The National Basketball Association (NBA) actually dates back to 1946 when the owners of various major hockey arenas in the Midwestern and Northeastern US and Canada founded it. It was on the first of November 1946 when the first game ever in the NBA league was played, hosted at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.
Earlier Professional Basketball Leagues
There had been a few other professional basketball league attempts before the inception of the NBA. Such include the NBL and the ABL. The BAA is said to have been the first league which attempted to play primarily in big arenas in various cities. It soon became the league of choice for all the individuals who were looking to turn professional, fueled by the NBL teams joining the league. It is after all, when the NBL teams merged into the BAA, that the name of the league changed to what is presently known as the National Basketball Association.
NBA Basketball Franchises
As a new league, the NBA had 17 franchises and various large arenas and gymnasiums located in different cities. In 1950, there was a consolidation of the franchises, which reduced the number to 11. The consolidation process further continued until 1954 when the number of franchises reached eight. With the contraction, franchises from the smaller cities moved to the larger cities.
Evolution of the Game
From the beginning of the game, there was a set of official rules used to referee. The rules kept evolving and saw the game change to what we currently know as NBA basketball. For example, the 24-second shot clock was introduced in1954 to encourage shooting and discourage stalling. In 1979, the three-point field goal was also introduced. Various dominant players joined the league and helped to increase its popularity. For example, Bill Russell displayed amazing performances when with the Celtics to win a total of 11 NBA titles in only 13 seasons.