The National Basketball Association, or NBA, is the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world. Held in North America, it features 29 teams in the United States and one team from Canada, competing in a gruelling 82-game regular season and a possible 28 game playoff series.
Founded in New York City in 1946 as the BAA, or Basketball Association of America, the league became the NBA when it merged with the NBL (National Basketball League) in 1949. The league was then divided into two Conferences, the Eastern and Western Conferences, and six Divisions, the Atlantic, Central, Southeast, Northwest, Pacific and Southwest. As part of the four major North American professional sports leagues, which also include the NFL, NHL and MLB, it is the main sport in the States during spring, given the NFL finishes four months earlier. Given the salary cap is quite large, NBA players are some of the highest paid sportsmen in the world.
The playoffs are a best-of-seven elimination tournament to decide which two teams will go through to the NBA Finals. Starting with the Conference quarterfinals, the four best teams of each conference square off against the four bottom teams of the final eight. Then the winners go toe-to-toe in the Conference semi-finals to find out who will challenge for the Conference championships. Then, once the Conference champion is decided, the two conference winners face off in the NBA Finals to determine who the best is in the league. The Celtics have been crowned NBA champions more times than any other franchise (17). The Los Angeles Lakers are close behind with 16 final victories, but they also hold the record for most Finals defeats, losing on the big stage 15 times.
|YEAR||WINNER||RUNNERS UP||SERIES SCORE|
|2014/2015||GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS||CLEVELAND CAVALIERS||4-2|
|2013/2014||SAN ANTONIO SPURS||MIAMI HEAT||4-1|
|2012/2013||MIAMI HEAT||SAN ANTONIO SPURS||4-3|
|2011/2012||MIAMI HEAT||OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER||4-1|
|2010/2011||DALLAS MAVERICKS||MIAMI HEAT||4-2|
|2009/2010||LOS ANGELES LAKERS||BOSTON CELTICS||4-3|
|2008/2009||LOS ANGELES LAKERS||ORLANDO MAGIC||4-1|
|2007/2008||BOSTON CELTICS||LOS ANGELES LAKERS||4-2|
|2006/2007||SAN ANTONIO SPURS||CLEVELAND CAVALIERS||4-0|
|2005/2006||MIAMI HEAT||DALLAS MAVERICKS||4-2|