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The National Basketball Association (NBA): All You Need to Know.

New avenues had opened up, as the world was introduced to what came to be known as, the internet. Amongst these new possibilities, was one, long sought after the fantasy of the basketball fraternity, i.e., to manage and command their personalized teams. Fantasy Basketball is one such platform where basketball enthusiasts from all over the world, come together and pit their teams against each other and see them perform. These platforms provide the user with a multitude of opportunities, from drafting their desired players to participating in leagues and playing simulated matches against their opponents. The realness of these leagues is what sets them apart. Users are to sign players from the actual NBA draft. They are allotted a fixed sum of money, which they have to organize to create a 13 man team with 2 IR players (injury reserves). Every player’s performance and rating changes according to what is happening in real life. Based on the individual player’s rating and thus the overall performance of the team, the user earns points which ultimately helps in creating the league rankings. However sometimes, scoring of a team is based on various other criteria, viz. the number of rebounds a team fares throughout a week, or the number of 3 pointers a team scores-, etc. With the increasing love for basketball all around the world, these leagues are becoming exponentially popular, and sites are solely dedicated to these leagues thus allowing the user to make the perfect dream team. 

NBA: – A TRIP DOWN THE MEMORY LANE.

What is the NBA?

The National Basketball Association, NBA, is an organization based in the United States that has the onus of looking upon the professional basketball that is played in the country. Every year the NBA organizes a tournament in which 30 teams participate to compete for the championship. NBA is bestowed with the responsibility to not only organize the championship but also with the upliftment of the sport as a whole and the community that follows the same. In recent decades, basketball viewership has undergone a massive surge due to some well laid out plans and since then, has become one of the most followed sports in the world.

Timeline.

1949: – After a long-fought battle over dominance in the sport, the two associations, Basketball Association of America (BAA) and National Basketball League (NBL) joined hands to form the National Basketball Association.

1950-60: – This timeframe saw many drastic changes that were brought in the game. Setting up of 24-second clock to prevent stalling by teams with huge leads, lengthening of the lane from 6 to 12 feet were some of the changes.

1961-65: – Wilt Chamberlain, was drafted in the Warriors team. With 37.6 points per game and 27 rebounds per game, Chamberlain made an impactful start to his career. He even scored a whopping 100 points in a match of 169-147 against the New York Knicks. Still, the title was retained by the Celtics. He was drafted to the ‘Philadelphia 76ers’ in 1965.

1966-70: – Wilt led the 76ers to their second NBA championship, defeating the Celtics in the process. NBA meanwhile, faced new competition from the American Basketball Association. Predictions of critiques of the Celtics team to lose the championship proved to be wrong as the Celtics regained the title in 1968. This period also saw an expansion of the NBA throughout the country.

1970-80: – This period saw the emergence of greats like Kareem Abdul Jabbar whose skyhook was one of the most feared shots at the time. Other greats like Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, and Oscar Robertson were set to retire. This period also witnessed a sparkling surge in the NBA fandom in the country and throughout the world.

1980-90: – The ’84 draft was one of the most prolific draft in the history of the NBA, producing the likes of Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and John Stockton.

1990-00: – The decade began with the second repeat of title wins. The ’91 final saw Jordan facing Johnson. Jordan came out to be victorious. Steve Kerr of the Bulls made an, in this decade by winning the championship 4 times and once in 2003. These were the highlights of the decade.

2000-10: – The decade saw the dominance of Spurs and Warriors in the NBA with the association gaining more than ever viewership.

2010-20: – This decade saw the emergence of teams like Golden State, Miami Heats with prolific players like Stephen Curry, LeBron James, and DeAndre Jordan.

THE SEASON

There are 30 teams in the NBA, 29 being from the United States, and 1 from Canada. These are divided into two, the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. Within a Conference, there are “divisions” of 5 teams each. The NBA schedule is designed as a complex maze entailing both Intra- and Inter-division, and Intra-conference matches spread over the Pre-Season. The top 8 teams of each Conference then move into the Play-offs, from where two survivor teams reach the Finals.

PRE-SEASON:
At the opening stage of the Pre-Season, each team plays 4 matches per division, leading to a total of 16 matches. The second stage sees inter-conference matches, with each Eastern team playing one game at home, and one away, against each of the Western teams, giving a total of 30 more games. In the third stage, each team from one division plays against every team from the remaining two. This leads to a total of 82 games played in all by each team in the Pre-Season.

PLAY-OFFS:
Within the respective Conferences, NBA standings are made, based on the NBA scores. The top 8 from either conference qualify for the Play-offs. Within the conference rankings, the team at the first position plays against that at the last in a series of seven matches, with the format of 2-2-1-1-1 (2 home, 2 away, 1 home, 1 away, 1 home), thus giving the leading team a home advantage (more matches being played only if necessary). Similarly, the teams ranked second and seventh, third and sixth, and fourth and fifth play against each other. This series goes on until, eventually, only one team remains from each Conference. These are the top two competitors, the semi-finalists, of the NBA tournament.

NBA FINALS:
These semi-finalists then engage in a conclusive match to finally decide who will be crowned as the NBA champions.

PROMINENT PERSONALITIES

DAVID STERN

The Year 2020 began, but not on a happy note for the basketball community as it lost one of the greatest influencers in NBA history. David was instrumental in changing the game during his 30-year tenure, since 1984, as the commissioner of the NBA. When he took the stewardship the league was plagued with low viewership and fan base. He successfully turned around the sport with his magnificent marketing skills. Voted as ‘Executive of the Decade’ he hung his boots as the commissioner on June 1, 2014. Today basketball is one of the most-watched sports across the globe paralleling soccer. This Architect of modern basketball died at the age of 77.

MICHAEL JORDAN

Given the moniker of Air Jordan and famous for his sport-shoe range, Michael Jordan was drafted in 1984. Michael, in his playing days, was considered as one of the most prolific players of all time, having led the ‘Chicago Bulls’ to title thrice. Despite being on the bench for most of the season due to an ankle injury, he was named Rookie of the Year in 1985. Enjoying the title of MVP five times in his career, he retired from professional basketball to pursue other avenues in 1993 but returned to basketball in 1995 to continue his glorious career. In 1998, Michael announced his retirement again, bought a share in the ‘Washington Wizards’. In 2001, donning the jersey of ‘Wizards’ he reentered the court. Finally calling it a day in 2003, he has settled down as a majority owner of ‘Charlotte Bobcats’.

LEBRON JAMES

Clocking 35 years and still going strong, Lebron James is an idol to aspiring basketball players. LeBron has achieved it all and synonymous with success. Once a highest-paid player in the game he is one of the richest athletes. He initially joined the ‘Cavaliers’. Switching to ‘Miami Heat’ he was instrumental for 2 NBA titles for the before joining the ‘Los Angeles Lakers’ in 2018 where he currently plays.

STEPHEN CURRY

Donning the Golden State Warriors jersey, and leading the team, Stephen has won the NBA title 3 times with the team. Growing up as a son of a NBA player, Stephen was always into the game. Owing this to his career, Stephen brought the NBA title for the first time in 40 years back to the Warriors. Often referred to as one of the greats, Stephen is currently benched due to a wrist injury.

WOMEN NBA

Women’s Basketball Association was founded in 1993, could not attract attention and fail. To rejuvenate women’s basketball in the country the NBA established the Women’s National Basketball Association in 1997. After a timid start, WNBA gained pace by 2002 eliminating the competition by dissolving the American Basketball League. WNBA has now become the most accomplished women’s sport in the USA. In 2006, WNBA celebrated its 10th anniversary with the announcement of an All-Decade Team. Originally starting with 8 teams, WNBA has now expanded and has 12 teams. In this day and age, where gender equality has become a prime issue, this initiative which began 23 years ago, has amassed revenue of about 25 million dollars, thus making it one of the biggest franchises in women’s sport.

CURRENT SEASON

This year is the 74th edition of the NBA championship. The Pre Season began on 22nd October 2019 and is scheduled to end on 15th April 2020. This will be followed by the Play-off round beginning on 18th April and it will end with the NBA finals taking place in June 2020.  

MPL Teamhttps://www.mpl.live/
MPL Team - Enjoy reading gaming, fantasy, poker, and rummy articles by the MPL team on the MPL blog.

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