The NBA, National Basketball Association, is considered by many to be the best basketball league in the world. Founded in 1946, the league adopted the NBA name three years later, after the merger between the ABA - American Basketball Association and the NBL - National Basketball League.
Since its beginnings, the competition has been growing, not only in the quality of the basketball game, but also for the media coverage that has turn the league on a global phenomenon. NBA went through several phases, many of them with significant impact on American society. The equality of rights for athletes of different races is probably the most evident example of the importance that the league had for the development of society.
Inside the basketball courts, there were several teams writing golden pages of history. From the Boston Celtics' dominance in the 1960s, through the 1980s rivalry between Magic Johnson's Lakers and Larry Bird's Celtics, to the reign of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, until the turn of the century which was marked by the excellence of the Lakers of Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant and the Spurs of Tim Duncan. Meanwhile, a new king named LeBron James took over as the face of a league that in the second decade of this century was dominated by the Warriors of Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant.
Today, the competition is comprised of 30 teams, 29 of which are based in the USA and one in Canada. The goal of all of them is just one: To win the Larry O'Brien Trophy, which honors the winning team of the NBA Finals.