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NBA——One of the four major professional sports leagues
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the famous men’s professional basketball league in North America, and is widely believe to be the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world. It has 30 teams (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada), and is an active member of USA Basketball (USAB), which is recognized by FIBA (also known as the International Basketball Federation) as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada.
The league was set up in New York City on June 6, 1946, as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). The league adopted the name National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after merging with its rival National Basketball League (NBL).
Creation and merger
The Basketball Association of America was founded in 1946 by owners of the major ice hockey arenas in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Canada. On November 1, 1946, in Toronto, Canada, the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens, in a game the NBA now think as the first played in its history. Although there had been earlier attempts at professional basketball leagues, including the American Basketball League and the NBL, the BAA was the first league to try to play primarily in large arenas in major cities. During its early years, the quality of play in the BAA was not significantly better than in competing leagues or among leading independent clubs such as the Harlem Globetrotters. For example, the 1948 ABL finalist Baltimore Bullets moved to the BAA . Prior to the 1948–49 season, however, NBL teams from Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, and Rochester jumped to the BAA, which established the BAA as the league of choice for collegians looking to turn professional.
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Following the 1948–49 season, the BAA took in the remainder of the NBL: Syracuse, Anderson, Tri-Cities, Sheboygan, Denver, and Waterloo. In deference to the merger and to avoid possible legal complications, the league name was changed from the BAA to the National Basketball Association in spite of having the same BAA governing body including Podoloff. The new league had seventeen franchises located in a mix of large and small cities, as well as large arenas and smaller gymnasiums and armories. In 1950, the NBA consolidated to eleven franchises, a process that continued until 1953–54, when the league reached its smallest size of eight franchises: the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia Warriors, Minneapolis Lakers, Rochester Royals, Fort Wayne Pistons, Tri-Cities Blackhawks, and Syracuse Nationals, all of which remain in the league today. The Hawks shifted from the Tri-Cities to Milwaukee in 1951, and then to St. Louis in 1955. The Rochester Royals moved from Rochester, New York, to Cincinnati in 1957 and the Pistons relocated from Fort Wayne, Indiana to Detroit .