The Basketball Teams Page is about Links to Popular North American Professional Basketball Teams and Leagues. The Logos are an easier access to the Player Rosters and Player Biographies, too. The National Basketball Association - NBA, the Women’s National Basketball Association - WNBA, and the National Basketball Association Development League - NBA D-League are the Leagues Linked to, with all of their Teams.
The game of Basketball is a Team Sport played indoors on a hard floor surface, made of wood or tile, and can be played outdoors on asphalt or cement. It is played with 5 players per side - always. The objective is to put an air inflated, spherical, leather ball through a ‘Hoop’ mounted high overhead to score ‘Points’ and outscore your Opponent. The Basketball is bounced, held and thrown with the hands - only! The other parts of a player’s body are not used to control the ball. Basketball is a non-contact sport.
Predominantly an Offensive minded game, Basketball requires great Defensive skills, too. The Professional game requires aggressive play making and high scoring, as physical contact does not come into play, but, is the cause of many stoppages for Fouls. Pro Basketball Players are known to be very tall - some as much as 7 feet or more in height - and it is a definite advantage as reach is the most needed attribute, and then jumping ability. Obviously the most relied upon skill is shot accuracy because the Hoop is only about twice as larger in diameter than the Basketball.
Basketball was invented by a Canadian - Dr. James Naismith, in December, 1891. Born in Almonte, Ontario he was working at the Y.M.C.A., as an Athletics Trainer in Springfield Massachusetts, when he decided that a ‘Non-Contact Sport’ promoting co-ordination and athletic skills, was required. Peach baskets were mounted 10 feet overhead, at each end of a gymnasium, and competitors were required to put a ball into them so it would stay. Naismith penned Basketball’s 13 original rules that are the foundation that still guides the game today. The original ball used was a Soccer ball. Many competitions were between 5 -7 players per Team and the ball was not Dribbled, but, passed only. From peach baskets the Goals changed to twine nets, but, were not open at the bottom until 1906. In 1898, the Dribble was first used, Field Goals became 2 Points, Free Throws became 1 Point and the first Professional Game was played. Teams were set at 5 Players per side.
The original Professional Basketball league was called the BAA - Basketball Association of America - and played their first ever Professional Basketball Game in Toronto, Canada, between the Toronto Huskies and the New York Knickerbockers, in 1946. The BAA was created by a group of Hockey owners led by Maurice Podoloff. In 1949, the BAA merged with the NBL - National Basketball League, formed in the 1930’s, to form the NBA - National Basketball Association. In 1950, Earl Lloyd became the first Black American NBA Basketball Player. In 1954, Danny Biasone, the owner of the Syracuse Nationals, convinced the NBA to introduce the 24 Second Shot Clock that guides the Game today. Now, as the NBA there are 30 teams with 1 from Canada: the Toronto Raptors. The Huskies only lasted one year, but, in the 1995-96 season, the NBA returned to Canada with the expansion teams Toronto Raptors and the Vancouver Grizzlies. The Grizzlies have since moved on to Memphis, Tennessee. Basketball was not always a smooth flowing skills oriented game, as it is seen now. It was invented for Football Players to stay athletic indoors. Although intended to be a Non-Contact Sport, in the early going, and even in the first decades of the Professional levels, Basketball would get marred by rough play, and Fouls were common. Some Leagues, prior to the NBA, separated the Court from the spectators with chicken wire, giving rise to the term “Cagers” for Basketball Players. Eventually, 4 Fouls by one Player was enough for an ejection from the game, a Jump Ball after Free Throws and successful Field Goals was eliminated in favour of a Throw In and the Shot Clock improved the Game to where finesse and agility, along with reach and jumping height, rule the Courts.
As a Non-Contact Sport, Basketball requires tremendous skills in dexterity, agility and stamina - also, mental control and concentration as a player must propel the Basketball around Opponents without running into any of them. The Defenders must try to stop the progress of the Offense without bumping or blocking them - illegally. The frustration level would become more and more, so, composure is needed to avoid Fouls and complete ‘Field Goal Attempts’. Basketball Players are now very nimble!
The NBA plays an 82 Game schedule from the beginning of November to the middle of April with the playoffs continuing into June - concluding with the NBA Championship. The 30 Teams are divided into 2 Conferences with 3 Divisions each. Each Conference sends 8 teams to the playoffs, 3 Division winners and the next 5 best records, to determine who will vie for the Larry O’Brian Trophy. The NBA owns and started the WNBA - Women’s National Basketball Association that began Play in 1996. The WNBA plays a 34 Game summer Schedule from mid-May to Mid-August with the playoffs concluding in early September. The WNBA is divided up into 2 Conferences of 7 Teams each sending the Title holder and the next 3 best records to the playoffs competing for the WNBA Championship Trophy. Although, Basketball rules for women began as very different, they are now very close to being the same rules the NBA is governed by since they suit both skill sets. However, the WNBA Basketball is slightly smaller at 9” dia. and 28.5” in circumference. To see an outline of other rule changes, from the Basketball Rules described below, see The Women’s Game at the bottom of this page. The WNBA began their first season in 1996-97 and have competed for 10 years with 2005-06 being their 10th anniversary. The D-League - NBA Development League - plays a 50 Game schedule from late November to mid-April with the D-League Championship in late April. Also, owned and started by the NBA, the NBADL began with 8 Teams, in the fall of 2001, as the National Basketball Development League - NBDL. Some Teams are privately owned. In the summer of 2005 the NBDL became the NBA D-League - National Basketball Association Development League and now has 12 Teams with more expansion plans to come. Each Team is Affiliated with up to 3 NBA franchises and is a Minor League to develop future NBA Players. D-League plans are to grow to a 15 Team Farm System with 2 NBA Teams owning each D-League Team. The Los Angeles Lakers are the first Team to own a D-League Team - the Los Angeles D-Fenders. Starting in 2006-07, the League is divided into 2 Divisions: the Eastern and the Western. The playoff format will undoubtedly involve determining Division Champions who vie for the D-League Championship.
Each Basketball League and Team name are linked to their Home Page. Each Basketball Team Logo is linked to the Team’s roster, or Player list, page. Each Basketball League Logo is linked to the League standings page, except the D-League Logo which is linked to the Player list page as the Standings are on the League Home Page. All the Logos and pictures have captions to tell the visitor what it is and where it Links to, so, there is no guessing about any object’s link destination. From a Team or League Web Site, their store can be viewed to see Basketball gear and equipment for fans and Players. Basketball sweatbands and Team Jerseys are often worn by fans at Basketball games. Team ‘banners’ and many other items with Team colours are displayed and used to help cheer on the Home Team. Advertisements, are also shown and, can be a source for just that right item to enhance your enjoyment of Basketball or your favourite Team. There is no cost in linking with an ad or any web site.
From the Baseball Team rosters, the Players information and stats can be linked to. This information is part of the Team Web Site and is often very up to date. From the standings page the Teams are shown in their Leagues, Conferences and in their Divisions - with their current win/loss record and percentage. The team names, there, are linked to their web sites, as well. Navigation Links, in small, blue, underlined text, are at the top and bottom of each section and allow the visitor to move around the page much easier.
Each Basketball League has a playoff and Champion from the season before. There are trophy pictures and Championship Logos, displayed with the current Champions, that link to information and web pages about that trophy or Basketball event. Other Logos, displayed in each section, link to their home pages, too, and are meant to offer other destinations for Basketball fans to explore - included are the All-Star Events and Governing Body Logos.
Basketball is played on a ‘Court’ that is 94 ft. long and 50 ft. wide with a Division Line dividing the length in half 47 ft. from each end. ‘Centre Court’ is at the centre of the Division Line 25 ft. from each ‘Side Line’. Although NBA Courts place the Home Team Logo there, Officially there should be a 4 ft. diameter circle with a 12 ft. diameter circle around it. Two ‘Jump Ball’ competitors must have 1 foot each inside the 4 ft. circle to vie for the tossed ball. The other eight Players must be outside the 12 ft. circle. There are two more 12 ft. Diameter Jump Ball Circles - one centred on each of the ‘Free Throw Lines’ in front of the ‘Goal’ at each end.
All the markings on a Basketball Court are symmetrical about Centre Court - except the ‘Substitution Area’ in front of the ‘Scorer’s Table’ on one side of ‘Mid Court’. Each ‘End’ has a ‘Basketball Hoop’ with an 18” inside diameter that is 5’ - 3” out from the ‘End Line’ and 10’ - 0” from the floor. No longer peach baskets that gave the Game it‘s name, the 2 Basketball Goals each have a level horizontally mounted steal ring with a mesh nylon net hanging down from it that is open at the top - to let the ball in - and open at the bottom - to let the ball drop out. The Net is designed to grab the Basketball slightly as it passes through. The Hoop is mounted on a steal flange - “Iron“ - that mounts to a transparent ‘Backboard’ that is vertically flat plexi-glass 6 ft. wide and 42” tall - 4 ft. from the End Line. The ‘Rim’ of the Hoop is then 6” out from the Backboard. The Backboard is suspended firmly and considered immobile. Only the front face, and the 4 edges, are ‘Inbounds’; the back face of the Backboard is ‘Out of Bounds’ as is the mounting structure behind it. Players move under and even behind the Hoop and Backboard staying Inbounds to the Court, however, a ball made to travel directly behind the Backboard - up in the air - is Out of Bounds and Play is Whistled for a ‘Throw In’. On the Backboard, centred behind the Hoop, is a 24” wide by 18” tall square made in 2” thick lines that is used by Field Goal Shooters for aiming. The NBA Backboards light up RED, along with a buzzer sound, to indicated the end of a Quarter.
Around the ‘Basketball Basket’ is the ‘Lane’, 16 ft. wide and extending to the ‘Free Throw Line’ 18 - 10” from the Base Line, or End Line. The Free Throw Line is 15 ft. out from the Backboard. In the Lane is the ‘Key’: 12 ft wide extending to the Free Throw Line from the Base Line. Centred on the Free Throw Line is a 12 ft. dia. Jump Ball Circle. Down the outsides of each Lane there are 3 spaces for Players to occupy during ‘Free Throw Attempts’. The spaces are marked by 2” by 8” lines at 7ft., 8 ft., 11 ft. and 14 ft from the Base Line. In an ‘Arc’, 23’ - 9” from the centre of the Basket, is the ‘3 Point Field Goal Line’ where successful Field Goals shot from outside of this line are scored 3 Points: from inside this line Field Goals are scored 2 Points and Free Throws are scored 1 Point each. The 3 Point Field Goal Arc joins lines parallel to the Sidelines, that are 3 ft. away, and extend from the intersection back to the Base Line.
In addition to the Main Markings there are smaller lines indicating certain limits where actions can be completed - these, too, are symmetrical about Centre Court. There are 4 ‘Hash Mark’ lines, 2” thick by 3 ft. long running out from the Side Lines, that are 28 ft. from the Base Lines having 1 on each side of the Court and a pair at each End. These Hash Marks indicate where Throw Ins from the Side Lines are to be made between and indicate the end of the Player’s Bench; the other end is at the Base Line - with both Benches on the Scorer’s Table side of the Court. The Player’s Benches are where the Substitute Players, Coaches and Trainers are to stay during a Game. The Head Coach may approach the Division Line and Scorer’s Table. Another pair of Hash Mark lines are 3 ft. away from each side of each Lane, running into the Court from the End Line, and mark where the Basketball is to be Inbounded between after the Opponents Score a Field Goal. Another pair of lines are inside of the Key on either side of the Jump Ball Circle, at each End, and mark the top of the ‘Defensive Box’. A pair of lines, in front of the Scorer’s Table at Mid-Court, run into the Court from that Sideline only - 4 ft. either side of the Division Line - and indicate where a Substitute Player can enter the game from. This ensures that the Officials are aware of the ‘Substitution‘. The Substituted Player can leave to the Bench. And one last set of points, that are on either side of the Court and at each End, are where the Free Throw Line would intersect with the Side Lines. These points are called the Free Throw Line Extended and are Throw In points for certain violations - there is not actually a marking on the Court. These imaginary lines also indicate the area where a Dribbling Player has a time limit in not facing the Goal.
There is a semi-circle Arc, marked on the floor 4 ft. out from the centre of the Basket with lines extending back to under the Backboard, that indicates the area where a Defender can not be standing while not actively Guarding an Opponent: seemingly to have Offensive ‘Dribblers’ run into them while Charging to the Basket.
The Women’s version of Professional Basketball is very nearly the same as it is for the Men. However, there are slight changes that suit the WNBA more appropriately. The Court is the same size and all of the markings are the same except for one item: the 3 Point Field Goal Arc is 20’ - 6 ¼” from the centre of the basket and joins lines parallel to the Side Lines 4’ - 6” away from them. The WNBA Basketball is about 9” dia. and about 28.5” in circumference. All Periods are 10:00 Minutes in length and only the last 1:00 Minute has the Time Clock stop for successful Field Goals. Mandatory Time Outs are different. They are each 120 seconds long and only 1 in the 1st and 3rd Quarters are required, and only 2 in the 2nd and 4th Quarters. In the 1st and 3rd Periods the Mandatory Time Out occurs at the first Dead Ball after 5:00 Minutes left - charged to neither Team. In the 2nd and 4th Periods the Mandatory Time Out occurs at the first Dead Ball after 6:00 Minutes left, charged to the Home Team. Then again at 3:00 Minutes left and charged to the Team not previously charged, unless both previous Time Outs were charged to Teams, then, it is not charged to either Team. The Game of Basketball, above, describes Mandatory Time Outs a little better, these are the rule differences. Each Team has only 2 Regular Time Outs of 60 Seconds per half and they do not carry over. The 1 per half - 2 per game 20 second Time Outs do carry over to the 2nd Half. There is 1 Time Out per Overtime Period and any 20 second Time Outs remaining. There are 10 Seconds permitted to forward the ball over the Division Line when gaining possession in the Back Court. There are 4 Team Fouls permitted per Period of Play. And the last item is that the WNBA Referees Reviews Replay Video of the Game to determine certain rulings in special situations. There are undoubtedly a few more very detailed changes, but, essentially these are the differences with the WNBA’s Game. Notably the length of each Period, the Radius of the 3 Point Field Goal Arc, the Team Fouls permitted and the size of the ball.
Now you know what‘s going on in a Game, and your ready to know what to look for in the next Games that you see. Pro Sports Official Team Sites Basketball Teams Page can link you with all the action, right to the Basketball source: the Professional Teams and Leagues. Their Basketball news pages will keep you up to date.