|Current season, competition or edition:
2013–14 Basketball Bundesliga
|No. of teams||18|
|Continent||FIBA Europe (Europe)|
|Most recent champion(s)||Bayern Munich
|Most titles||Bayer Giants Leverkusen
|TV partner(s)||Telekom Entertain|
|Level on pyramid||1st Tier (Germany)|
|Relegation to||Pro A (2nd Tier)|
The Basketball Bundesliga (English: Federal Basketball League) — commonly abbreviated BBL — is the highest level league of professional club basketball in Germany. The league comprises 18 teams. A BBL season is split into a league stage and a playoff stage. At the end of the league stage the top eight teams qualify for the playoff stage and the teams positioned 17th and 18th are relegated to a lower league. The playoffs are played in "Best of five" format. The winning team of the final round are the German Champions of that season.
Additionally to the league competition, all BBL teams compete for the German Cup (BBL-Cup). Teams playing in the second league (Pro A or Pro B) or in a lower Regionalliga are also eligible to participate. Always 3 knock-out rounds are played for the BBL-Cup. If more teams of the leagues below the BBL apply for participation than available places, additional qualification rounds are added for them. The final four remaining teams determine the rankings for bronze, silver and gold medals in knock-out matches termed the BBL-TOP4. The gold winning team is the German Cup winner.
In Germany a national basketball championship was first organised in 1939 and was won by LSV Spandau. By 1944 almost all basketball activity was forced to an end due to the Second World War. In 1947 MTSV Schwabing München became the first champion of post-war divided Germany. The creation of a split West-German federal-league consisting of one northern division and one southern division, each comprising 10 teams, was decided by the German Basketball Federation (DBB) in 1964. On October 1, 1966 the first season of the so-called Basketball Bundesliga started. Starting with the 1971/72 season the size of each division was reduced to 8 teams. With the 1975/76 season the league structure was changed into a ten team first league (1. Basketball Bundesliga) and a 20 teams second league (2. Basketball Bundesliga). Only the second league was split into a northern and a southern division of 10 teams each. In 1985 the top league was enlarged to a size of 12 teams, two years later each division of the second league was also enlarged to 12 teams. In 1988 the championship mode "Best of five" was applied for the first time. Starting with the 1995/96 season, the first league consisted of 14 teams. The Basketball Bundesliga GmbH (BBL) was founded in October 1996. The federal leagues received their own administration within the framework of the German Basketball Federation in 1997. Since then the second league divisions have been administered by the "AG 2. Bundesliga" while the BBL has been responsible for the first league. Two years later, a contract was signed between the BBL and the German Basketball Federation, in which the federation transferred its marketing/events rights to the BBL for a 10 years duration, in return the BBL agreed to pay an annual "amateur support fee" of DM 600,000 (€ 306,775). Starting with the 2003/2004 season the top league was increased to 16 teams and in 2006/2007 it was further increased to its present size of 18 teams. For the following season 2007/2008 the structure of the second league was reshaped from is northern/southern divisions into a Pro A division and a Pro B division. These divisions remained under the administration by "AG 2. Bundesliga".
Bayer Giants Leverkusen holds the record being the winner of 14 German championships. However since 1997 ALBA Berlin has dominated the league, winning their 8th title in 2008. Twenty-one teams have won the championship since its inception.