety of sources, including publicly available data (such as the electoral roll) or from sources such as surveys and polls where you have given your permission for your data to be shared. You can choose not to have such data shared with the Guardian from these sources by logging into your account and changing the settings in the privacy section. After you have registered, and with your permission, we may send you emails we think may interest you. Newsletters may be personalised based on what you have been reading on theguardian.com. At any time you can decide not to receive these emails and will be able to ‘unsubscribe’. Logging in using social networking credentials If you log-in to our sites using a Facebook log-in, you are granting permission to Facebook to share your user details with us. This will include your name, email address, date of birth and location which will then be used to form a Guardian identity. You can also use your picture from Facebook as part of your profile. This will also allow us and Facebook to share your, networks, user ID and any other information you choose to share according to your Facebook account settings. If you remove the Guardian app from your Facebook settings, we will no longer have access to this information. If you log-in to our sites using a Google log-in, you grant permission to Google to share your user details with us. This will include your name, email address, date of birth, sex and location which we will then use to form a Guardian identity. You may use your picture from Google as part of your profile. This also allows us to share your networks, user ID and any other information you choose to share according to your Google account settings. If you remove the Guardian from your Google settings, we will no longer have access to this information. If you log-in to our sites using a twitter log-in, we receive your avatar (the small picture that appears next to your tweets) and twitter username.

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Compliance

We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act), we do not collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older.

Updating your personal information

We offer a ‘My details’ page (also known as Dashboard), where you can update your personal information at any time, and change your marketing preferences. You can get to this page from most pages on the site – simply click on the ‘My details’ link at the top of the screen when you are signed in.

Online Privacy Policy Only

This online privacy policy applies only to information collected through our website and not to information collected offline.

Your Consent

By using our site, you consent to our privacy policy.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page.
Save settings
Cookies settings