The National Basketball Association (NBA), is a professional basketball league made up of 30 teams based in the United States (29 teams) and Canada (1 team). It is made up of 2 conferences, each having 3 divisions with 5 teams each. The NBA Playoffs consist of 8 teams from each division (the 3 division champions from each conference along with the team with the next best record). The best 2 teams reach the NBA Finals, where the NBA Championship is decided. The NBA began in 1946 as the Basketball Association of America (BAA) and changed its name in 1949 after merging with the National Basketball League. This means that there is some debate over which team was actually the first NBA Champions.
The first Basketball Association of America Champions
The first BAA championship was held in 1947 with the Philadelphia Warriors defeating the Chicago Stags 4-1 in the best of 7 series. The Philadelphia Warriors are still playing in the NBA today, but were moved to San Francisco in 1962, and are now known as the Golden State Warriors. The Chicago Stags folded in 1950.
The first National Basketball Association Champions
After merging with the NBL, the league was known as the NBA. The first NBA championship was won in 1950 by the Minneapolis Lakers who defeated the Syracuse Nationals 4-2 in the best of 7 series. The Minneapolis Lakers were the first team to create a dynasty and between 1950 and 1959 they won 5 NBA Championships. The Minneapolis Lakers later became the Los Angeles Lakers when they were relocated to Los Angeles. They currently hold the record for the most number of NBA Finals appearances. The Syracuse Nationals are now known as the Philadelphia 76ers.