Recent years (2014–-- present)
After 4 seasons with the Miami Heat, LeBron James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2014–-- 15 season. He led the team to their 2nd Finals look with the help of Kyrie Irving Kevin Love Golden State Warriors defeated the Cavaliers in 6 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 best season record in NBA history However, the Cavaliers got rid of a 3–-- 1 deficit in the Finals to win their first champion In the 2016–-- 17 season, the Warriors benefited from the recruitment of totally free representative Kevin Durant. The Warriors won the Finals versus the Cavaliers.
After the departure of James in complimentary firm in 2018, the Cavaliers' streak of playoff and Finals appearances ended. The Warriors returned for a fifth successive Finals appearance in but lost to the Toronto Raptors, who won their first champion after acquiring 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 tested 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 regular playoffs format, with all video games played in a bubble Walt Disney World without any fans present.
This era also saw the constant near year-over-year decline in NBA viewership. In between 2012 and 2019, the league lost 40 to 45 percent of its viewership. While some of it can be credited to cable-cutting, other professional leagues, like the NFL and MLB have kept stable viewership demographics. The opening game of the 2020 Finals in between the Los Angeles Lakers Miami Heat brought in just 7.41 million audiences to ABC, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That is apparently the lowest viewership seen for the Finals given that a minimum of 1994 when total viewers began to be regularly taped and is a 45 percent decline from game one in between the Golden State Warriors Toronto Raptors, which had 13.51 million audiences a year previously. Some associate this decrease to the political stances the league and its players are taking, while others think about load management, the irregular talent distribution in between the conferences and the cord-cutting of younger viewers as the main reason for the decline.
Following pioneers like Vlade Divac Dražen Petrović (Croatia) who signed up with the NBA in the late 1980s, an increasing variety of global players have actually moved directly from playing elsewhere worldwide to starring in the NBA. Considering that 2006, the NBA has actually faced EuroLeague in exhibition matches NBA Europe Live Trip, and since 2009, in the EuroLeague American Tour 2013–-- 14 season opened with a record 92 worldwide players on the opening night lineups, representing 39 nations and making up over 20% of the league.
The beginning of the 2017–-- 18 season saw a record 108 international players representing 42 different countries marking 4 consecutive years of a minimum of 100 global gamers and each group having at least one international gamer.
In 2018, the Phoenix Suns hired Serbian coach Igor Koko & scaron; kov as their brand-new head coach, changing Canadian interim coach Jay Triano, making Koko & scaron; kov the very first European coach to end up being a head coach for a group in the NBA.
In 2001, an affiliated minors, the National Basketball Development League, now called the NBA G League, was created.
2 years after the Hornets' transfer to New Orleans, the NBA returned to North Carolina, as the Charlotte Bobcats were formed as a growth team momentarily moved Oklahoma City in 2005 for 2 seasons due to the fact that of damage caused by Cyclone Katrina. The team went back to New Orleans in 2007.
A new official 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 just the 2nd ball in 60 seasons.
Spalding, the brand-new ball included a brand-new style and new synthetic material that Spalding claimed provided a better grip, feel, and consistency than the initial ball. Nevertheless, lots of players were vocal in their ridicule for the new ball, stating that it was too sticky when dry, and too slippery when wet.
Commissioner Stern announced on December 11, 2006, that beginning January 1, 2007, the NBA would return to the conventional leather basketball in use prior to the 2006–-- 07 season. The change was affected by frequent gamer grievances and confirmed hand injuries (cuts) caused by the microfiber ball.
Players' Association had actually filed a suit 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, changing the previous provider, Adidas. All teams will wear jerseys with the Nike logo design except the Charlotte Hornets, whose jerseys will rather have the Jumpman logo related to long time Nike endorser Michael Jordan, who owns the Hornets.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) started an investigation on July 19, 2007, over claims that veteran NBA referee Tim Donaghy bank on basketball games he officiated over the previous 2 seasons which 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 declared in 2008 that specific referees got along with gamers and business men for the NBA, and he alleged that referees influenced the result of specific playoff and finals games in 2002 and 2005. NBA commissioner David Stern rejected the claims and stated Donaghy was a founded guilty felon and a singing, working together witness.
Donaghy served 15 months in jail and was released in November 2009.
According to an independent research study by Ronald Beech of Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings, although the refs increased the Lakers' chances of winning through nasty calls throughout the video game, there was no collusion to repair the game. On alleged star treatment throughout Video game 6 by the referees towards certain gamers, Beech declared, there does appear to be problems with different standards and allowances for various players. The NBA Board of Governors approved the request of the Seattle SuperSonics move to Oklahoma City on April 18, 2008.
The group, however, could not move up until it had actually settled a claim submitted by the city of Seattle, which was intended to keep the SuperSonics in Seattle for the remaining 2 seasons of the team's lease at KeyArena. Following a court case, the city of Seattle settled with the ownership group of the SuperSonics on July 2, 2008, allowing the group to move to Oklahoma City immediately in exchange for terminating the final two seasons of the team's lease at KeyArena.
Oklahoma City Thunder began playing in the 2008–-- 09 season.
The very first outside video game in the contemporary age of the league was dipped into the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on October 11, 2008, between the Phoenix Suns Denver Nuggets The first official NBA league video games on European ground took place in 2011. In two 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 Throughout the 2013–-- 14 season, Stern retired as commissioner after thirty years, and deputy commissioner Adam Silver rose to the position of commissioner. Throughout that season's playoffs, the Bobcats formally reclaimed the Hornets name, and by agreement with the league and the Pelicans, also received sole ownership of all history, records, and stats from the Pelicans' time in Charlotte. As a result, the Hornets are now formally considered to have been established in 1988, suspended operations in 2002, and resumed in 2004 as the Bobcats, while the Pelicans are formally treated as a 2002 growth group.
(This is somewhat comparable to the relationship between the Cleveland Browns Baltimore Ravens NFL Donald Sterling, who was then-owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, got a lifetime ban from the NBA on April 29, 2014 after racist remarks he made became public. Sterling was likewise fined US$ 2.5 million, the maximum enabled under the NBA Constitution.
Becky Hammon was hired by the San Antonio Spurs on August 5, 2014, as an assistant coach, becoming the second female coach in NBA history but the very first full-time coach.
This also makes her the first full-time female coach in any of the 4 major expert sports in North America.
The NBA announced on April 15, 2016, that it would allow all 30 of its groups to sell business sponsor ad patches on main video game uniforms, beginning 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 would appear on NBA jerseys, and would determine roughly 2.5 by 2.5 inches. The NBA would become the first major North American professional sports league to enable corporate sponsorship logos on main team uniforms, and the last to have an uniform maker logo appear on its team uniforms.
The first string to reveal a jersey sponsorship was the Philadelphia 76ers, who accepted a deal with StubHub On July 6, 2017, the NBA revealed an updated rendition of its logo; it was mainly identical to the previous style, except with modified typography and a richer color design. The league began to stage in the updated logo design throughout its homes during the 2017 NBA Summertime League The NBA also officially released brand-new Nike uniforms for all 30 groups starting with the 2017–-- 18 season. The league eliminated house and away consistent classifications. Instead, each team would have 4 or six uniforms: the Association edition, which is the team's white uniform, the Icon edition, which is the team's color uniform, and the Statement and City uniforms, which most teams utilize as an alternate uniform.
In 2018, the NBA also launched the Earned uniform.
Following the summer break, teams start training camps in late September. Training camps enable the training staff to examine players (particularly novices), scout the group's strengths and weak points, prepare the players for the strenuous routine season and figure out the 12-man active roster (and a 3-man inactive list) with which they will start the regular season. Teams have the ability to appoint players with less than 2 years of experience to the NBA G League. After training camp, a series of preseason exhibition video games are held. Preseason matches are often kept in non-NBA cities, both in the United States and overseas. The NBA routine season begins in the recently of October.
Throughout the routine season, each team plays 82 games, 41 each house and away. A group deals with opponents in its own division 4 times a year (16 games). Each team plays 6 of the teams from the other 2 divisions in its conference 4 times (24 video games), and the remaining four teams 3 times (12 games). Lastly, each team plays all the groups in the other conference two times each (30 games). This asymmetrical structure implies the strength of schedule will vary between groups (however not as significantly as the NFL MLB ). Over 5 seasons, each group will have played 80 video games against their department (20 games against each opponent, 10 at home, 10 on the road), 180 video games versus the rest of their conference (18 video games versus each opponent, 9 in the house, 9 on the roadway), and 150 video games versus the other conference (10 video games versus each group, 5 in the house, 5 on the roadway).
The NBA is also the only league that regularly schedules video games on Christmas The league has actually been playing video games routinely on the holiday considering that 1947, though the very first Christmas Day games were not telecasted up until Games played on this day have featured some of the very best teams and gamers.
Christmas is also noteworthy for NBA on television, as the vacation is when the very first NBA video games air on network tv each season.
Games played on this day have actually been some of the highest-rated video games throughout a specific season.
In February, the regular season stops briefly to commemorate the yearly NBA All-Star Game. Fans vote throughout the United States, Canada, and on the Web, and the leading vote-getters in each conference are called captains. Fan votes identify the rest of the allstar starters. Coaches vote to choose the remaining 14 All-Stars. Then, the top vote-getters in each conference draft their own team from a player pool of allstars. The top vote-getter in the league makes first choose etc. The player with the very best efficiency during the game is rewarded with a Video game MVP award. Other attractions of the All-Star break include the Increasing Stars Difficulty (initially Rookie Obstacle), where the leading novices and second-year gamers in the NBA play in a 5-on-5 basketball video game, with the existing format pitting U.S. gamers against those from the rest of the world; the Skills Obstacle, where players contend to finish an obstacle course consisting of 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 provided time; and the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, where players contend to soak the ball in the most entertaining method according to the judges. These other destinations have varying names which include the names of the different sponsors who have paid for calling rights.
Quickly after the All-Star break is the trade due date, which is set to fall on the 16th Thursday of the season (usually in February) at 3pm Eastern Time After this date, teams are not permitted to exchange gamers with each other for the rest of the season, although they may still sign and release gamers. Major trades are frequently completed right prior to the trading deadline, making that day a chaotic time for general supervisors Around the middle of April, the routine season ends. It is during this time that ballot begins for private awards, along with the selection of the honorary, league-wide, post-season teams. The Sixth Man of the Year Award is offered to the very best player coming off the bench (needs to have more games coming off the bench than real video games started). The Novice of the Year Award is granted to the most exceptional first-year gamer. The Most Enhanced Player Award is granted to the gamer who is considered to have shown the most enhancement from the previous season. The Defensive Player of the Year Award is granted to the league's finest protector. The Coach of the Year Award is awarded to the coach that has made the most positive distinction to a group. The Most Valuable Gamer Award is provided to the gamer deemed the most valuable for (his group) that season. Additionally, Sporting News awards an unofficial (however extensively acknowledged) Executive of the Year Award to the general manager who is adjudged to have performed the very best task for the advantage of his franchise.
The NBA playoffs begin in April after the conclusion of the routine season with the top 8 teams in each conference, no matter divisional positioning, contending for the league's championship title, the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy. Seeds are granted in strict order of regular season record (with a tiebreaker system used as needed).
Having a higher seed uses numerous advantages. Given that the first seed begins the playoffs betting the eighth seed, the 2nd seed plays the seventh seed, the third seed plays the sixth seed, and the fourth seed plays the 5th seed, having a greater seed suggests a group faces a weaker group in the preliminary. The team in each series with the much better record has home-court benefit, including the First Round. Prior to the league changed its playoff decision format for the 2006–-- 07 season, this implied that, for instance, if the group that received the 6th seed had a better record than the team with the third seed (by virtue of a divisional champion), the 6th seed would have home-court benefit, even though the other group had a greater seed. Therefore, the group with the best regular season record in the league is ensured home-court benefit in every series it plays. For instance, in 2006, the Denver Nuggets won 44 games and caught the Northwest Division and the 3rd seed. Their opponent was the sixth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers, who won 47 video games and ended up second in the Pacific Department. Although Denver won its much weaker division, the Clippers had a home-court benefit and won the series in 5.
The playoffs follow a competition format. Each team plays an opponent in a best-of-seven series, with the first team to win 4 games advancing into the next round, while the other team is eliminated from the playoffs. In the next round, the effective group plays versus another advancing team of the exact same conference. All but one group in each conference are removed from the playoffs. Since the NBA does not re-seed groups, the playoff bracket in each conference uses a traditional design, with the winner of the series matching the very first- and eighth-seeded groups playing the winner of the series matching the fourth- 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 teams. In every round, the best-of-7 series follows a 2–-- 2–-- 1–-- 1–-- 1 home-court pattern, suggesting that a person group will have home court in games 1, 2, 5, and 7, while the other plays at house in games 3, 4, and 6. From 1985 to 2013, the NBA Finals followed a 2–-- 3–-- 2 pattern, indicating that one team had house court in video games 1, 2, 6, and 7, while the other played at house in video games 3, 4, and 5.
The final playoff round, a best-of-seven series in between the victors of both conferences, is known as the NBA Finals and is held every year in June. The winner of the NBA Finals receives the Larry O'Brien Champion Prize. Each player and significant contributor including coaches and the general supervisor on the winning group receive a championship ring. In addition, the league grants the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Belongings Player Award to the best carrying out gamer of the series.
The league began utilizing its present format, with the leading eight teams in each conference advancing regardless of divisional positioning, in the 2015–-- 16 season. Formerly, the top 3 seeds went to the department winners.