Los Angeles has been a huge player in the international sports scene, and many popular sports clubs have a place here in the city.
In this article, we’ll share the history of a few of LA’s most prominent sports clubs.
The NBA (National Basketball Association)
The NBA was first formed in 1946 under the name of the Basketball Association of America. It kept this name for 3 years before merging with the National Basketball League. It was at this point that the name was changed to what we know it as today: the NBA.
The NBA started off with a rough first year. There were 11 teams during its inception in 1946, but 4 of these teams left before the second season started.
After the merger with the National Basketball League, the NBA had 17 teams. This was short-lived, however – due to financial problems, by 1955, the number of teams had gone down to 8.
These 8 teams continued to compete until the early 60s, when they began to expand again. More and more teams joined between the years of 1966 and 2004, with 21 teams joining the league.
Since then, more and more international teams have joined the NBA, and it’s considered one of the best international basketball groups in the world.
The NFL (National Football League)
The NFL has been around since 1920, when it was known as the American Professional Football Association. At the time, the League hosted 10 teams from 4 different states.
The current name – NFL – was adopted in 1922, and this was the first time that a football league that was strong enough to spread its presence across the entire United States.
The only two teams who have remained with the NFL since its inception are the Chicago Bears (who were originally known as the Decatur Staleys) and the Arizona Cardinals (who were originally known as the Chicago Cardinals).
In 1960, the American Football League became the NFL’s greatest competitor. Instead of competing, however, the two leagues merged, leading to the creation of the Super Bowl and the much larger NFL that we now know.
Throughout the next few decades, the NFL continued to grow until it encompassed the 32 teams that we see today.
MLB (Major League Baseball)
MLB traces its origins all the way back to 1876, when the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs was created. The American League was founded in 1901, two years before the first World Series games happened.
In this same year, the American League of Professional Baseball Clubs was founded. The strongest teams from these two competing leagues would challenge each other during the world series.
The totality of the National League and the American League is referred to as the Major League, or MLB.
The National League was comprised of only 8 teams until the early 60s, though the teams themselves changed several times. In 1969, the San Diego Padres and the Montreal Expos joined the league.
It wasn’t until the early 90s that new teams began joining the league with some regularity. Nowadays, there are 30 teams who are apart of MLB – 15 who are part of the National League, and 15 who are a part of the American League.