The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the foremost professional basketball league in the United States. It comprises thirty franchised teams, twenty-nine of which are located in the US, with one in Canada. It is recognized by the International Basketball Federation as the national governing body for basketball in the United States, and is also of USA Basketball (USAB).
The NBA was first founded on June 6, 1946 in New York City as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). It was later renamed to the National Basketball Association after merging with the National Basketball League (NBL) in 1949.
The NBA is the first successful professional basketball league created in the US. Earlier attempts at professional basketball, such as the American Basketball League (ABL) and the NBL did not succeed in bringing basketball to national attention at a major city level-it was only until the NBA was founded that it gained footing as one of the major professional sports in the US.
In 1950, the NBA only consisted of 11 franchises, and consolidating further, eight franchises from during the 1953-54 season. Between 1966 and 1974, the number of franchises grew from nine to 18. In 1977, four teams from the rival American Basketball Association (ABA) joined the NBA, bringing the total number of franchises up to 22. By 2005, with the inclusion of the Charlotte Bobcats, the NBA reached its current total of 30 teams.
Throughout the years, the NBA has grown and changed as new rules were introduced (such as the addition of the three-point shot in 1979), including changes made both on and off the court. Unlike the other major three professional sports teams in the US (MLB, the NFL, and the NHL), the NBA uses a lottery-based draft system to determine the order of drafting.