Recent years (2014–-- present)
After four seasons with the Miami Heat, LeBron James went back to the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2014–-- 15 season. He led the team to their 2nd Finals appearance with the assistance of Kyrie Irving Kevin Love Golden State Warriors defeated the Cavaliers in six games, led by the Splash Brothers Stephen Curry Klay Thompson. The Cavaliers and the Warriors faced each other in the Finals a record four consecutive times. In the 2015–-- 16 season, the Warriors completed the season 73–-- 9, the very best season record in NBA history However, the Cavaliers conquered a 3–-- 1 deficit in the Finals to win their very first championship In the 2016–-- 17 season, the Warriors took advantage of the recruitment of free representative Kevin Durant. The Warriors won the Finals versus the Cavaliers.
After the departure of James in free agency in 2018, the Cavaliers' streak of playoff and Finals appearances ended. The Warriors returned for a 5th successive Finals look in however lost to the Toronto Raptors, who won their first champion after obtaining Kawhi Leonard in a trade.
The 2019–-- 20 season was suspended indefinitely on March 11, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert evaluated positive for the coronavirus.
On June 4, 2020, the NBA Board of Governors voted to resume the season in a 22-team format with 8 seeding games per team and a routine playoffs format, with all games played in a bubble Walt Disney World without any fans present.
This era likewise saw the continuous near year-over-year decline in NBA viewership. Between 2012 and 2019, the league lost 40 to 45 percent of its viewership. While a few of it can be attributed to cable-cutting, other expert leagues, like the NFL and MLB have kept steady viewership demographics. The opening game of the 2020 Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers Miami Heat brought in just 7.41 million audiences to ABC, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That is supposedly the lowest viewership seen for the Finals given that at least 1994 when overall audiences began to be routinely tape-recorded and is a 45 percent decrease from game one in between the Golden State Warriors Toronto Raptors, which had 13.51 million viewers a year earlier. Some associate this decline to the political stances the league and its gamers are taking, while others consider load management, the unequal skill circulation in between the conferences and the cord-cutting of younger audiences as the main reason for the decline.
Following pioneers like Vlade Divac Dražen Petrović (Croatia) who joined the NBA in the late 1980s, an increasing number of global players have actually moved directly from playing in other places on the planet to starring in the NBA. Given that 2006, the NBA has actually faced EuroLeague in exhibition matches NBA Europe Live Trip, and because 2009, in the EuroLeague American Trip 2013–-- 14 season opened with a record 92 global gamers on the opening night lineups, representing 39 countries and comprising over 20% of the league.
The start of the 2017–-- 18 season saw a record 108 global players representing 42 different nations marking 4 successive years of a minimum of 100 international gamers and each group having at least one worldwide gamer.
In 2018, the Phoenix Suns worked with Serbian coach Igor Koko & scaron; kov as their new head coach, changing Canadian interim coach Jay Triano, making Koko & scaron; kov the very first European coach to become a head coach for a group in the NBA.
In 2001, an affiliated minor league, the National Basketball Development League, now called the NBA G League, was developed.
Two years after the Hornets' transfer to New Orleans, the NBA went back to North Carolina, as the Charlotte Bobcats were formed as a growth team briefly moved Oklahoma City in 2005 for two seasons since of damage triggered by Hurricane Katrina. The team returned to New Orleans in 2007.
A new authorities video game ball was introduced on June 28, 2006, for the 2006–-- 07 season, marking the very first modification to the ball in over 35 years and only the second ball in 60 seasons.
Spalding, the brand-new ball featured a new design and brand-new synthetic material that Spalding declared provided a much better grip, feel, and consistency than the original ball. However, numerous players were vocal in their disdain for the brand-new ball, saying that it was too sticky when dry, and too slippery when wet.
Commissioner Stern revealed on December 11, 2006, that starting January 1, 2007, the NBA would return to the traditional leather basketball in usage prior to the 2006–-- 07 season. The change was affected by frequent player problems and verified hand injuries (cuts) caused by the microfiber ball.
Gamers' Association had filed a match on behalf of the gamers versus the NBA over the new ball.
Since the 2017–-- 18 season, the NBA group jerseys are produced by Nike, replacing the previous provider, Adidas. All teams will wear jerseys with the Nike logo design other than the Charlotte Hornets, whose jerseys will instead have the Jumpman logo associated with longtime Nike endorser Michael Jordan, who owns the Hornets.
Federal Bureau of Examination (FBI) began an investigation on July 19, 2007, over claims that veteran NBA referee Tim Donaghy bank on basketball games he officiated over the past two seasons and that he made calls affecting the point spread in those games.
On August 15, 2007, Donaghy pleaded guilty to two federal charges related to the investigation. Donaghy claimed in 2008 that specific referees got along with players and business guys for the NBA, and he alleged that referees influenced the outcome of certain playoff and finals video games in 2002 and 2005. NBA commissioner David Stern rejected the accusations and said Donaghy was a convicted felon and a singing, complying witness.
Donaghy served 15 months in jail and was released in November 2009.
According to an independent research study by Ronald Beech of Video Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings, although the refs increased the Lakers' possibilities of winning through nasty calls throughout the video game, there was no collusion to repair the video game. On declared star treatment throughout Video game 6 by the referees towards specific gamers, Beech claimed, there does appear to be problems with various standards and allowances for different gamers. The NBA Board of Governors authorized the demand of the Seattle SuperSonics transfer to Oklahoma City on April 18, 2008.
The group, however, might stagnate until it had settled a lawsuit filed by the city of Seattle, which was planned to keep the SuperSonics in Seattle for the staying 2 seasons of the group's lease at KeyArena. Following a court case, the city of Seattle settled with the ownership group of the SuperSonics on July 2, 2008, permitting the team to move to Oklahoma City right away in exchange for terminating the final 2 seasons of the group's lease at KeyArena.
Oklahoma City Thunder started playing in the 2008–-- 09 season.
The very first outdoor game in the modern age of the league was played at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on October 11, 2008, in between the Phoenix Suns Denver Nuggets The first authorities NBA league video games on European ground occurred in 2011. In 2 matchups, the New Jersey Nets Toronto Raptors O2 Arena in London in front of over 20,000 fans.
After the 2012–-- 13 season, the New Orleans Hornets were relabelled the Pelicans During the 2013–-- 14 season, Stern retired as commissioner after 30 years, and deputy commissioner Adam Silver rose to the position of commissioner. During that season's playoffs, the Bobcats formally recovered the Hornets name, and by agreement with the league and the Pelicans, likewise got sole ownership of all history, records, and statistics from the Pelicans' time in Charlotte. As a result, the Hornets are now officially considered to have actually been founded in 1988, suspended operations in 2002, and resumed in 2004 as the Bobcats, while the Pelicans are officially treated as a 2002 growth group.
(This is somewhat similar to the relationship between the Cleveland Browns Baltimore Ravens NFL Donald Sterling, who was then-owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, received a lifetime ban from the NBA on April 29, 2014 after racist remarks he made ended up being public. Sterling was also fined US$ 2.5 million, the maximum enabled under the NBA Constitution.
Becky Hammon was employed by the San Antonio Spurs on August 5, 2014, as an assistant coach, becoming the second female coach in NBA history however the very first full-time coach.
This likewise makes her the very first full-time female coach in any of the 4 major professional sports in The United States and Canada.
The NBA revealed on April 15, 2016, that it would permit all 30 of its teams to sell business sponsor ad spots on main video game uniforms, starting with the 2017–-- 18 season. The sponsorship advertisement spots would appear on the left front of jerseys, opposite Nike's logo design, marking the very first time a maker's logo design would appear on NBA jerseys, and would determine around 2.5 by 2.5 inches. The NBA would end up being the first significant North American expert sports league to permit business sponsorship logos on main group uniforms, and the last to have an uniform producer logo design appear on its team uniforms.
The first team to announce a jersey sponsorship was the Philadelphia 76ers, who agreed to a handle StubHub On July 6, 2017, the NBA unveiled an updated performance of its logo; it was mainly similar to the previous style, other than with revised typography and a richer color design. The league began to stage in the upgraded logo design across its homes during the 2017 NBA Summer Season League The NBA likewise officially released brand-new Nike uniforms for all 30 groups beginning with the 2017–-- 18 season. The league removed house and away uniform classifications. Rather, each team would have 4 or six uniforms: the Association edition, which is the group's white uniform, the Icon edition, which is the team's color uniform, and the Declaration and City uniforms, which most groups use as an alternate uniform.
In 2018, the NBA also launched the Made uniform.
Following the summertime break, groups start training camps in late September. Training camps permit the training staff to evaluate gamers (specifically novices), scout the team's strengths and weaknesses, prepare the gamers for the rigorous routine season and determine the 12-man active roster (and a 3-man inactive list) with which they will begin the routine season. Groups have the capability to designate players with less than 2 years of experience to the NBA G League. After training school, a series of preseason exhibit video games are held. Preseason matches are in some cases held in non-NBA cities, both in the United States and overseas. The NBA regular season starts in the last week of October.
Throughout the routine season, each team plays 82 video games, 41 each house and away. A group faces challengers in its own division four times a year (16 games). Each group plays six of the teams from the other 2 departments in its conference 4 times (24 games), and the staying four groups 3 times (12 video games). Finally, each team plays all the groups in the other conference twice each (30 video games). This unbalanced structure suggests the strength of schedule will vary between groups (however not as considerably as the NFL MLB ). Over 5 seasons, each team will have played 80 games versus their division (20 video games against each challenger, 10 in the house, 10 on the roadway), 180 games versus the rest of their conference (18 games against each opponent, 9 in the house, 9 on the roadway), and 150 games against the other conference (10 video games against each team, 5 in your home, 5 on the roadway).
The NBA is also the only league that routinely schedules games on Christmas The league has been playing games routinely on the vacation considering that 1947, though the very first Christmas Day games were not televised till Games used this day have included a few of the very best groups and players.
Christmas is also significant for NBA on television, as the vacation is when the first NBA games air on network tv each season.
Games used this day have been some of the highest-rated games during a particular season.
In February, the routine season stops briefly to commemorate the yearly NBA All-Star Video game. Fans vote throughout the United States, Canada, and on the Web, and the top vote-getters in each conference are called captains. Fan votes figure out the rest of the allstar starters. Coaches vote to choose the remaining 14 All-Stars. Then, the leading vote-getters in each conference draft their own group from a player swimming pool of allstars. The top vote-getter in the league earns initially select etc. The player with the best efficiency throughout the video game is rewarded with a Game MVP award. Other destinations of the All-Star break consist of the Rising Stars Obstacle (initially Rookie Obstacle), where the leading rookies and second-year gamers in the NBA play in a 5-on-5 basketball game, with the present format pitting U.S. gamers against those from the rest of the world; the Skills Obstacle, where gamers compete to complete a challenge course including shooting, passing, and dribbling in the fastest time; the 3 Point Contest, where gamers contend to score the highest variety of three-point basket in a given time; and the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, where gamers compete to dunk the ball in the most amusing way according to the judges. These other attractions have varying names that include the names of the various sponsors who have spent for naming rights.
Quickly after the All-Star break is the trade due date, which is set to fall on the 16th Thursday of the season (normally in February) at 3pm Eastern Time After this date, groups are not allowed to exchange gamers with each other for the rest of the season, although they might still sign and launch players. Major trades are frequently finished right before the trading due date, making that day a chaotic time for basic supervisors Around the middle of April, the routine season ends. It is during this time that ballot begins for individual awards, in addition to the choice of the honorary, league-wide, post-season teams. The Sixth Man of the Year Award is provided to the best player coming off the bench (must have more games coming off the bench than real games began). The Novice of the Year Award is granted to the most impressive first-year gamer. One Of The Most Improved Player Award is granted to the gamer who is considered to have revealed the most improvement from the previous season. The Defensive Gamer of the Year Award is granted to the league's finest defender. The Coach of the Year Award is awarded to the coach that has made the most positive difference to a team. One Of The Most Prized Possession Player Award is given to the player deemed the most valuable for (his group) that season. Furthermore, Sporting News awards an unofficial (but extensively acknowledged) Executive of the Year Award to the basic supervisor who is adjudged to have actually performed the best task for the benefit of his franchise.
The NBA playoffs begin in April after the conclusion of the regular season with the leading eight groups in each conference, regardless of divisional positioning, completing for the league's championship title, the Larry O'Brien Champion Trophy. Seeds are awarded in strict order of regular season record (with a tiebreaker system used as required).
Having a higher seed provides several benefits. Since the very first seed starts the playoffs playing against the eighth seed, the 2nd seed plays the seventh seed, the third seed plays the 6th seed, and the 4th seed plays the 5th seed, having a greater seed means a group deals with a weaker group in the first round. The team in each series with the much better record has home-court advantage, consisting of the Preliminary. Prior to the league changed its playoff decision format for the 2006–-- 07 season, this meant that, for example, if the group that got the sixth seed had a much better record than the group with the 3rd seed (by virtue of a divisional championship), the 6th seed would have home-court benefit, even though the other group had a greater seed. For that reason, the team with the best regular season record in the league is ensured home-court advantage in every series it plays. For example, in 2006, the Denver Nuggets won 44 games and captured the Northwest Department and the 3rd seed. Their challenger was the sixth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers, who won 47 games and completed second in the Pacific Department. Although Denver won its much weaker department, the Clippers had a home-court benefit and won the series in 5.
The playoffs follow a competition format. Each team plays a challenger in a best-of-seven series, with the first string to win 4 games advancing into the next round, while the other group is removed from the playoffs. In the next round, the successful team plays against another advancing team of the exact same conference. All but one team in each conference are removed from the playoffs. Since the NBA does not re-seed groups, the playoff bracket in each conference uses a standard design, with the winner of the series matching the first- and eighth-seeded teams playing the winner of the series matching the 4th- and fifth-seeded teams, and the winner of the series matching the 2nd- and seventh-seeded groups playing the winner of the series matching the third- and sixth-seeded groups. In every round, the best-of-7 series follows a 2–-- 2–-- 1–-- 1–-- 1 home-court pattern, indicating that one team will have home court in games 1, 2, 5, and 7, while the other plays at home in video games 3, 4, and 6. From 1985 to 2013, the NBA Finals followed a 2–-- 3–-- 2 pattern, meaning that one team had home court in games 1, 2, 6, and 7, while the other played at house in games 3, 4, and 5.
The last playoff round, a best-of-seven series in between the victors of both conferences, is called the NBA Finals and is held every year in June. The winner of the NBA Finals receives the Larry O'Brien Champion Prize. Each gamer and significant contributor including coaches and the basic supervisor on the winning team receive a champion ring. In addition, the league awards the Costs Russell NBA Finals The Majority Of Prized Possession Gamer Award to the very best performing player of the series.
The league began utilizing its current format, with the leading eight teams in each conference advancing regardless of divisional alignment, in the 2015–-- 16 season. Formerly, the leading three seeds went to the division winners.