Founded on 6th of June 1946 in New York City, National Basketball Association (NBA) was called the Basketball Association of America (BAA) during those days.
The National Basketball League (NBL) was the other league that was competing with the BBA during the late 1940s. However, the quality and quantity of the players were better in the BBA.
The BBA was more competitive and superior. Many teams like Baltimore Bullets, moved from the NBL to the BBA in search of better opportunities. Also, Players coming out of the college preferred the BBA as a professional career.
Facing all these issues, the NBL was in a declining phase, and they wanted to avoid legal complications, so they merged with the BBA on 3rd of August, 1949. The merged league was titled NBA (National Basketball Association), but the governing body was still of the BBA.
The Early years of the NBA saw the rise and dominance of the Boston Celtics. Bill Russell joined the Celtics in 1957 and led them to 11 NBA titles out of the 13 seasons. His rivalry with the great Wilt Chamberlain was one of the greatest rivalries in the history of the NBA.
The League grew more and more with the passing time. It expanded from 9 teams to 14 teams during the years 1966 to 1968. It then further extended to 19 teams in the 1970s.
The In between periods saw the growth of few other leagues like the American Basketball Association (ABA), but all had to merge with the ever-rising NBA.
Today, the NBA has a total of 30 teams- 29 from the USA and one from Canada. It is one of the most followed leagues in the world. It has a huge fans base in the tier-1 countries that include USA, UK, Canada, etc. However, it has been spreading its wings globally and currently has a huge fan base in Philippines, China, many European countries and more. With more Players from the International circuit joining the league, it is expected to rise even higher in the coming years.