NBAThe National Basketball Association (NBA) is the premier professional basketball league in North America. Established in 1946, the NBA consists of 30 teams, 24 of which are based in the United States and six in Canada. The regular season runs from October to April and the playoffs typically begin in April and can end in June. The NBA playoffs consists of four rounds: first round, semifinals, and the Conference finals followed by the NBA Finals. The reigning champion is the Toronto Raptors, led by their star player, Kawhi Leonard. The NBA is known for producing some of the best talent in the game, and current popular players include LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Stephen Curry. Legends such as Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Bill Russell, and Magic Johnson have left a lasting legacy on the game and in their respective teams. Jordan is the NBA's all-time leader in points with 32,292. The NBA’s history of population growth and team expansion has seen some of the best teams in the league such as the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors, and Chicago Bulls. Since its beginnings, these teams have won a combined 67 championships. The Los Angeles Lakers lead the way with 16 overall championships in their history, closely followed by the Boston Celtics who have won 17. The NBA continues to reinvent itself and has recently seen an increase in three-point shooting, with the NBA All-Star 3-Point Contest as a popular annual event. Statistics show that three-pointers were taken more often and made at a higher percentage, with officials making tweaks to the game such as through the introduction of the shot clock and the adjustment of the free-throw line distance. The NBA is one of the most successful professional sports league in the world. With talented players, a vast history and culture, and multiple championships, it has quickly become one of the most popular leagues for which people tune in to watch - from high-profile playoff matchups to the fun and excitement of the All-Star Weekend.
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