Current years (2014–-- present)
After four 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 appearance with the aid 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 faced each other in the Finals a record 4 consecutive times. In the 2015–-- 16 season, the Warriors finished the season 73–-- 9, the best season record in NBA history However, the Cavaliers conquered a 3–-- 1 deficit in the Finals to win their first champion In the 2016–-- 17 season, the Warriors gained from the recruitment of totally free representative Kevin Durant. The Warriors won the Finals against the Cavaliers.
After the departure of James in totally free agency in 2018, the Cavaliers' streak of playoff and Finals looks ended. The Warriors returned for a fifth successive Finals look in however 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 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 video games per group and a routine playoffs format, with all video games played in a bubble Walt Disney World with no fans present.
This era also saw the continuous near year-over-year decrease 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 maintained steady viewership demographics. The opening game of the 2020 Finals in between the Los Angeles Lakers Miami Heat generated only 7.41 million audiences to ABC, according to The Hollywood Press reporter. That is supposedly the lowest viewership seen for the Finals considering that at least 1994 when overall audiences started to be routinely recorded and is a 45 percent decline from video game one between the Golden State Warriors Toronto Raptors, which had 13.51 million audiences a year previously. Some associate this decline to the political positions 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 viewers as the main factor for the decrease.
Following leaders like Vlade Divac Dražen Petrović (Croatia) who signed up with the NBA in the late 1980s, an increasing number of worldwide players have moved directly from playing elsewhere on the planet to starring in the NBA. Given that 2006, the NBA has actually dealt with EuroLeague in exhibit matches NBA Europe Live Tour, and since 2009, in the EuroLeague American Tour 2013–-- 14 season opened with a record 92 worldwide players on the opening night rosters, representing 39 nations and comprising over 20% of the league.
The beginning of the 2017–-- 18 season saw a record 108 international gamers representing 42 various countries marking 4 consecutive years of at least 100 international players and each team having at least one international gamer.
In 2018, the Phoenix Suns hired Serbian coach Igor Koko & scaron; kov as their new head coach, replacing 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 associated minor league, the National Basketball Development League, now called the NBA G League, was produced.
Two 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 two seasons since of damage brought on by Typhoon Katrina. The team went back to New Orleans in 2007.
A brand-new official video 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 just the second ball in 60 seasons.
Spalding, the brand-new ball included a brand-new design and brand-new synthetic material that Spalding declared offered a much better grip, feel, and consistency than the initial ball. Nevertheless, many gamers were vocal in their disdain for the new ball, saying that it was too sticky when dry, and too slippery when wet.
Commissioner Stern announced on December 11, 2006, that starting January 1, 2007, the NBA would return to the traditional leather basketball in use prior to the 2006–-- 07 season. The change was influenced by frequent player problems and validated hand injuries (cuts) brought on by the microfiber ball.
Players' Association had filed a match on behalf of the gamers against the NBA over the new ball.
As of the 2017–-- 18 season, the NBA group jerseys are produced by Nike, changing the previous supplier, Adidas. All teams will use jerseys with the Nike logo design other than the Charlotte Hornets, whose jerseys will rather have the Jumpman logo design related to longtime Nike endorser Michael Jordan, who owns the Hornets.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) started an investigation on July 19, 2007, over accusations that veteran NBA referee Tim Donaghy bank on basketball games he officiated over the past two seasons which he made calls impacting the point spread in those video 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 business males for the NBA, and he alleged that referees influenced the outcome of particular playoff and finals video games in 2002 and 2005. NBA commissioner David Stern rejected the allegations and said Donaghy was a founded guilty felon and a singing, cooperating witness.
Donaghy served 15 months in jail and was launched in November 2009.
According to an independent research study by Ronald Beech of 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 throughout the game, there was no collusion to repair the video game. On alleged star treatment throughout Video game 6 by the referees towards certain players, Beech declared, there does appear to be concerns with different requirements and allowances for various gamers. The NBA Board of Governors authorized the demand of the Seattle SuperSonics move to Oklahoma City on April 18, 2008.
The group, however, might stagnate till it had settled a lawsuit submitted by the city of Seattle, which was intended to keep the SuperSonics in Seattle for the staying two 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 team to move to Oklahoma City instantly in exchange for ending the last 2 seasons of the team's lease at KeyArena.
Oklahoma City Thunder began playing in the 2008–-- 09 season.
The first outdoor video game in the contemporary era of the league was played at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on October 11, 2008, between the Phoenix Suns Denver Nuggets The very first authorities NBA league games on European ground happened 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 During 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 formally reclaimed the Hornets name, and by arrangement with the league and the Pelicans, also received sole ownership of all history, records, and stats from the Pelicans' time in Charlotte. As an outcome, the Hornets are now formally thought about to have actually 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 similar 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 restriction from the NBA on April 29, 2014 after racist remarks he made ended up being public. Sterling was likewise fined US$ 2.5 million, the optimum permitted under the NBA Constitution.
Becky Hammon was hired 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 North America.
The NBA announced on April 15, 2016, that it would allow all 30 of its teams to sell corporate sponsor ad patches on main game uniforms, beginning with the 2017–-- 18 season. The sponsorship advertisement patches would appear on the left front of jerseys, opposite Nike's logo design, marking the first time a maker's logo design would appear on NBA jerseys, and would measure around 2.5 by 2.5 inches. The NBA would become the very first major North American professional sports league to enable business sponsorship logos on official team uniforms, and the last to have a consistent maker logo design appear on its team uniforms.
The first team to announce a jersey sponsorship was the Philadelphia 76ers, who accepted a deal with StubHub On July 6, 2017, the NBA revealed an upgraded rendition of its logo; it was largely similar to the previous style, other than with modified typography and a richer color design. The league started to phase in the updated logo throughout its homes throughout the 2017 NBA Summertime League The NBA likewise officially released new Nike uniforms for all 30 groups starting with the 2017–-- 18 season. The league removed house and away consistent designations. Instead, each team would have four 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 Declaration and City uniforms, which most groups use as an alternate uniform.
In 2018, the NBA also launched the Made uniform.
Following the summer break, groups start training camps in late September. Training camps permit the coaching staff to evaluate gamers (specifically novices), scout the group'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 start the routine season. Teams have the capability to designate gamers with less than 2 years of experience to the NBA G League. After training school, a series of preseason exhibition games are held. Preseason matches are often kept in non-NBA cities, both in the United States and overseas. The NBA regular season starts in the last week of October.
During the regular season, each group plays 82 games, 41 each house and away. A team deals with challengers in its own department 4 times a year (16 games). Each team plays six of the teams from the other 2 divisions in its conference 4 times (24 video games), and the remaining four teams 3 times (12 video games). Lastly, each team plays all the teams in the other conference twice each (30 games). This asymmetrical structure implies the strength of schedule will differ between teams (but not as considerably as the NFL MLB ). Over 5 seasons, each team will have played 80 games against their department (20 video games against each challenger, 10 at home, 10 on the roadway), 180 video games against the rest of their conference (18 games versus each opponent, 9 in the house, 9 on the roadway), and 150 games versus 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 actually been playing games regularly on the holiday since 1947, though the very first Christmas Day games were not telecasted until Games used this day have included a few of the very best teams and players.
Christmas is also noteworthy 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 specific season.
In February, the routine season pauses to commemorate the annual NBA All-Star Video game. Fans vote throughout the United States, Canada, and on the Internet, and the leading vote-getters in each conference are called captains. Fan votes figure out the remainder of the allstar starters. Coaches vote to choose the remaining 14 All-Stars. Then, the top vote-getters in each conference draft their own group from a player swimming pool of allstars. The leading vote-getter in the league makes first pick etc. The player with the very best efficiency throughout the video game is rewarded with a Game MVP award. Other tourist attractions of the All-Star break consist of the Increasing Stars Challenge (initially Novice Obstacle), where the leading novices and second-year gamers in the NBA play in a 5-on-5 basketball game, with the existing format pitting U.S. players against those from the remainder of the world; the Skills Difficulty, where players complete to end up a barrier course including shooting, passing, and dribbling in the fastest time; the Three Point Contest, where gamers compete to score the greatest number of three-point field goals in an offered time; and the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, where gamers complete to dunk the ball in the most amusing method according to the judges. These other attractions have differing names which include the names of the various sponsors who have paid for calling rights.
Shortly after the All-Star break is the trade deadline, which is set to fall on the 16th Thursday of the season (typically 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 may still sign and launch players. Major trades are typically completed right prior to the trading due date, making that day a busy time for basic supervisors Around the middle of April, the regular season ends. It is during this time that voting starts for individual awards, as well as the choice of the honorary, league-wide, post-season groups. The Sixth Man of the Year Award is offered to the very best player coming off the bench (should have more video games coming off the bench than real games began). The Novice of the Year Award is granted to the most exceptional first-year gamer. One Of The Most Improved Player Award is awarded to the player who is considered to have actually 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 granted to the coach that has actually made the most positive distinction to a group. One Of The Most Belongings Gamer Award is given to the gamer deemed the most valuable for (his team) that season. Additionally, Sporting News grants an informal (however extensively acknowledged) Executive of the Year Award to the general supervisor who is adjudged to have actually carried out the very best job 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 alignment, competing for the league's championship title, the Larry O'Brien Champion Trophy. Seeds are granted in rigorous order of routine season record (with a tiebreaker system used as required).
Having a greater seed provides several 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 6th seed, and the fourth seed plays the 5th seed, having a higher seed suggests a team faces a weaker team in the preliminary. The team in each series with the better record has home-court benefit, including the Preliminary. Before the league altered its playoff decision format for the 2006–-- 07 season, this suggested that, for instance, if the team that got the 6th seed had a better record than the team with the 3rd seed (by virtue of a divisional champion), the 6th seed would have home-court benefit, despite the fact that the other group had a greater seed. For that reason, the group with the very best routine season record in the league is ensured home-court advantage in every series it plays. For example, in 2006, the Denver Nuggets won 44 video games and caught the Northwest Division and the third seed. Their challenger was the sixth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers, who won 47 games and ended up second in the Pacific Division. Although Denver won its much weaker division, the Clippers had a home-court advantage 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 team is gotten rid of from the playoffs. In the next round, the effective group plays versus another advancing team of the exact same conference. All but one team in each conference are removed from the playoffs. Given that the NBA does not re-seed teams, the playoff bracket in each conference uses a traditional style, with the winner of the series matching the very first- and eighth-seeded teams playing the winner of the series matching the fourth- and fifth-seeded teams, and the winner of the series matching the second- and seventh-seeded groups playing the winner of the series matching the 3rd- and sixth-seeded groups. In every round, the best-of-7 series follows a 2–-- 2–-- 1–-- 1–-- 1 home-court pattern, suggesting 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, suggesting that one group had home court in video games 1, 2, 6, and 7, while the other played at house in video games 3, 4, and 5.
The last playoff round, a best-of-seven series in between the victors of both conferences, is referred to as the NBA Finals and is held each year in June. The winner of the NBA Finals gets the Larry O'Brien Championship Prize. Each gamer and major contributor consisting of coaches and the general manager on the winning team get a champion ring. In addition, the league grants the Costs Russell NBA Finals Many Valuable Gamer Award to the very best performing player of the series.
The league began utilizing its current format, with the top 8 teams in each conference advancing regardless of divisional positioning, in the 2015–-- 16 season. Formerly, the leading three seeds went to the department winners.