The History and Importance of the NBA - A Celebration of 75 Years!

NBA | History | 75 Years | 21st October 2021 | Virtual Wire


Picture -Forbes

Tuesday, October 19, 2021, marked the opening of the NBA’s 75th year. Basketball is a sport that many people around the world love.

In their 75 seasons, they have accomplished a lot in terms of money, viewership, and legacy. Many superstars have shaped the league's history and are still impacting the game today. All seasons, the NBA will be celebrating its 75th anniversary by naming a specialized team of NBA Legends, TV specials, and other events. NBA’s legacy to sports is undeniable - it has survived for 75 years in a world that constantly changes to make room for new ideas, sports, and technologies. Read on as we review the history of this great sport and the moments that cement its legacy.

Who Was The Founder Of Basketball?


Basketball was invented in December 1891 by Dr. James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts. As part of a class assignment, Naismith wrote the original 13 rules to the game. Basketball was initially a way to promote physical activity when people were often forced inside during the winter months.

Early basketball setups consisted of peach baskets attached to the balcony in Naismith’s local YMCA gym. Each nine-member team attempted to toss a soccer ball into that peach basket to score. By 1892, the game was played in YMCA’s across the globe, and the first intercollegiate game was in 1895 between the Minnesota School of Agriculture and Hamline College.

NBA History Timeline


Before the NBA, there was the Basketball Association of America (BAA) and the National Basketball League (NBL). The BAA was established in 1946 and had 16 teams:

  • Boston Celtics.

  • Chicago Stags.

  • Detroit Falcons.

  • New York Knickerbockers.

  • Philadelphia Warriors.

  • Pittsburg Ironmen.

  • Providence Steamrollers.

  • St. Louis Bombers.

  • Toronto Huskies.

  • Washington Capitals.

  • Baltimore Bullets.

  • Fort Wayne Pistons.

  • Indianapolis Jets.

  • Minneapolis Lakers.

  • Rochester Royals.

Currently, there are six teams originally in the BAA that are still active in the modern-day NBA. Even earlier than the BAA, there was the NBL. The NBL was founded in 1937 and had teams that were funded by different businesses.

  • Akron Firestone Non-Skids.

  • Akron Goodyear Wingfoot's.

  • Anderson Duffy Packers.

  • Buffalo Bisons.

  • Chicago American Gears.

  • Chicago Studebaker Flyers.

  • Chicago Bruins.

  • Cincinnati Comellos.

  • Cleveland Allman Transfers.

  • Cleveland Chase Bassman.

  • Colombus Athletic Supply.

  • Dayton Metropolitans.

  • Dayton Rens.

  • Denver Nuggets.

  • Detroit Eagles.

  • Cleveland White Horses.

  • Warren Penns.

  • Detroit Vagabond Kings.

  • Flint Dow A.C.’s.

  • Fort Wayne General Electrics.

  • Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons.

  • Hammond Calumet Buccaneers.

  • Hammond Caesar All-Americans.

  • Whiting Ciesar All-Americans.

  • Indianapolis Kautsky's.

  • Minneapolis Lakers.

  • Detroit Gems.

  • Oshkosh All-Stars.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates.

  • Pittsburgh Raiders.

  • Rochester Royals.

  • Sheboygan Redskins.

  • Syracuse Nationals.

  • Toldeo Jeeps.

  • Toledo Jim White Chevrolets.

  • Tri-Cities Blackhawks.

  • Waterloo Hawks.

  • Youngstown Bears.

What Year Was The NBA Founded?

Picture -WNEP

As you can see, some familiar names are still around today. In August 1949, the BAA and NBL merged to form the NBA. Following the merger, the newly established NBA consisted of 17 franchises across the US. However, by 1955 this number was further reduced to only eight teams.

Amid the slide in the public interest, the American Basketball Association (ABA) emerged in 1967 with a flashier style of play. ABA rules allowed a longer 30-second shot clock 3 point shots and used the iconic red, white and blue ball. Although the flash and exciting events like the All-Star Slam Dunk contest drew in spectators, the league failed to get media coverage.

However, the antics did serve the purpose of drawing the attention of the NBA. As a result, the ABA merged with the NBA in 1976. Four ABA teams joined the NBA (New York Nets, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, and San Antonio Spurs).

The NBA From The 1960s And Beyond


Over the years, the NBA has gone through many changes. There have been many great players that have played in the league. To celebrate the NBA’s 75th anniversary season, let's look at some highlights of the most recent decades.

The 1960s-1970s - The Golden Era of Basketball


Many view the 1960s-1970s as the golden era of basketball. The professional league, NBA, was introduced in 1949. Eight years after that, the greatest player of all time, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, was born. After he came two other dominant players - Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell, these three are considered by many to be the best of all time. They were great on the playing field and in life - they made significant contributions to society outside of basketball. The three legends - Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and Bill Russell - had two things in common- basketball and their strong desire to help others in need outside of basketball.

The 1980s-1990s - The Rise and Fall of Michael Jordan and a New Generation of Stars Emerges

Picture -The Guardian

The 1980s and 1990s were a transformative time in basketball. The game changed with the introduction of new stars, new rules, and new equipment. Michael Jordan became the undisputed king of basketball, but his reign ended abruptly when he left to play baseball. Jordan’s sudden departure from basketball left a power vacuum that many players are still trying to fill today. One of those players was Kobe Bryant, who was drafted straight out of high school in 1996.

The 2000s & 2010s - NBA Playoff Expansion and a Ruthless New Strategy to Win at All Costs Takes Center Stage

Picture -The Washinton Post

The NBA introduced a new playoff format during the 2020-2021 season to make the sport even more exciting and appealing to hardcore fans. This change was introduced to increase viewership and create more excitement for those already invested in the games.

This controversial new format also brought a ruthless new strategy for teams already at the top. With the play-in tournament, the 7th and 8th seed teams must earn their way into the playoffs. It was essential for them to win every game, even sacrificing players’ health or physical fitness.


Basketball is a sport with a rich history. Its popularity has been increasing exponentially over the decades, and it has evolved significantly as well. It is undeniable as the NBA has been shaping the future of basketball in many countries since its humble beginnings across US YMCAs. Throughout this season, the NBA will celebrate its influence on society.

NBA basketball is currently one of the most-watched sports leagues globally, with broadcasts in 215 countries and territories generating 4.4 billion social media impressions every week. The history of basketball is exciting and intriguing to follow – from its origins in 1891 to today, where it’s one of the most popular sports in the world.

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