The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America, and is widely considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world. It has thirty franchised member clubs (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada), and is an active member of USA Basketball (USAB), which is recognized by FIBA (also known as the International Basketball Federation) as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major North American professional sports leagues. NBA players are the world's best paid sportsmen, by average annual salary per player.
The league was founded in New York City on June 6, 1946, as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). The league adopted the name National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after absorbing the rival National Basketball League (NBL). 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 New York City. NBA Entertainment and NBA TV studios are directed out of offices located in Secaucus, New Jersey.
The McDonald's All-American Game refers to each of the all-star basketball games played each year for American and Canadian boys' and girls' high-school basketball graduates. Consisting of the top players, each team plays a single exhibition game after the conclusion of the high-school basketball season, in an East vs. West format. As part of the annual event, boys also compete in a slam dunk contest, a three-point shooting competition, and an overall timed skills competition. The girls compete in the three-point shooting competition and the overall-skills competition. The boys' game has been contested annually since 1978, and the girls game has been played each year since it was added in 2002.
The McDonald's All-American designation began in 1977 with the selection of the inaugural team. That year, the All-Americans played in an all-star game against a group of high school stars from the Washington, D.C. area. The following year, the McDonald's game format of East vs. West was begun with a boys contest. In 2002, with the addition of a girls contest, the current girl-game / boy-game doubleheader format began.
The shooting guard (SG), also known as the two or off guard, is one of five traditional positions on a basketball team. Players of the position are often shorter, leaner, and quicker than forwards. A shooting guard's main objective is to score points for his team. Some teams ask their shooting guards to bring up the ball as well; these players are known colloquially as combo guards. Kobe Bryant, for example, is a shooting guard who is as good a playmaker as he is a scorer; other examples of combo guards are Jamal Crawford, Allen Iverson, Dwyane Wade, Tyreke Evans, and Jason Terry. A player who can switch between playing shooting guard and small forward is known as a swingman. Notable swing men (also known as wing players) include Paul Pierce, Evan Turner, Stephen Jackson, and Tracy McGrady, also Rudy Fernández having an under average size for small forward.
Notable shooting guards include current NBA players Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen, Manu Ginóbili, Vince Carter, Joe Johnson, Richard Hamilton, James Harden, Paul George, Monta Ellis, Tracy McGrady and former players Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler, Sam Jones, Earl Monroe, Reggie Miller, Allen Iverson, Joe Dumars and Jerry West.
The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles, California. They play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Lakers play their home games at Staples Center, which they share with their local NBA rival, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL, and the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA. The Lakers are one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA, and have won 16 championships, their last being in 2010. As of 2013, the Lakers are the second most valuable NBA franchise according to Forbes, having an estimated value of $1 billion.
The franchise began with the 1947 purchase of a disbanded team, the Detroit Gems of the NBL. The new team began playing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, calling themselves the Minneapolis Lakers in honor of the state's nickname, "Land of 10,000 Lakes". The Lakers won five championships in Minneapolis, propelled by center George Mikan, who is described by the NBA's official website as the league's "first superstar". After struggling financially in the late 1950s following Mikan's retirement, they relocated to Los Angeles before the 1960–61 season.
Throughout nearly 60 seasons, the National Basketball Association has had many intense rivalries. This article summarizes some of the famous rivalries in the NBA. Rivalries are classified into three primary groups; intradivisional, interdivisional, and interconference.
Interconference rivalries comprise games between opponents in different conferences. A team plays each opponent from the other conference in one home game and one away game.
Kobe Bean Bryant (born August 23, 1978), nicknamed the "Black Mamba", is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He entered the NBA directly from high school, and has played for the Lakers his entire career, winning five NBA championships. Bryant is a 15-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, and 12-time member of the All-Defensive team. As of March 2013[update], he ranks third and fourth on the league's all-time postseason scoring and all-time regular season scoring lists, respectively.
Bryant enjoyed a successful high school basketball career at Lower Merion High School, where he was recognized as the top high school basketball player in the country. He declared his eligibility for the NBA Draft upon graduation, and was selected with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets, then traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. As a rookie, Bryant earned himself a reputation as a high-flyer and a fan favorite by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest.
The "Shaq–Kobe feud" (or "Kobe–Shaq feud") is the rivalry between National Basketball Association (NBA) players Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, who played together on the Los Angeles Lakers team from 1996 to 2004.
The two were able to win three consecutive NBA Championships (2000, 2001, 2002) and make an NBA Finals appearance in 2004. O'Neal was the NBA Finals MVP in each of their victories. Personal differences and arguments over their respective roles on the Lakers were followed by a trade that sent O'Neal to the Miami Heat while Bryant was re-signed as a free agent by the Lakers. Lakers head coach Phil Jackson would later write a book entitled The Last Season: A Team in Search of Its Soul, reflecting on the troubles Bryant and O'Neal had during their last season together.
The National Basketball Association All-Star Game Most Valuable Player (MVP) is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given to the player(s) voted best of the annual All-Star Game. The award was established in 1953 when NBA officials decided to designate an MVP for each year's game. The league also re-honored players from the previous two All-Star Games. Ed Macauley and Paul Arizin were selected as the 1951 and 1952 MVP winners respectively. The voting is conducted by a panel of media members, who cast their vote after the conclusion of the game. The player(s) with the most votes or ties for the most votes wins the award. No All-Star Game MVP was named in 1999 since the game was canceled due to the league's lockout.
Bob Pettit and Kobe Bryant are the only two players to win the All-Star Game MVP four times. Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, and Shaquille O'Neal have each won the award three times, while Bob Cousy, Julius Erving, Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, Allen Iverson, and LeBron James have all won the award twice. James' first All-Star MVP in 2006 made him the youngest to have ever won the award at the age of 21. Four of the games had joint winners—Elgin Baylor and Pettit in 1959, John Stockton and Malone in 1993, O'Neal and Tim Duncan in 2000, as well as Bryant and O'Neal in 2009. O'Neal became the first player in All-Star history to share two MVP awards. The Los Angeles Lakers have had eleven winners while the Boston Celtics have had eight. Duncan of the U.S. Virgin Islands is the only winner not born in the United States. Duncan is an American citizen, but is considered an "international" player by the NBA because he was not born in one of the fifty states or Washington, D.C. No player trained entirely outside the U.S. has won the award; Duncan played U.S. college basketball at Wake Forest. The 2013 All-Star Game MVP was Chris Paul.
In journalism, a human interest story is a feature story that discusses a person or people in an emotional way. It presents people and their problems, concerns, or achievements in a way that brings about interest, sympathy or motivation in the reader or viewer.
Human interest stories may be "the story behind the story" about an event, organization, or otherwise faceless historical happening, such as about the life of an individual soldier during wartime, an interview with a survivor of a natural disaster, a random act of kindness or profile of someone known for a career achievement.