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National Basketball Association (NBA)

The NBA was founded in 1946 in New York City and is considered the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world. The NBA is an active member of USA Basketball which is recognized as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. In today’s modern game, the NBA is composed of 30 teams with 29 in the United States and one in Canada.

During the 1950’s, the league went from 11 franchises to eight. The 24-second shot clock was implemented in 1954. During the 1960’s, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain became one of the greatest rivalries in team sports. At the start of the 1964 season, the lane was widened from 12 to 16 feet primarily due to the dominance of Chamberlain. In the late 1960’s, the league expanded from 9 to 14 teams, and it also saw the arrival of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

In 1971, the iconic NBA silhouette logo debuted and has remained a figure of the NBA brand.  The NBA expanded rapidly from the late 1960’s into the mid-1970’s, and reached 18 franchises until four ABA franchises joined the league to make 22 NBA teams by the end of the 1976 season.

With some of the game’s biggest stars, the game surged in popularity, and scoring grew when the league added the 3-point field goal in 1979 – the year Larry Bird and Magic Johnson made their NBA debut. The Celtics would win three NBA titles and LA Lakers five titles during those super starts tenure. In the late 1970’s, the number of referees officiated games increased from two to three.

In the early 1980’s, another franchise was added to make 23 teams and the expansion and growth of the league grew globally. Michael Jordan entered the league in 1984, and four more cities were awarded franchises in the late 1980s bringing the total to 27 teams. The Chicago Bulls wiwth Jordan became a dominant franchise winning six titles during the 1990’s. The NBA expanded to Canada with two teams in 1995, but the Vancouver Grizzlies relocated to Memphis in 2001.

In the modern era starting in 1998, the Western Conference became dominant. The LA Lakers with Coach Phil Jackson and San Antonio Spurs coached by Gregg Popovich combined to win 10 NBA titles in 16 years. Tim Duncan was the dominant player for the Spurs while Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal led Los Angeles.

In 2002, use of instant replay was added. The 2010 All-Star game was played at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas in front of the largest crowd ever of 108,713. The Miami Heat won titles in 2012 and 2013 led by LeBron James, and the Golden State Warriors made their case for one of the all-time great dominant runs winning three NBA titles starting in 2015 led by Steph Curry and adding two more titles in 2017 and 2018 with Kevin Durant joining the team.

The NBA has always been a league reliant on star power and dominance, and since the 1980’s when the game really grew, some of its greatest stars have led franchises to multiple championships.

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Betting on NBA Basketball

Betting on the moneyline, spread and total in NBA basketball remain the go-to option for most players. Futures and prop betting have become increasingly popular as well, especially in recent seasons with major player movement. BetAmerica also offers wagering on international leagues, Olympics and World Cup events.

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