Until 1949, American basketball was split between two organizations, the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League. The two joined together to create the league we know today, the National Basketball Association (NBA). Beginning in the fall and ending in the early summer, teams play 82 season games each year and those that qualify get a chance to play in the postseason.
Basketball teams within the NBA are also known as franchises. Franchises are valuable organizations that consist of coaches, players, and management. Each team belongs to a North American city, has a mascot and team colors. Throughout the season, these franchises try to build a successful team through the draft, free agent signings, and trades with the goal of winning the NBA Finals.
The NBA is divided into two conferences called the Western Conference and Eastern Conference. Each conference consists of 15 teams and 3 divisions with five teams per division. The NBA divided the teams into 2 conferences in 1971, giving the league the basic structure it still has to this day.
In postseason play, these teams play within their conferences and determine an Eastern and Western conference champion. The Eastern and Western Conference Champions then play in a best of seven series called the NBA Finals to determine the NBA Champion. Since the creation of conferences, the West edges out the East with 26 titles compared to 22.