SHORTS

NBA: A STARTER’S GUIDE

School LIVE reporter Yuvvraj Singh gives us a 101 on NBA for our current issue, one of the largest sporting spectacles around the world. 

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is widely considered to be the men’s most premier professional basketball league in the world. It was founded 70 years ago, on 6th June 1946 in New York City, USA. It is played by 30 teams from USA and Canada.

NBA is recognised by the International Basketball Association (FIBA) and is one of the four major North American professional sports leagues (competing with Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Football League (NFL) and the National Hockey League (NHL)), by the virtue of which NBA players are the world’s best paid sportsmen.

Early Years

The first game in NBA history was played between Toronto Huskies and New York Knickerbockers on November 1, 1946 in Toronto, Ontario. The first basket was made by Ossie Schectman of the Knickerbockers.

The 1960s were dominated by the Boston Celtics, who were led by Bill Russell and Bob Cousy. Boston won eight straight championships in the NBA from 1959 to 1966. This championship streak is the longest in NBA history.

The 1970s saw the signing of a number of major stars which included Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The NBA also increased its franchises from 9 to 18 during this period. The end of the decade, however, saw declining TV ratings, low attendance and drug-related player issues, that threatened to derail the NBA.

Michael Jordan entered the league in 1984 with the Chicago Bulls, providing an even more popular star to support growing interest in the league.

In 1996, the NBA created a women’s league, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).

Famous Players and Their Teams

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Milwaukee Bucks (1969–1975) and Los Angeles Lakers (1975–1989)
  • Magic Johnson – Los Angeles Lakers (1979–1991, 1996)
  • Michael Jordan – Chicago Bulls (1984–1993, 1995–1998) and Washington Wizards (2001–2003)
  • Shaquille O’Neal – Orlando Magic (1992–1996), Los Angeles Lakers (1996–2004), Miami Heat (2004–2008) and others.
  • Bill Russell – Boston Celtics (1956–1969)
  • Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers (1996–2016)
  • LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers (2003-2010,  2014 – present) and Miami Heat (2010–2014)

NBA 2016

The NBA season of 2015-16  kicked off on October 2, 2015, with  Denver Nuggets taking on the Los Angeles Clippers, where the latter won by a score of 103 to 96. The league went on over the months, capturing its second biggest TV audience ever.

Playoffs

In 5 months’ time, after all the league games had been played, the top 16 teams qualified for the NBA Playoffs. This included major teams like Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Houston rockets among others.

The first playoff match was played between Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors, with Indiana winning 100 to 90.

8 losing teams were knocked out in the first round of the Playoffs, while the remaining 8 went on in the tournament.

The Golden State Warriors won their 3 Playoff matches to reach the Finals of the NBA Playoffs, thanks to consistent performance from their star player, Stephen Curry. They were joined by Cleveland Cavaliers as the other finalists in the NBA playoffs, who also won their previous 3 matches to reach there. Cleveland Cavaliers beat Golden State Warriors to emerge the 2016 NBA champions!

Yuvvraj Singh

Student-Reporter

July-2016