National Basketball Association Overview


There are professional basketball leagues in many countries, however, the National Basketball Association (NBA) attracts the highest quality of players and show cases the most competitive matches. 

The league was founded in 1946 and compromises of thirty teams of which one is in Canada and twenty-nine in the USA. The map below shows the logo of all thirty  teams and their geographical location. These teams are divided into the Eastern and Western Conferences with fifteen teams in each conference. Also, the conferences are further subdivided into the following division and teams . 

The teams are listed based on their current rankings of the 2020-2021 season. 

Eastern Conference:

Atlantic Division

  • Philadelphia 76ers
    • Brooklyn Nets
    • New York Knicks
    • Boston Celtics
    • Toronto Raptors

Central Division

  • Milwaukee Bucks
    • Indiana Pacers
    • Detroit Pistons
    • Chicago Bulls
    • Cleveland Cavaliers

Southeast Division

  • Atlanta Hawks
    •     Miami Heat
      •    Charlotte Hornets
      •     Washington Wizards
      •     Orlando Magic

Western Conference:

Northwest Division

  •    Utah Jazz
    • Denver Nuggets
      •    Portland Trail Blazers
      •    Minnesota Timberwolves
      •    Oklahoma City Thunder (Formerly Seattle Supersonics)

Pacific Division

  • Phoenix Suns
    • Los Angeles Clippers
      • Los Angeles Lakers
      • Golden State Warriors
      • Sacramento Kings

Southwest Division 

  • Dallas Mavericks
    • Memphis Grizzlies
      • San Antonio Spurs
      • New Orleans Pelicans
      • Houston Rockets

Source: Pintrest

Regular season ends…Playoffs begin

The NBA regular season typically begins in October and concludes in April. The top 8 teams from the Eastern and Western conference based on their win-loss record make it to the playoffs. The playoffs schedule is determined by the seeding  of each team in the conference. 

The number one seed plays the eight, the second seed plays the seventh, the third seed plays the sixth and the fourth seed plays the fifth. Each playoff series consists of seven games – the team with the maximum number of wins in the regular season gets home court advantage and play four games in its arena and three in the opponents. 

If you have been doing the math by now you have probably have determined that a team has to win three playoff series against its opponents to play for the NBA championship – commonly referred to as the World Championship.  

For the current NBA season the league has instituted a “Play-In Tournament,” from May 18th to May 21st. The teams with the seventh-highest and eighth-highest winning percentage in the Western and Eastern conference will have two chances to win one game and qualify for the playoffs. The ninth and tenth highest percentage team will have to win two consecutive games to qualify for the playoffs. 

NBA Championship winners and runner-up’s of the last five years

2016:          Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors in 7                              games

2017:          Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in 5 games

2018:          Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in 4 games

2019:          Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in 6 games

2020:          Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in 6 games

Top 5 highest paid NBA players for the 2020-2021 season

They have combined salaries of more than $200 million. Here are the top 5 highest paid NBA players for the 2020-2021 season:

  1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warrior –  $43 million
  2. Russell Westbrook, Washington Wizards –  $41 million
  3. Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns – $41 million 
  4. James Harden, Brooklyn Nets – $41 million 
  5. John Wall, Houston Rockets – $41 million 

More on NBA salaries here –

Top 5 highest valued NBA teams 

According to Forbes, “the average team in the NBA is worth $2.2 billion, up 4% over last year”  The thirty teams of the NBA are worth close to $60 billion – that is equal to the GDP of Croatia and Uruguay which are ranked 75th and 76th out 180 countries per the International  Monetary Fund’s 2019 rankings. 

Here are the five highest valued team of the NBA:

  1. New York Knicks. $5 billion
  2. Golden State Warriors: $4.7 billion
  3. Los Angeles Lakers. $4.6 billion
  4. Chicago Bulls: $3.3 billion
  5. Boston Celtics: $3.2 billion 

More on NBA team valuations here: