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Following the summer break, teams hold training camps in October. Training camps allow the coaching staff to evaluate players (especially rookies), scout the team's strengths and weaknesses, prepare the players for the rigorous regular season, and determine the 12-man active roster (and a 3-man inactive list, if needed) with which they will begin the regular season. Teams have the ability to assign players with less than two years of experience to the NBA development league. After training camp, a series of preseason exhibition games are held. The NBA regular season begins in the first week of November. In the regular season, each team plays 82 games, which are divided evenly between home and away games. Schedules are not identical for all teams. A team faces opponents in its own division four times a year, teams from the other two divisions in its conference either three or four times, and teams in the other conference twice apiece. A team can therefore have a relatively easy or difficult schedule, depending on the division and conference it is located in. Following the recent changes to the National Hockey League's scheduling format, the NBA is now the only major league in which all the teams play each other during the regular season, and where a season ticket holder can see every team in the league come to town in any one season. In February, the NBA regular season is interrupted to celebrate the annual NBA All-Star Game. Fans are balloted throughout the United States, Canada and through the internet, and the top vote-getters at each position in each conference are given a starting spot on their conference's All-Star team. Coaches vote to choose the remaining 14 All-Stars. Then, East faces West in the All-Star game. The player with the best performance during the game is rewarded with a Game MVP award. Other attractions of the All-Star break include the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge game, which pits the best rookies and the best second-year players against each other; the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout, a competition between players to see who is the best 3-point shooter; and the Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk contest, to see which player dunks the ball in the most entertaining way. Shortly after the All-Star break is the league's trade deadline. After this date, teams are not allowed to exchange players with each other for the remainder of the season, although they may still sign and release players. Major trades are often completed right before the trading deadline, making that day a hectic time for general managers. In April, the regular season ends. It is during this time that voting begins for individual awards, as well as the selection of the honorary league-wide postseason teams. The NBA Sixth Man Award is given to the best player coming off the bench (not starting for his team). The NBA Rookie of the Year Award is awarded to the best rookie player. The NBA Most Improved Player Award is awarded to the most improved player. The NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award is awarded to the league's best defender. The NBA Coach of the Year Award is awarded to either the best coach in the league or the coach that has made the most positive difference to a team. The NBA Most Valuable Player Award is given to player deemed the most valuable for that season. Additionally, The Sporting News awards an unofficial (but widely recognized) NBA Executive of the Year Award to the general manager who is adjudged to have done the best job for his franchise. The postseason teams are the All-NBA Teams, the All-Defensive Teams, and the All-Rookie Teams; each consists of five players. There are three All-NBA teams, consisting of the top players at each position, with first-team status being most desirable. There are two All-Defensive teams, consisting of the top defenders at each position. There are also two All-Rookie teams, consisting of the top first-year players regardless of position. Playoffs The NBA Playoffs begin in late April.

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Q: What season is basketball played in?
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