From its inception in 1891, basketball continues to be an American obsession. The game’s simple rules, coupled with minimal equipment requirements, make it fun to play. Today, basketball is played in every corner of the United States, with the National Basketball Association (NBA) being the major league. Beyond the NBA, basketball remains unsurprisingly competitive at other levels. Here are some of the major basketball leagues in the US.


Over the years, the rise of the NBA, both domestically and abroad, has been nothing more than fascinating. The staggering growth of the sport has seen the NBA become the most popular league in the world.

The NBA is comprised of 30 teams, both from the US and Canada. These teams are separated into two conferences, the Eastern and Western Conferences. A season incorporates 82 games per team. The best eight teams from each conference proceed to the playoffs. The top playoff teams from their respective conferences then meet in seven series to determine the champion.


The National Basketball Development League (NBDL) was founded in 2001. It functions primarily as an off-league for franchisees who have affiliations to the NBA. The NBA D-League continues to be the hub of basketball talents. Several NBA stars (over 30 percent) have had NBDL experience.


The WNBA is the women’s variant of the NBA. Although it remains nowhere as watched as the NBA, the WNBA’s popularity continues to be on the rise. Currently, 12 teams participate in this league.

NCAA College Basketball

The NCAA men’s basketball is an amateur league comprised mainly of college teams. Three divisions, I, II, and III, make up the NCCA. Despite being graced by uprising basketball talents, the NCAA men’s basketball still commands millions of viewers across the United States. The March Madness is where real basketball competitiveness lies.