Officially Licensed By:
         
          
        
         
         

            

National Basketball Association

The NBA was founded in New York City on June 6, 1946, as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). In 1949, the National Basketball Association name was officially adopted when the BAA merged with the rival National Basketball League. Regarded by the league as the first official game in its history was a November 1, 1946, contest between the Toronto Huskies and the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Garden in Toronto. The first league champion was the Philadelphia Warriors (1947). The league had 17 franchises in 1949, but that number dwindled to eight by the 1953-54 season. Between 1966 and 1968, the NBA expanded from nine to 14 teams, including the addition of the Chicago Bulls, Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns. Following the 1976 season, the NBA and the rival American Basketball Association (ABA) reached a settlement in which four ABA teams -- San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and New York Nets -- joined the NBA. The league expanded into Canada in 1995 with the addition of the Vancouver Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors. Many NBA teams have enjoyed successful eras through the decades. The Minneapolis Lakers won the NBA title five times during a six-year span (1949-54) to establish themselves as the league's first dynasty. The Boston Celtics earned 11 NBA championships in 13 seasons (1957-69), including eight in a row from 1959 to 1966; the Chicago Bulls claimed six titles in an eight-year period (1991-98); and the Los Angeles Lakers captured five crowns in nine years (1980-88) and another five titles in 11 years (2000-10). Among the significant rule changes that have occurred through the years were the 24-second clock being instituted in 1954 and the three-point shot being established in 1979. The NBA now includes 30 teams. The Highland Mint produces a wide variety of products licensed by the NBA for all 30 teams. Among them are PhotoMints, Coins, Coin Cards, Etched Acrylics, Ornaments and Keychains.