Current 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 group to their second Finals appearance with the help of Kyrie Irving Kevin Love Golden State Warriors beat the Cavaliers in 6 video games, led by the Splash Brothers Stephen Curry Klay Thompson. The Cavaliers and the Warriors dealt with each other in the Finals a record four successive times. In the 2015–-- 16 season, the Warriors ended up the season 73–-- 9, the best season record in NBA history Nevertheless, the Cavaliers conquered a 3–-- 1 deficit in the Finals to win their first champion In the 2016–-- 17 season, the Warriors took advantage of the recruitment of totally free agent Kevin Durant. The Warriors won the Finals against 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 fifth consecutive Finals look in but lost to the Toronto Raptors, who won their first champion after getting Kawhi Leonard in a trade.
The 2019–-- 20 season was suspended forever on March 11, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert evaluated favorable 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 likewise saw the continuous near year-over-year decline in NBA viewership. In between 2012 and 2019, the league lost 40 to 45 percent of its viewership. While a few of it can be credited to cable-cutting, other professional leagues, like the NFL and MLB have actually kept steady viewership demographics. The opening video 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 apparently the most affordable viewership seen for the Finals since at least 1994 when total audiences started to be regularly taped and is a 45 percent decrease from game one in between the Golden State Warriors Toronto Raptors, which had 13.51 million audiences a year previously. Some associate this decline to the political stances the league and its players are taking, while others consider load management, the uneven skill circulation between the conferences and the cord-cutting of more youthful viewers as the main factor for the decline.
Following pioneers like Vlade Divac Dražen Petrović (Croatia) who signed up with the NBA in the late 1980s, an increasing number of worldwide players have actually moved directly from playing somewhere else on the planet to starring in the NBA. Since 2006, the NBA has dealt with EuroLeague in exhibit matches NBA Europe Live Tour, and considering that 2009, in the EuroLeague American Tour 2013–-- 14 season opened with a record 92 international players on the opening night rosters, representing 39 countries and comprising over 20% of the league.
The start of the 2017–-- 18 season saw a record 108 worldwide players representing 42 different nations marking 4 consecutive years of a minimum of 100 worldwide gamers and each team having at least one international player.
In 2018, the Phoenix Suns worked with Serbian coach Igor Koko & scaron; kov as their brand-new head coach, changing Canadian interim coach Jay Triano, making Koko & scaron; kov the first European coach to become a head coach for a team in the NBA.
In 2001, an affiliated minor league, the National Basketball Advancement League, now called the NBA G League, was produced.
2 years after the Hornets' transfer to New Orleans, the NBA returned to North Carolina, as the Charlotte Bobcats were formed as a growth group momentarily moved Oklahoma City in 2005 for two seasons because of damage triggered by Typhoon Katrina. The group returned to New Orleans in 2007.
A brand-new authorities game ball was presented on June 28, 2006, for the 2006–-- 07 season, marking the first change to the ball in over 35 years and only the second ball in 60 seasons.
Spalding, the brand-new ball included a brand-new design and brand-new synthetic product that Spalding declared used a much better grip, feel, and consistency than the initial ball. However, lots of gamers were singing in their ridicule 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 beginning January 1, 2007, the NBA would return to the conventional leather basketball in use prior to the 2006–-- 07 season. The change was influenced by frequent player complaints and validated hand injuries (cuts) caused by the microfiber ball.
Gamers' Association had actually submitted a match on behalf of the players against the NBA over the brand-new ball.
Since the 2017–-- 18 season, the NBA team jerseys are made by Nike, changing the previous supplier, Adidas. All teams will wear jerseys with the Nike logo design except the Charlotte Hornets, whose jerseys will rather have the Jumpman logo associated with long time Nike endorser Michael Jordan, who owns the Hornets.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) started an examination on July 19, 2007, over allegations that veteran NBA referee Tim Donaghy bet on basketball games he officiated over the previous 2 seasons and that he made calls impacting the point spread in those games.
On August 15, 2007, Donaghy pleaded guilty to two federal charges associated with the examination. Donaghy declared in 2008 that certain referees were friendly with players and company men for the NBA, and he declared that referees affected the outcome of certain playoff and finals video games in 2002 and 2005. NBA commissioner David Stern rejected the allegations and stated Donaghy was a convicted felon and a singing, cooperating witness.
Donaghy served 15 months in jail and was released in November 2009.
According to an independent study by Ronald Beech of Video Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals in between the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings, although the refs increased the Lakers' opportunities of winning through foul calls during the game, there was no collusion to fix the video game. On alleged star treatment throughout Game 6 by the referees toward certain players, Beech claimed, there does seem to be concerns with different requirements and allowances for different players. The NBA Board of Governors approved the demand of the Seattle SuperSonics transfer to Oklahoma City on April 18, 2008.
The group, nevertheless, could stagnate until it had settled a claim submitted by the city of Seattle, which was planned to keep the SuperSonics in Seattle for the remaining 2 seasons of the team's lease at KeyArena. Following a lawsuit, the city of Seattle settled with the ownership group of the SuperSonics on July 2, 2008, permitting the group to move to Oklahoma City right away in exchange for ending the last two seasons of the group's lease at KeyArena.
Oklahoma City Thunder began playing in the 2008–-- 09 season.
The 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 official NBA league games on European ground took place in 2011. In two matches, 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 30 years, and deputy commissioner Adam Silver ascended to the position of commissioner. Throughout that season's playoffs, the Bobcats officially recovered the Hornets name, and by contract with the league and the Pelicans, likewise got sole ownership of all history, records, and statistics from the Pelicans' time in Charlotte. As an outcome, 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 team.
(This is somewhat comparable to the relationship in 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 ended up being public. Sterling was also fined US$ 2.5 million, the optimum allowed under the NBA Constitution.
Becky Hammon was employed by the San Antonio Spurs on August 5, 2014, as an assistant coach, becoming the 2nd female coach in NBA history however the very first full-time coach.
This also 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 announced on April 15, 2016, that it would allow all 30 of its teams to offer business sponsor advertisement patches on official video game uniforms, starting with the 2017–-- 18 season. The sponsorship ad patches would appear on the left front of jerseys, opposite Nike's logo design, marking the very first time a manufacturer's logo design would appear on NBA jerseys, and would determine roughly 2.5 by 2.5 inches. The NBA would become the first significant North American professional sports league to allow business sponsorship logos on official team uniforms, and the last to have a consistent maker logo appear on its group uniforms.
The first string to reveal a jersey sponsorship was the Philadelphia 76ers, who agreed to a handle StubHub On July 6, 2017, the NBA unveiled an updated rendition of its logo; it was largely similar to the previous style, except with modified typography and a richer color pattern. The league started to phase in the updated logo throughout its homes during the 2017 NBA Summer Season League The NBA also formally released brand-new Nike uniforms for all 30 groups starting with the 2017–-- 18 season. The league got rid of house and away consistent designations. Instead, each group would have 4 or 6 uniforms: the Association edition, which is the group's white uniform, the Icon edition, which is the group's color uniform, and the Statement and City uniforms, which most teams utilize as an alternate uniform.
In 2018, the NBA also launched the Made uniform.
Following the summertime break, groups begin training camps in late September. Training camps permit the coaching staff to assess gamers (especially novices), hunt the group's strengths and weaknesses, prepare the players for the extensive routine season and figure out the 12-man active roster (and a 3-man inactive list) with which they will begin the regular season. Groups have the ability to appoint gamers with less than two years of experience to the NBA G League. After training camp, a series of preseason exhibition 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 begins in the recently of October.
Throughout the routine season, each group plays 82 games, 41 each home and away. A group faces opponents in its own department four times a year (16 games). Each team plays 6 of the teams from the other two 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 two times each (30 games). This unbalanced structure means the strength of schedule will differ in between groups (but not as substantially as the NFL MLB ). Over five seasons, each group will have played 80 games against their division (20 games against each opponent, 10 at home, 10 on the road), 180 video games versus the rest of their conference (18 games versus each opponent, 9 in the house, 9 on the road), and 150 video games versus the other conference (10 games against each team, 5 at home, 5 on the road).
The NBA is likewise the only league that regularly schedules video games on Christmas The league has been playing video games frequently on the holiday given that 1947, though the first Christmas Day video games were not televised till Games played on this day have featured a few of the best teams and gamers.
Christmas is also notable for NBA on television, as the holiday is when the very first NBA games air on network television each season.
Games played on this day have actually been a few of the highest-rated video games throughout a particular season.
In February, the routine season pauses to celebrate the yearly NBA All-Star Video game. Fans vote throughout the United States, Canada, and on the Internet, and the top vote-getters in each conference are named captains. Fan votes figure out the rest of the allstar starters. Coaches vote to pick the remaining 14 All-Stars. Then, the leading vote-getters in each conference draft their own group from a gamer swimming pool of allstars. The top vote-getter in the league makes first choose etc. The gamer with the best efficiency during the game is rewarded with a Video game MVP award. Other tourist attractions of the All-Star break consist of the Rising Stars Obstacle (originally Novice Challenge), where the top novices and second-year gamers in the NBA play in a 5-on-5 basketball game, with the present format pitting U.S. gamers versus those from the remainder of the world; the Abilities Difficulty, where gamers contend to complete a challenge course including shooting, passing, and dribbling in the fastest time; the Three Point Contest, where players complete to score the highest variety of three-point field goals in an offered time; and the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, where gamers contend to soak the ball in the most entertaining way according to the judges. These other attractions have varying names that include the names of the various sponsors who have actually spent for naming rights.
Soon 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, groups are not allowed to exchange gamers with each other for the remainder of the season, although they might still sign and release players. Significant trades are often completed right prior to the trading due date, making that day a busy time for general supervisors Around the middle of April, the regular season ends. It is throughout this time that ballot starts for individual awards, as well as the choice of the honorary, league-wide, post-season teams. The Sixth Guy of the Year Award is given to the very best player coming off the bench (must have more games coming off the bench than actual video games started). The Rookie of the Year Award is awarded to the most outstanding first-year gamer. The Most Better Gamer Award is granted to the player who is considered to have shown the most improvement 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 favorable difference to a group. The Most Valuable Player Award is given to the player considered the most important for (his team) that season. Additionally, Sporting News grants an unofficial (however extensively recognized) Executive of the Year Award to the general supervisor who is adjudged to have actually carried out the best job for the advantage of his franchise.
The NBA playoffs start in April after the conclusion of the regular season with the leading eight teams in each conference, regardless of divisional alignment, 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 utilized as required).
Having a higher seed provides a number of benefits. Given that the first seed begins the playoffs playing against the 8th seed, the second seed plays the seventh seed, the 3rd seed plays the sixth seed, and the fourth seed plays the fifth seed, having a higher seed implies a team deals with a weaker group in the first round. The team in each series with the much better record has home-court advantage, including the Preliminary. Before the league altered its playoff determination format for the 2006–-- 07 season, this indicated that, for example, if the team that received the sixth seed had a better record than the group with the third seed (by virtue of a divisional championship), the sixth seed would have home-court benefit, despite the fact that the other team had a higher seed. For that reason, the group with the best regular season record in the league is guaranteed home-court advantage in every series it plays. For instance, in 2006, the Denver Nuggets won 44 video games and recorded the Northwest Department and the 3rd seed. Their challenger was the sixth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers, who won 47 video games and finished second in the Pacific Division. 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 group 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 team is eliminated from the playoffs. In the next round, the successful team plays versus another advancing group of the very same conference. All but one group in each conference are eliminated from the playoffs. Given that the NBA does not re-seed groups, the playoff bracket in each conference utilizes a standard style, 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 teams. In every round, the best-of-7 series follows a 2–-- 2–-- 1–-- 1–-- 1 home-court pattern, meaning that one group will have house court in games 1, 2, 5, and 7, while the other plays at home in 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 home in video games 3, 4, and 5.
The last playoff round, a best-of-seven series in between the victors of both conferences, is known as the NBA Finals and is held each year in June. The winner of the NBA Finals receives the Larry O'Brien Championship Prize. Each gamer and significant contributor consisting of coaches and the basic manager on the winning group receive a championship ring. In addition, the league awards the Expense Russell NBA Finals Many Valuable Player Award to the very best performing gamer of the series.
The league began utilizing its present format, with the top eight teams in each conference advancing regardless of divisional positioning, in the 2015–-- 16 season. Formerly, the leading 3 seeds went to the division winners.