HowNBA emerged and flourished
Basketballwas invented in the late nineteenth century, but strong organizationswere established in the twentieth century to advance the sport.Professional organization plays a critical role in advancingdifferent sports by establishing roles, organizing leagues, andsourcing finances to support teams (NBA Media Ventures 1). However,professional organization in the field of games and sports startssmall and develop with time depending on the strategies that theyadopt. The National Basketball Association is one of the professionalorganizations that have made a mark in the world of sports. The NBAwas founded in the year 1964 by a group of people who owned the keyice hockey arenas in the Midwest and Northeast United States andCanada. The organization was established with the objective ofenhancing professionalisms in basketball games. The newly foundedorganization participated in the game organized in the major city inthe on November 1, 1946 (Salzberg 95). The game was organized byToronto Huskies in Toronto, Ontario. Although NBA had made severalattempts to take part in the games organized in the major arenas, theBasketball Association of America (BAA) was the only organizationthat could give new sports organization an opportunity to play in thepopular pitches.
NBA’smerger with BAA
Thesuccess as well as the popularity of any sports organization is basedon the capacity of its team members to win major games. The NBA waslucky because the quality of BAA games in the 1940s and 1950s wasquite low and there was no significant difference between the qualityof players at BAA and those who were members of the NBA. This gaveNBA teams high chances of winning. For example, Baltimore Bullets,one of the NBA teams moved to the finals in 1948 and MinneapolisLakers won the BAA title in the year 11948, only one year after theformation of the National Basketball Association (Jozsa 106).
Sportsteams prefer associating themselves with the organizations that canincrease their visibility and give them a platform to grow. This wasthe major issue that made it difficult for the original NBLorganization to retain its team members, who were willing to quit andjoin organizations that they considered to be popular. For example,NBL lost several teams (such as Minneapolis, Indianapolis, FortWayne, and Rochester) to BAA immediately after the 1949 AmericanBasketball League season (Jozsa 106). Several other teams (includingTri-Cities, Syracuse Waterloo, and Denver) left NBA in the same yearto join BAA. Departure of such a large number of teams was a majorchallenge that reduced the capacity of NBA to meet its financialobligations and organize significant leagues in the future. Left withno option, the NBA had to merge with the BAA since it did not havesufficient resources and administrative structures to continue withits operations. Luckily, the management of the new organization thatresulted from the merger of the BAA and NBA foresee legalcomplications that would arise if the body adopted a new name. Theimmediate solution was to retain the name “National BasketballAssociation” for the new organization, which provided anopportunity for NBA’s legacy to be retained. However, themanagement was different and dominated by the administrators of theformer BAA.
Thenewly formed NBA was stronger, with a large number of basketballteams, and resources to organize a bigger league starting from thelate 1940s. It had about 17 franchises that were located in small aswell as larger cities (A & E Television Network LLC 1). With alarge number of teams and adequate resources, the NBA had acquiredthe capacity to organize leagues in large arenas, armories, andgymnasium, which increased its popularity. Although NBA had acquiredthe status of the largest basketball organization in America, theexistence of a large number of franchises made administration quitedifficult. This issue was resolved by consolidating the organizationinto 11 franchises in 1950 and eight franchises in year 1954 (A &E Television Network LLC 1). The process of consolidation wascharacterized by merging of small cities with larger ones, whichcreated a platform for the emergence of strong basketball teams. Forexample, the movement of the Rochester Royals to Cincinnati fromRochester, New York allowed the team to play and train in a morecompetitive environment.
Overcomingthe color barrier
Thecapacity to organize the most popular league in the world, attractthe strongest team, and provide a platform for the growth ofprofessional basketball players were not adequate features to makethe NBA a great organization. This is because all players were white,which implies that the organization could only be popular among thepopulation of white fans. However, NBA managed to recruit the firstJapanese American, named Wataru Misaka, during the 1948 season (NBAMedia Ventures 1). During that season, Misaka was a player for theNew York Knicks. An African American named Harold Hunter then joinedthe organization through the Washington Capitols in the year 1950(NBA Media Ventures 1). The team cut off Hunter during the training,but several other African American players (including Chuck Cooper,Earl Lloyd, and Nathaniel Clifton) were allowed to take part in theleague in the late 1950s, which made NBA and its constituent teams aninclusive organization. It was during this period (early 1950s) whenNBA introduced the 24-second shot clock, one of the strictest rulesthat were intended to enhance the efficiency of players and make thegame more interesting (NBA Media Ventures 1). Under the new rule, thegame would be stopped if one team failed to score within its first 24seconds of getting the ball, and the ball could be given to theopponent. The strict rules and recruitment of places irrespective oftheir races facilitated the national and international popularity ofthe NBA (Surdam 29).
Inaddition, NBA allowed different basketball teams and professionalplayers to demonstrate their skills and set the world records. Forexample, Bill Russell became the first team to get 11 titles in 13seasons starting from 1957 under the leadership of Red Acerbic as thecoach (NBA Media Ventures 1). Wilt Chamberlain joined the league inthe year 1958 and managed to become a dominant start by the 1960s,which was accomplished by setting the single game record in terms ofrebounding (55) and scoring (100 points). The competition betweenChamberlain and Russell was considered as the greatest rivalry in theentire history of the American sports. The rivalry brought thebasketball as well as the NBA to the attention of the public, whichincreased the popularity of the organization. Additionally, BostonCeltics set a new record of the longest streak by winning eightchampionships between 1959 and 1966 (Freedman 2).
Thestiff competition between teams, coupled with the emergence of teamsas well as individual players that the world had not seen beforeincreased the popularity of NBA and basketball at large. This createdthe need for the organization to stop consolidating franchises, andinstead focus on expanding the league. Consequently, the league wasexpanded to 14 teams in the year 1968 following the introduction ofthe Seattle SuperSonics, Chicago Bulls, San Diego Rockets, PhoenixSuns, and Milwaukee Bucks (NBA Media Ventures 1).
Theexpansion of NBA faced a significant threat in 1967, when anotherorganization named the American Basketball Association wasestablished. The two large organizations started engaging in abidding battle, with each one of them trying to recruit the mostfamous players and teams. For example, NBA managed to recruit acollege star named Abdul-Jabbar, while Rick Barry and veteranreferees (including Earl Strom, Norm Druckerm Joel Guchue, and JohnVanak) transferred from the NBA to ABA in 1969 (Salzberg 203). ABAallowed its teams to recruit college undergraduates in an effort tointroduce vibrant and more efficient players that would allow it tocompete with the NBA in the 1970s. However, the NBA was able toexpand by tying up all the viable cities and increasing the number offranchises to 18, which was accomplished through the introduction ofthe Denver Nuggets, San Antonio Spurs, New York Nets, and IndianaPacers (Salzberg 203).
AlthoughNBA was able to contain the external threat caused by the formationof ABA, the 1970s came with new challenges that threatened its goingconcern. For example, NBA teams were accused of recruiting drug-usingplayers, which destroyed the reputation of the organization (Salzberg203). These allegations resulted in a drastic decline in NBA’s TVrating and a significantly low attendance of fans in games organizedby the NBA. These challenges subjected the NBA to the risk ofcollapsing in the 1970s.
The1980s and 1990s as a new era for NBA’s growth and popularity
Aftergoing through a period of significant decline in popularity in the1970s following the spread of news on about the recruits of drugusers, the management took the necessary measures to restore NBA onthe growth track. The period of new growth began in the 1979 when NBAteams started recruiting prominent players from ABA teams. Forexample, a decision for Magic Johnson and Larry Bird to join the LosAngeles Lakers respectively, coupled with the addition of thethree-point field gone in late 1999 attracted more fans to the NBAleague (Jozsa 96). The rapid increase in the number of fans followingthe NBA’s sport events created the need to expand the league to 23teams, which was accomplished by recruiting new franchises, such asthe Dallas Maverisks in the year 1984 (Jozsa 60).
Fouradditional leagues (including Charlotte Hornets, MinnesotaTimberwolves, Orlando Magic, and the Miami Heat) were recruited intothe NBA league between 1988 and 1989 (Jozsa 59). This expanded theleague to 27 teams, which was an exponential growth that occurredwithin a period of less than one year. It was evident that the NBAhad managed to overcome the negative image that resulted from itsassociation with the drug using players by the late 19800s.Consequently, the national basketball team, “the Dream Team”, haddeveloped confidence in NBA teams and recruited about 11 players themto represent the United States in the 1992 Olympics (Jozsa 189). Therecognition of teams forming the NBA by the stakeholders involved inthe process of the process of establishing the national team restoredthe trust and the confidence that fans had in the NBA before the1970s.
Flourishingand diversification in the local and the international levels
Apartfrom the NBA’s expansion through the recruitment of new leagues,the organization grew by forming a new body known as the Women’sNational Basketball Association in the year 1996 (Women NBA 1). Thenewly formed organization was given the responsibility of advancingthe basketball sport for women in the United States. The NBA alsocreated the NBA Development League in the year 2001, which wasexpected to provide a platform for teams that could not make it tothe national league to demonstrate their talents. NBA introduced anewly designed ball in 2006 after a period of 35 years (NBA MediaVentures 1). The new ball was designed by Spalding and it had abetter feel, grip, and consistency. However, players complained thatthe new ball became slippery during the rains and too sticky whendry, which resulted in the withdrawal of the ball in 2009. Althoughthe new ball was not accepted by most of the players, itsintroduction was a clear indication that the NBA has a strategic planthat focus on making the basketball a better sport in the future.
Atthe international level, the NBA has been flourishing by allowing itsteams to recruit basketball stars from other countries and organizinglive tours. For example, basketball stars named Drazen Petrovic fromCroatia and Vlade Divac from Derbia joined the NBA in the 1980s, thuscontributing towards the new grown in the number of fans (Helin 1).Moreover, NBA embraced diversification by recruiting leagues andteams from other countries. For an instant, NBA recruited TorontoRaptors and Vancouver Grizzlies from Canada in the year 1995, whichincreased the geographical coverage of its league (NBA Media Ventures1). In addition, NBA organized NBA Europe Live Tour between 2006 and2014 where it faced European basketball teams and teams from othercountries (NBA Media Ventures 1). The decision to organize sportsoutside the United States increased the visibility of NBA tointernational fans, which enhanced its popularity.
Currentstatus of NBA
TheNBA has been expanding over the years, and it currently consists ofabout 30 teams. About 29 basketball teams are based in the UnitedStates, while one of them operates from Canada (Jozsa 188). NBAachieves efficiency in organizing its leagues by dividing the teamsinto two different conferences. Teams in each conference are dividedinto three groups, which create a fair platform for each of the teamsto compete for the title. Although the growth of the NBA has beendiscussed in general terms, it is evident that the process ofexpanding NBA has taken account of geographical distribution. Forexample, about 13 teams are located in Eastern Time, three within themountain region, nine within the central, and five within the Pacificregion (NBA Media Ventures 1).
TheNBA has increased fairness in the process of selecting player, whichhas increased its popularity among players who believe that themanagement observes objectivity in its operations. For example, teamsthat form NBA are required to pick players during the training campsthat are organized during the summer break. During this period, allpotential players are given the opportunity to demonstrate theirtalents and skills in the arena of basketball before there can beselected to job the teams (NBA Media Ventures 1). The efficiency ofany league from the perspective of players is also determined by theopportunities that they are given to compete for the titles. NBAgives each of its teams an opportunity to play about 82 games, wherehalf of them are played in their respective home arenas and the halfin away from home. The splendid organization of the NBA sports hasresulted in its classification as one among the four leadingprofessional leagues in Canada and the United States combined (NBAMedia Ventures 1).
Fansof any type of sport play a critical role in bringing life to theleague and motivating players. In the case of basketball, NBA valuesthe role of fans, which can be confirmed by the use of the moderntechnology and all available strategies to involve them in variousleague activities. For example, NBA invites fans to vote for a teamthat should be given a starting sport during the All-Star Game(Butler 1). Coaches are given the role of selecting the remaining 14teams. This indicates that the use of the modern technology hasprovided NBA an opportunity to bring together all of its stakeholdersin the virtual world and allow them to take part in the process ofdecision making. This is an effective strategy that will help NBAreduce the turnover of players, teams, and coaches.
Thefuture of NBA
Althoughthe NBA has achieved expansion in the past through the recruitment ofnew teams into the league, there is a clear indication that thisstrategy has changed. The organizations plan to expand through thedevelopment of new and modernized arenas and will make the sport moreattractive. For example, NBA plans to complete three new arenas(including the Milwaukee Bucks, Golden 1 Center, and Chase Center) bythe year 2019, which will increase the space for fans to watch thegames live from the arenas (Jozsa 187). Although the NBA has managedto attract millions of fans and increase its popularity beyond theborders of the U.S., it faces some competition from BAA. However, itis projected that there will, be no other organization that will beable to cause stiff competition and threaten the going concern of NBAbefore 2025 (Jozsa 107). This is because it will take a lot of timefor a new basketball organization to develop the administrativestructures and organize a popular league that will go beyond what theNBA has done for more than half a century.
TheNBA has played a critical role or advancing basketball in Canada andthe United States. The NBA had a humble beginning, but the managementadopted suitable strategies that allowed the organization to growfrom the initial 13 teams to 30 teams by 2016. Initially, NBA grew byrecruiting new teams and consolidating small towns with larger ones.In addition, the decision to allow teams to recruit famous andinternational basketball players increased the number of fans as wellas the popularity of the NBA. Strong teams have been creating arivalry that fascinates fans, since they make the league livelier.Moreover, being proactive in addressing scandals on the part of themanagement allowed the NBA to overcome issues that threatened itsgoing concern.
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