National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is a men's professional basketball league in North America. It is considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world; the NBA is an active member of USA Basketball, recognized by FIBA as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. NBA players are the world's best paid athletes by average annual salary per player; the league was founded in New York City on June 1946, as the Basketball Association of America. The league adopted the name National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after merging with the competing National Basketball League; the league's several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices located in the Olympic Tower at 645 Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. NBA Entertainment and NBA TV studios are directed out of offices located in New Jersey; the Basketball Association of America was founded in 1946 by owners of the major ice hockey arenas in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Canada.
On November 1, 1946, in Toronto, Canada, the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens, in a game the NBA now refers to as the first game played in NBA history. The first basket was made by Ossie Schectman of the Knickerbockers. Although there had been earlier attempts at professional basketball leagues, including the American Basketball League and the NBL, the BAA was the first league to attempt to play in large arenas in major cities. During its early years, the quality of play in the BAA was not better than in competing leagues or among leading independent clubs such as the Harlem Globetrotters. For instance, the 1948 ABL finalist Baltimore Bullets moved to the BAA and won that league's 1948 title, the 1948 NBL champion Minneapolis Lakers won the 1949 BAA title. Prior to the 1948–49 season, however, NBL teams from Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and Rochester jumped to the BAA, which established the BAA as the league of choice for collegians looking to turn professional.
On August 3, 1949, the remaining NBL teams–Syracuse, Tri-Cities, Sheboygan and Waterloo–merged into the BAA. In deference to the merger and to avoid possible legal complications, the league name was changed to the present National Basketball Association though the merged league retained the BAA's governing body, including Podoloff. To this day, the NBA claims the BAA's history as its own, it now reckons the arrival of the NBL teams as an expansion, not a merger, does not recognize NBL records and statistics. The new league had seventeen franchises located in a mix of large and small cities, as well as large arenas and smaller gymnasiums and armories. In 1950, the NBA consolidated to eleven franchises, a process that continued until 1953–54, when the league reached its smallest size of eight franchises: the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia Warriors, Minneapolis Lakers, Rochester Royals, Fort Wayne Pistons, Tri-Cities Blackhawks, Syracuse Nationals, all of which remain in the league today.
The process of contraction saw. The Hawks shifted from the Tri-Cities to Milwaukee in 1951, to St. Louis in 1955; the Rochester Royals moved from Rochester, New York, to Cincinnati in 1957 and the Pistons relocated from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Detroit in 1957. Japanese-American Wataru Misaka broke the NBA color barrier in the 1947–48 season when he played for the New York Knicks, he remained the only non-white player in league history prior to the first African-American, Harold Hunter, signing with the Washington Capitols in 1950. Hunter was cut from the team during training camp, but several African-American players did play in the league that year, including Chuck Cooper with the Celtics, Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton with the Knicks, Earl Lloyd with the Washington Capitols. During this period, the Minneapolis Lakers, led by center George Mikan, won five NBA Championships and established themselves as the league's first dynasty. To encourage shooting and discourage stalling, the league introduced the 24-second shot clock in 1954.
If a team does not attempt to score a field goal within 24 seconds of obtaining the ball, play is stopped and the ball given to its opponent. In 1957, rookie center Bill Russell joined the Boston Celtics, which featured guard Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, went on to lead the club to eleven NBA titles in thirteen seasons. Center Wilt Chamberlain entered the league with the Warriors in 1959 and became a dominant individual star of the 1960s, setting new single game records in scoring and rebounding. Russell's rivalry with Chamberlain became one of the greatest rivalries in the history of American team sports; the 1960s were dominated by the Celtics. Led by Russell, Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, Boston won eight straight championships in the NBA from 1959 to 1966; this championship streak is the longest in NBA history. They did not win the title in 1966–67, but regained it in the 1967–68 season and repeated in 1969; the domination totaled nine of the ten championship banners of the 1960s.
Through this period, the NBA continued to evolve with the shift of the Minneapolis Lakers to Los Angeles, the Philadelphia Warriors to San Francisco, the Syracuse Nationals to Philadelphia to become the Philadelphia 76ers, the St. Louis Hawks moving to Atlanta, as well as the addition of its first expansion franchises; the Chicago Packers (now Wa
Michael Jeffrey Jordan known by his initials, MJ, is an American former professional basketball player, the principal owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association. He played 15 seasons in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards, his biography on the official NBA website states: "By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time." He was one of the most marketed athletes of his generation and was considered instrumental in popularizing the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s. Jordan played three seasons for coach Dean Smith at the University of North Carolina; as a freshman, he was a member of the Tar Heels' national championship team in 1982. Jordan joined the Bulls in 1984 as the third overall draft pick, he emerged as a league star and entertained crowds with his prolific scoring. His leaping ability, demonstrated by performing slam dunks from the free throw line in Slam Dunk Contests, earned him the nicknames Air Jordan and His Airness.
He gained a reputation for being one of the best defensive players in basketball. In 1991, he won his first NBA championship with the Bulls, followed that achievement with titles in 1992 and 1993, securing a "three-peat". Although Jordan abruptly retired from basketball before the beginning of the 1993–94 NBA season, started a new career in Minor League Baseball, he returned to the Bulls in March 1995 and led them to three additional championships in 1996, 1997, 1998, as well as a then-record 72 regular-season wins in the 1995–96 NBA season. Jordan retired for a second time in January 1999, but returned for two more NBA seasons from 2001 to 2003 as a member of the Wizards. Jordan's individual accolades and accomplishments include six NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Awards, ten scoring titles, five MVP Awards, ten All-NBA First Team designations, nine All-Defensive First Team honors, fourteen NBA All-Star Game selections, three All-Star Game MVP Awards, three steals titles, the 1988 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award.
He holds the NBA records for highest career regular season scoring average and highest career playoff scoring average. In 1999, he was named the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century by ESPN, was second to Babe Ruth on the Associated Press' list of athletes of the century. Jordan is a two-time inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, having been enshrined in 2009 for his individual career, again in 2010 as part of the group induction of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team, he became a member of the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2015. Jordan is known for his product endorsements, he fueled the success of Nike's Air Jordan sneakers, which were introduced in 1984 and remain popular today. Jordan starred as himself in the 1996 film Space Jam. In 2006, he became part-owner and head of basketball operations for the Charlotte Bobcats, bought a controlling interest in 2010. In 2014, Jordan became the first billionaire player in NBA history, he is the third-richest African-American, behind Robert F. Oprah Winfrey.
Jordan was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Deloris, who worked in banking, James R. Jordan Sr. an equipment supervisor. His family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina. Jordan is the fourth of five children, he has two older brothers, Larry Jordan and James R. Jordan, Jr. one older sister and one younger sister, Roslyn. Jordan's brother James retired in 2006 as the Command Sergeant Major of the 35th Signal Brigade of the XVIII Airborne Corps in the U. S. Army. Jordan attended Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington, where he highlighted his athletic career by playing basketball and football, he tried out for the varsity basketball team during his sophomore year, but at 5'11", he was deemed too short to play at that level. His taller friend, Harvest Leroy Smith, was the only sophomore to make the team. Motivated to prove his worth, Jordan became the star of Laney's junior varsity team, tallied several 40-point games; the following summer, he trained rigorously. Upon earning a spot on the varsity roster, Jordan averaged more than 25 points per game over his final two seasons of high school play.
As a senior, he was selected to play in the 1981 McDonald's All-American Game and scored 30 points, after averaging 27 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists per game for the season. Jordan was recruited by numerous college basketball programs, including Duke, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. In 1981, Jordan accepted a basketball scholarship to North Carolina, where he majored in cultural geography; as a freshman in coach Dean Smith's team-oriented system, he was named ACC Freshman of the Year after he averaged 13.4 ppg on 53.4% shooting. He made the game-winning jump shot in the 1982 NCAA Championship game against Georgetown, led by future NBA rival Patrick Ewing. Jordan described this shot as the major turning point in his basketball career. During his three seasons at North Carolina, he averaged 17.7 ppg on 54.0% shooting, added 5.0 rpg. He was selected by consensus to the NCAA All-American First Team in both his sophomore and junior seasons. After winning the Naismith and the Wooden College Player of the Year awards in 1984, Jordan left North Carolina one year before his scheduled graduation to enter the 1984 NBA draft.
The Chicago Bulls selected Jordan after Hakeem Olajuwon and Sam Bowie. One of the primary reasons why Jordan was not drafted
Ronald L. Rothstein is an American former professional basketball coach and college basketball player, who has led many different NBA teams, he served as the first head coach for the Miami Heat, coached the Detroit Pistons. He has coached in the Women's National Basketball Association. In 2007-08, he filled in for Pat Riley as an interim coach for the Heat. Born in Bronxville, New York, Rothstein graduated from Roosevelt High School of Yonkers, New York in 1960 and played college basketball at the University of Rhode Island for the Rams. At Rhode Island, Rothstein was team captain as a senior and graduated in 1964 with a degree in physical education. In 1966, Rothstein earned. Rothstein began his coaching career in 1966 at Eastchester High School in Eastchester, New York and would remain until 1976. During the summer of 1967, he was the athletic director at Camp Ma-Ho-Ge in New York, he became assistant coach at NCAA DIvision III Upsala College for one season and worked as head coach at New Rochelle High School of New Rochelle, New York from 1976 to 1978.
Rothstein returned to Eastchester High for the 1978–79 season and coached varsity basketball and physical education thru June 1983. In 1979, Rothstein signed as a scout for the Atlanta Hawks and was named assistant coach in July 1983, he was signed as an assistant for the Detroit Pistons in 1986 before becoming the first coach in Heat history. Rothstein coached the Heat for three seasons. Rothstein became a television commentator for the Pistons as well as for the NBA on NBC all during the 1990-91 season. Detroit hired him as their head coach for a season, but he was fired. In 1993, he was hired as an assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he stayed six seasons. In 2000, he was hired as head coach and general manager for the WNBA's Miami Sol, where he stayed during the franchise's entire existence. In 2003, he was hired by the Indiana Pacers as an assistant coach. Rothstein would return to the Heat as an assistant. On January 3, 2007, Rothstein was named as the interim head coach of the Miami Heat in place of Pat Riley, who took a leave of absence for knee and hip surgery.
WNBA.com coach file: Ron Rothstein NBA.com coach file: Ron Rothstein
The Denver Nuggets are an American professional basketball team based in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets compete in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the league's Western Conference Northwest Division; the team was founded as the Denver Larks in 1967 as a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association, but changed its name to Rockets before the first season. It changed its name again to the Nuggets in 1974. After the name change, the Nuggets played for the final ABA Championship title in 1976, losing to the New York Nets; the team has had some periods of success, qualifying for the ABA Playoffs for all seasons from 1967 to the 1976 ABA playoffs where it lost in the finals. The team joined the NBA in 1976 after the ABA–NBA merger and qualified for the NBA playoffs in nine consecutive seasons in the 1980s and ten consecutive seasons from 2004 to 2013. However, it has not made an appearance in a championship round since its last year in the ABA; the Nuggets play their home games at Pepsi Center, which they share with the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League and the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League.
The original Denver Nuggets was founded in the National Basketball League prior to the 1948–49 season. Following that season, the NBL was absorbed into the BAA, renamed to the NBA; the Denver Nuggets played the 1949–50 season as one of the charter NBA teams before folding. In 1967, one of the ABA's charter franchises was awarded to a group in Kansas City, headed by Southern Californian businessman James Trindle. However, Trindle was unable to find a suitable arena in the Kansas City area. League commissioner George Mikan suggested moving the team to Denver. After agreeing to name Denver resident and former NBA player Vince Boryla as general manager, Trindle moved his team to Denver as the Denver Larks, named after Colorado's state bird; the Trindle group was undercapitalized, leading Mikan to order the Larks to post a $100,000 performance bond or lose the franchise. Hours before the deadline, Trindle sold a ⅔ controlling interest to Denver trucking magnate Bill Ringsby for $350,000. Ringsby renamed the team the Rockets, after his company's long-haul trucks.
Playing at the Denver Auditorium Arena, the Rockets had early successes on the court, developing a solid fan base along the way. However, the team had a history of early playoff exits and failed to play in an ABA championship series. Early, they had a solid lineup led by Byron Beck and Larry Jones later by Beck and Ralph Simpson. Lonnie Wright of the American Football League's Denver Broncos signed with the Rockets during that first season and became the first player to play professional football and basketball in the same season. Wright played four seasons with Denver. Controversial rookie Spencer Haywood joined the team for the 1969–70 season. Haywood was one of the first players to turn pro before graduating from college, the NBA refused to let him play in the league. Haywood averaged nearly 30 points and 19.5 rebounds per game in his only ABA season, being named ABA MVP, ABA rookie of the year, as well as the All-Star Game MVP. The team finished 51–33, winning their division, before exiting the playoffs in the 2nd round.
Just before the start of the 1970–71 season, Haywood signed with the Seattle SuperSonics, jumping to the NBA. The team tumbled to a 30–54 record and attendance suffered. Ringsby sold the team to San Diego businessmen Frank Goldberg and Bud Fischer in 1972. In 1974, in anticipation of moving into the NBA, the new McNichols Arena, the franchise held a contest to choose a new team nickname, as "Rockets" was in use by the Houston Rockets; the winning choice was "Nuggets", in honor of the original Nuggets team in Denver from 1948–50, the last year as a charter member of the NBA. Their new logo was a miner "discovering" an ABA ball. Goldberg and Fischer in turn sold the team to a local investment group in 1976. With the drafting and signing of future hall of fame player David Thompson out of North Carolina State, Marvin Webster and the acquisitions of Dan Issel and Bobby Jones and with Larry Brown coaching, they had their best seasons in team history in their first two seasons as the Nuggets. Playing in the Denver Auditorium Arena for the last season the 1974–75 team went 65–16, including a 40–2 record at home.
However, a quick playoff exit followed. In 1975–76, playing at their new arena, the Nuggets edged the reigning champion Kentucky Colonels four games to three to make the 1976 ABA finals for the first time, they lost to the New York Nets and Julius Erving. They did not get a second chance to win an ABA league championship, as the ABA–NBA merger took place after the 1975–76 season; the Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs were merged into the NBA. The Spirits of St. Louis and Kentucky Colonels were disbanded; the Nuggets and Nets had applied to join the NBA in 1975, but were forced to stay in the ABA by a court order. The Nuggets continued their strong play early on in the NBA, as they won division titles in their first two seasons in the league, missed a third by a single game. However, neither of these teams were successful in the postseason. To the other new NBA teams, the Nuggets were given many financial issues including a $2 million entry fee. Red McCombs bought the team in 1978. In 1979, Brown left the team.
It ended in 1981. Moe brought with him a "motion offense" philosophy, a style of play focusing on attempting to move the ball until someone got open. Moe was known for not paying as much attention to defense as his colleagues; the offense helped the team become competitive. During the 1980s
Shaquille Rashaun "Shaq" O'Neal, is a retired professional American basketball player, a sports analyst on the television program Inside the NBA on TNT. He is considered one of the greatest players in National Basketball Association history. At 7 ft 1 in tall and 325 pounds, he was one of heaviest players yet. O'Neal played for six teams throughout his 19-year career. Following his time at Louisiana State University, O'Neal was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft, he became one of the best centers in the league, winning Rookie of the Year in 1992–93 and leading his team to the 1995 NBA Finals. After four years with the Magic, O'Neal signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers, they won three consecutive championships in 2000, 2001, 2002. Amid tension between O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004, his fourth NBA championship followed in 2006. Midway through the 2007–2008 season he was traded to the Phoenix Suns. After a season-and-a-half with the Suns, O'Neal was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2009–10 season.
O'Neal played for the Boston Celtics in the 2010–11 season before retiring. O'Neal's individual accolades include the 1999–2000 MVP award, the 1992–93 NBA Rookie of the Year award, 15 All-Star game selections, three All-Star Game MVP awards, three Finals MVP awards, two scoring titles, 14 All-NBA team selections, three NBA All-Defensive Team selections, he is one of only three players to win NBA MVP, All-Star game MVP and Finals MVP awards in the same year. He ranks 8th all-time in points scored, 6th in field goals, 15th in rebounds, 8th in blocks. Due to his ability to dunk the basketball, O'Neal ranks third all-time in field goal percentage. O'Neal was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016, he was elected to the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2017. In addition to his basketball career, O'Neal has released four rap albums, with his first, Shaq Diesel, going platinum, he has appeared in numerous films and has starred in his own reality shows, Shaq's Big Challenge and Shaq Vs..
He hosts The Big Podcast with Shaq. He is the general manager of Kings Guard Gaming of the NBA 2K League. O'Neal was born on March 6, 1972, in Newark, New Jersey, to Lucille O'Neal and Joe Toney, who played high school basketball and was offered a basketball scholarship to play at Seton Hall. Toney struggled with drug addiction and was imprisoned for drug possession when O'Neal was an infant. Upon his release, he did not resume a place in O'Neal's life and instead agreed to relinquish his parental rights to O'Neal's Jamaican stepfather, Phillip A. Harrison, a career Army sergeant. O'Neal remained estranged from his biological father for decades. On his 1994 rap album, Shaq Fu: The Return, O'Neal voiced his feelings of disdain for Toney in the song "Biological Didn't Bother", dismissing him with the line "Phil is my father." However, O'Neal's feelings toward Toney mellowed in the years following Harrison's death in 2013, the two met for the first time in March 2016, with O'Neal telling him, "I don't hate you.
I had a good life. I had Phil."O'Neal credits the Boys and Girls Club of America in Newark with giving him a safe place to play and keeping him off the streets. "It gave me something to do," he said. "I'd just go there to shoot. I didn't play on a team." Because of his stepfather's career in the military, the family left Newark, moving to military bases in Germany and Texas. At Robert G. Cole High School in San Antonio, Texas, O'Neal led his team to a 68–1 record over two years and helped the team win the state championship during his senior year, his 791 rebounds during the 1989 season remains a state record for a player in any classification. O'Neal's tendency to make hook shots earned comparisons to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, inspiring him to wear the same jersey number as Abdul-Jabbar, 33. However, his high school team did not have a 33 jersey. After graduating from high school, O'Neal studied business at Louisiana State University, he had first met Dale Brown, LSU's men's basketball coach, years earlier in Europe when O'Neal's stepfather was stationed on a U.
S. Army base at West Germany. While playing for Brown at LSU, O'Neal was a two-time All-American, two-time SEC Player of the Year, received the Adolph Rupp Trophy as NCAA men's basketball player of the year in 1991. O'Neal left LSU early to pursue his NBA career, but continued his education after becoming a professional player, he was inducted into the LSU Hall of Fame. A 900-pound bronze statue of O'Neal is located in front of the LSU Tigers Basketball Practice Facility; the Orlando Magic drafted O'Neal with the 1st overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft. During that summer, prior to moving to Orlando, he spent a significant amount of time in Los Angeles under the tutelage of Hall of Famer Magic Johnson. Given Terry Catledge refused to give O'Neal the 33 jersey, he relented by going back to the 32 from his high school days. O'Neal was named the Player of the Week in his first week in the NBA, becoming the first player to do so. During his rookie season, O'Neal averaged 23.4 points on 56.2% shooting, 13.9 rebounds, 3.5 blocks per game for the season.
He was named the 1993 NBA Rookie of the Year and became the first rookie to be voted an All-Star starter since Michael Jordan in 1985. The Magic finished 41–41, winning 20 more games than the previous season.
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws; the team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play is mandated. Players advance the ball by bouncing it while walking or running or by passing it to a teammate, both of which require considerable skill. On offense, players may use a variety of shots -- a dunk, it is a violation to lift or drag one's pivot foot without dribbling the ball, to carry it, or to hold the ball with both hands resume dribbling.
The five players on each side at a time fall into five playing positions: the tallest player is the center, the tallest and strongest is the power forward, a shorter but more agile big man is the small forward, the shortest players or the best ball handlers are the shooting guard and the point guard, who implements the coach's game plan by managing the execution of offensive and defensive plays. Informally, players may play three-on-three, two-on-two, one-on-one. Invented in 1891 by Canadian-American gym teacher James Naismith in Springfield, United States, basketball has evolved to become one of the world's most popular and viewed sports; the National Basketball Association is the most significant professional basketball league in the world in terms of popularity, salaries and level of competition. Outside North America, the top clubs from national leagues qualify to continental championships such as the Euroleague and FIBA Americas League; the FIBA Basketball World Cup and Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament are the major international events of the sport and attract top national teams from around the world.
Each continent hosts regional competitions for national teams, like FIBA AmeriCup. The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup and Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament feature top national teams from continental championships; the main North American league is the WNBA, whereas strongest European clubs participate in the EuroLeague Women. In early December 1891, Canadian James Naismith, a physical education professor and instructor at the International Young Men's Christian Association Training School in Springfield, was trying to keep his gym class active on a rainy day, he sought a vigorous indoor game to keep his students occupied and at proper levels of fitness during the long New England winters. After rejecting other ideas as either too rough or poorly suited to walled-in gymnasiums, he wrote the basic rules and nailed a peach basket onto a 10-foot elevated track. In contrast with modern basketball nets, this peach basket retained its bottom, balls had to be retrieved manually after each "basket" or point scored.
Basketball was played with a soccer ball. These round balls from "association football" were made, at the time, with a set of laces to close off the hole needed for inserting the inflatable bladder after the other sewn-together segments of the ball's cover had been flipped outside-in; these laces could dribbling to be unpredictable. A lace-free ball construction method was invented, this change to the game was endorsed by Naismith; the first balls made for basketball were brown, it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle, searching for a ball that would be more visible to players and spectators alike, introduced the orange ball, now in common use. Dribbling was not part of the original game except for the "bounce pass" to teammates. Passing the ball was the primary means of ball movement. Dribbling was introduced but limited by the asymmetric shape of early balls. Dribbling was common by 1896, with a rule against the double dribble by 1898; the peach baskets were used until 1906 when they were replaced by metal hoops with backboards.
A further change was soon made, so the ball passed through. Whenever a person got the ball in the basket, his team would gain a point. Whichever team got; the baskets were nailed to the mezzanine balcony of the playing court, but this proved impractical when spectators in the balcony began to interfere with shots. The backboard was introduced to prevent this interference. Naismith's handwritten diaries, discovered by his granddaughter in early 2006, indicate that he was nervous about the new game he had invented, which incorporated rules from a children's game called duck on a rock, as many had failed before it. Frank Mahan, one of the players from the original
NBA on NBC
The NBA on NBC is the branding used for presentations of National Basketball Association games produced by the NBC television network in the United States. NBC held broadcast rights from 1955 to 1962 and again from 1990 to 2002. During NBC's partnership with the NBA in the 1990s, the league rose to unprecedented popularity, with ratings surpassing the days of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird in the mid-1980s. NBC's first tenure with the National Basketball Association began on October 30, 1954 and lasted until April 7, 1962. On November 9, 1989, the NBA reached an agreement with the network worth US$600 million contract to broadcast the league's games for four years, beginning with the 1990–91 season. On April 28, 1993, NBC extended its exclusive broadcast rights to the NBA with a four-year, $750 million contract. NBC's coverage of the NBA began on Christmas Day each season, with the exception of the inaugural season in 1990, the 1997–98 season, the 1998–99 season, the final season of the network's contract in 2001–02.
NBC aired the NBA All-Star Game every year at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. In 2002, NBC aired the game an hour earlier due to the Winter Olympics that evening. Starting in 2000, during the NBA Playoffs, NBC would air tripleheaders on Saturdays and Sundays during the first two weeks of the playoffs. Prior to 2000, NBC would air a doubleheader followed by a tripleheader on Sunday. On December 30, 2000, NBC aired a rare second December game; the Saturday match was the only time that NBC aired a game between Christmas Day and the start of the regular run of games in February. In 2001, NBC was scheduled to air an October preseason game involving an NBA team playing an international team. During the 2001–02 NBA season, NBC added a significant number of Washington Wizards games to its schedule; when Jordan became injured during the middle of the season, the network replaced the added Wizards games with the games, on the schedule. The theme music for the NBA on NBC broadcasts, "Roundball Rock", was composed by new-age artist John Tesh.
The instrumental piece, which NBC used for every telecast during the network's twelve-year tenure. Although Tesh offered the theme to ABC when it took over the rights to the league, the network declined. In 1991, "The Dream is Still Alive" by Wilson Phillips was played during the end of the season montage. Afterwards, until 1996, NBC would play the rock song "Winning It All" by The Outfield during its end-of-season montage. From 1997 to 2001, several contemporary music pieces were used for the montage. After the 1999 Finals, NBC used "Fly Away" by Lenny Kravitz for their montage. In 2002, after NBC's final broadcast, the network aired a montage of memorable moments from every year of coverage, using music from "Titans Spirit" to "Winning It All" and most notably, "To The Flemish Cap" from the 2000 film The Perfect Storm; the song composed by James Horner is played at the beginning of the montage as well as the end featuring footage from the Los Angeles Lakers dynasty era. This theme song has made a brief comeback as part of NBC's Olympic basketball coverage in 2008, again in 2016.
The pre-game show for NBC's NBA telecasts was NBA Showtime, a title, used from 1990 until 2000, with the pre-game being unbranded afterward. Showtime was hosted by Bob Costas from the inaugural season of the 1990 contract to the 1995–96 season; the video game NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC, by Midway Games, was named after the pregame show. During the NBA Finals, additional coverage would be available on CNBC, in which the panelists provided an additional half-hour of in-depth game discussions, after the NBC broadcast network's coverage concluded; the halftime show was sponsored by Prudential Financial, NetZero and Verizon Wireless. The broadcasts featured a segment during the live games called Miller Genuine Moments, which provided a brief retrospective on a particular significant and/or dramatic moment in NBA history. For a brief period in 2001–02, NBC aired a studio segment called 24, in which each analyst would have 24 seconds to talk about issues concerning the NBA. NBC discontinued the segment in February 2002.
During its twelve-year run, the NBA on NBC experienced ratings highs and lows for the NBA. In the 1990s, the NBA Finals ratings were stellar, with the exception of 1999 Finals. In 1998, the NBA set a Finals ratings record, with an 18.7 h