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Difference between NBA and ABA

Difference between NBA and ABA

When you think of the NBA, what comes to mind? The best basketball players in the world competing against each other for the title of champion? The impressive skills and jaw-dropping dunks that make up highlight reels? If that’s what you’re thinking of, you’re not wrong. But there’s another league that was once just as popular as the NBA – the ABA. So what was different about the ABA? Let’s take a closer look.

What is NBA?

NBA stands for National Basketball Association. It is a professional basketball league in North America, consisting of 30 teams. NBA was founded on June 6, 1946, in New York City. The NBA is the world’s premier men’s professional basketball league. NBA players are the world’s best paid athletes by average annual salary per player. NBA players are drafted by NBA teams through an annual NBA draft held prior to the start of the regular season. The NBA Finals is the championship series of the NBA playoffs in which the Eastern and Western Conference champions face off against each other. The winner of the NBA Finals is crowned the NBA champion.

What is ABA?

The ABA was a professional basketball league that operated from 1967 to 1976. The ABA was founded in 1967 as a direct challenge to the NBA, and it quickly gained popularity with its flashy style of play and colorful uniforms. ABA teams also featured a number of stars who would go on to have successful careers in the NBA, including Julius Erving, Connie Hawkins, and George Gervin. The ABA merged with the NBA in 1976, and four ABA teams were absorbed into the NBA. The ABA left an indelible mark on professional basketball, and its legacy can still be seen in the NBA today.

Difference between NBA and ABA

  • NBA and ABA are two professional basketball leagues in the United States. NBA is the national Basketball Association while ABA is the American Basketball Association. Both NBA and ABA were founded in the year 1946.
  • NBA was found on June 6th while ABA was found on August 3rd. The major difference between NBA and ABA is that NBA has more teams, players, and fans than ABA. NBA also has a higher salary cap than ABA.
  • NBA teams have a higher average payroll than ABA teams. Lastly, NBA players are better-known than ABA players outside the US while foreign players are more prevalent in the NBA than in the ABA.
  • In terms of popularity, NBA is way ahead of ABA with global broadcasts and huge fan following while ABA ceased to exist in 1976. There have been attempts to revive the ABA but it has not been successful so far. Hence, we can conclude that NBA is much more popular and successful than ABA.


The NBA is the premiere basketball league in the United States. However, there are other leagues that offer competitive play and opportunities for players to develop their skills. The American Basketball Association (ABA) is one such league. Let’s take a look at some of the key differences between these two leagues. First, the NBA has much stricter eligibility requirements than the ABA does. In order to be eligible to play in the NBA, you must be at least 19 years old and have completed one year of college or its equivalent.

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