On this day in 1946, at the Commodore Hotel in New York City, the National Basketball Association (NBA) was founded. Known at that time as the Basketball Association of America, it changed its name to the National Basketball Association on 3 August 1949, after merging with the competing National Basketball League. At that time, the league consisted of 17 teams, with the number reaching as low as 8 during the 1950’s.

Today, the NBA boasts 30 teams and is a worldwide sensation, with 29 of these based in the United States, and the current champions – the Toronto Raptors – hailing from Canada. The Boston Celtics are the franchise’s most successful team, with a staggering 17 championships to their name. Their arch rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers, come in second with 16. The league has been home to some of the biggest athletes in the world, such as the likes of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James, whose influence has extended far beyond the reach of the courts in which they certified their greatness.

Over the years, the league has continued to evolve in terms of enhancing the game and making it more entertaining, with the introduction of the 24 second shot clock in 1954 to discourage stalling and the invention of the 3 point line to give players incentives to shoot from further down the court. Today, the NBA is watched by millions around the world and has become a household name in many nations.

“The game is my wife. It demands loyalty

and responsibility, and it gives me back

fulfillment and peace.”

– Michael Jordan.