By Daniela Paredez. sport. At Wednesday, December 18th 2019, 16:47:20 PM.
The NBA continued with 8 teams from 1955 until 1961 when the Chicago Packers joined the league. The Packers, now the Washington Wizards, are not considered to be the first expansion team, that distriction goes to the Chicago Bulls because the Bulls, who joined in 1966, had an actual expansion draft. From 1966 until 2004 the league seen an expansion boom with a total of 21 teams joining the league.
The NBA in the 1980s and 1990s is often seen as an era of financial stability and expansion. The league saw money come in at a previously unprecedented rate, most of it coming for the new found television revenue. The NBA added 11 new teams from 1976 until 1996. The league also found three superstars to hang its image on in Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan.
When the two leagues merged in 1949 it brought the total number of teams to 17 but the new league would quickly start losing teams. After just six years the number of teams had dropped to just 8. Financial troubles plagued the league from the start and this was especially true for the NBL teams that joined during the merger due to them being in smaller markets. The owner of the Fort Wayne Pistons, a former NBL team, named Frank Zollner was key in keeping the NBA financially afloat during this time.