Before the 1949-50 season, the BAA and the NBL merged to form the National Basketball Association. In 1950, the Lakers won the inaugural NBA championship, becoming the first club to repeat as champions. In the lone Finals game involving two teams from the same state, the Rochester Royals upset the New York Knicks in 1951.
The Celtics are the most successful franchise in the history of American basketball. Founded by William G. Molloy and Edward Bennett Williams as the Boston Celtics in 1946, they have won more than 10 championships in the NBA's modern era (1947-present). The Lakers, meanwhile, have appeared in the Finals nine times but never won. The Milwaukee Bucks are the only other team to have won more than one NBA title. They did so in 1971 and 1975.
In the ABA, the Nets were the first team to win back-to-back titles when they defeated the Indiana Pacers 2-1 in 1976 and 1977. The Nets also represented the ABA during its existence, winning the 1969 championship. The Pacers, however, are the only other ABA team to have won a title; they did so in 1974. In the original NBA, the St. Louis Hawks were the first team to win three championships in a row when they accomplished the feat from 1955-57. The Minneapolis Lakers, however, have the best record (60-17) in NBA history without ever having won a title.
Prior to the 1949–50 season, when the Basketball Association of America (BAA) combined with the National Basketball League (NBL) to become the NBA, the series was known as the BAA Finals. From 1950 until 1985, the competition was known as the NBA World Championship Series, with a brief spell as the Showdown. The first NBA champion was awarded in 1951, when the New York Knicks defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 4 games to 3.
The Finals are played between the reigning NBA champions and the winners of a play-in game held by both teams. If one team wins both its opening round matches, it advances directly to the Finals; if not, then the winner of the best-of-seven series earns the right to go through. The current format was adopted in 1985, when the previous system was found to be unfair to smaller markets who lacked the financial resources to compete with larger ones.
Under the old system, the team that finished ahead of the other in the standings went into the championship series unproven because they had not yet beaten the leader. Now that both teams have equal status, this problem does not arise.
The Finals are usually held over two days, with Game 1 being played on Wednesday and Game 2 on Friday. If the series goes beyond two games, they are played back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday. If there is a Game 7, it will typically be played on the following Monday night.
Six surviving National League clubs joined the BAA on August 3, 1949. The 17-team league that results is dubbed the National Basketball Association (the NBA). .. A History of the NBA Teams
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Six surviving National League clubs joined the BAA on August 3, 1949. The 17-team league that resulted was dubbed the National Basketball Association (the NBA).
The first season began with 16 teams, as the New York Knicks refused to play their home games at Madison Square Garden, which their owner had been forced to sell. The team moved its games to the nearby Forrest Lawn Cemetery until they could build a new stadium in Westchester County. The remaining six teams were the Baltimore Bullets, Boston Celtics, Chicago Stags, Philadelphia Warriors, Pittsburgh Ironmen, and Washington Capitols.
In the end, the Knicks left for Manhattan, winning two of three games played against American basketball's first dynasty. The Bullets also left for DC, but not before winning the first game ever played in Baltimore. The Celtics finished last, having lost all of their games.
The second season started with 17 teams again, as the San Francisco Warriors folded after one season. The defending champion Knicks returned to action along with the rest of the league's existing teams, although now under the ownership of Walter Brown (who bought out his partner's share) and Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. (who took over the Stag franchise).
Years later, the Lakers completed a three-peat by winning the NBA championship in 2000, 2001, and 2002.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) combines with its competitor, the American Basketball Association (ABA), on August 5, 1976, and acquires the ABA's four most successful franchises: the Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, New York (later Brooklyn) Nets, and San Antonio Spurs. The merger creates a single national league that is divided into two divisions - East and West - with each containing five teams.
The ABA was founded in 1967 by eight former NFL players who wanted to keep basketball as an amateur sport. They created a new division called the Eastern Conference because there were already another basketball league operating in the Eastern United States - the National Basketball League (NFL). The ABA expanded rapidly, drawing large audiences and providing much-needed competition for the NFL. In 1974, the ABA merged with the NBA, forming one large league of twelve teams.
In any case, both the NBA and the ABA originated in the 1960s and they both last until the 1976 merger. Thus, they could not have come before this date.