The NBA maxes out at 450 players, and all 30 teams have a lead owner, someone running the front office and an additional person responsible for patrolling the sidelines.
Add in those running the league and the players union, along with agents working their magic in an attempt to keep their clients happy, and it's clear that it takes a wide variety of cogs to smoothly operate the NBA machine.
Here's a look at 30 of the most influential people in the league, taken from a sampling of each of the aforementioned categories.
NBAE/Getty ImagesJoe Murphy
Daryl Morey, GM, Houston Rockets
The moneyball approach to filling out an NBA roster only gets you so far, which is why the Rockets GM shifted his strategy to attempt to acquire star players to lead his team to success.
Morey's analytical approach has resulted in Houston forsaking the midrange game, and that's created mostly positive results. But it feels like any GM in power for close to 10 years should have more than one Conference Finals appearance to show for his work.
NBAE/Getty ImagesBill Baptist
Rick Carlisle, head coach, Dallas Mavericks
Carlisle is widely-regarded as one of the league's best coaches, and has been the head man in Dallas for nine straight seasons.
The Mavericks have eschewed a traditional rebuild in favor of trying to retool on the fly to remain relevant, and Carlisle consistently has found a way to make the new pieces fit in Dallas season after season.
Masai Ujiri, president, Toronto Raptors
Since taking over as GM of the Toronto Raptors in 2013, Ujiri consistently has made the right decisions in building a roster that has become one of the best in the East.
-USA TODAY SportsPeter Llewellyn
Anthony Davis, PF, New Orleans Pelicans
It feels like a time may come very soon when Davis changes the face of the league by trying to force his way out of New Orleans. The franchise has failed to surround him with the complementary talent he deserves, and the roster has gotten progressively worse.
Jerome MironUSA TODAY Sports
Stan Van Gundy, president and head coach, Detroit Pistons
Van Gundy not only holds the dual titles of head coach and president of basketball operations in Detroit, but he's also consistently been one of the league's most outspoken critics.
He's also been willing to weigh in passionately on social matters recently, which makes him one of the important voices in the league among those leading a franchise.
Tom Thibodeau, president and head coach, Minnesota Timberwolves
Thibs was already one of the more highly-regarded coaches in the league, thanks to his NBA résumé, which spans 25 seasons. But he now holds a dual role as head coach and president of a young and exciting Timberwolves team, and has the chance to build something special without any push-back or front office interference.
NBAE/Getty ImagesDavid Sherman
Pat Riley, president, Miami Heat
Riley has been running the Heat since 1995, and Miami has missed the playoffs only four times under his reign.
Riley rules with an iron fist, but that's largely translated into positive results. He personally took over as head coach for Stan Van Gundy in the middle of the 2005-06 season, and guided the team to its first-ever NBA title. And, he's always been of the opinion that it's better to part ways with a player a year too early than a year too late, which explains his decision to let franchise icon Dwyane Wade walk in free agency.
At 71 years old, it's unclear how much more time Riley will commit to the franchise. But his final task may be his toughest: resetting the table so that the team can once again compete for the foreseeable future.
APJ Pat Carter
Doc Rivers, president and head coach, L.A. Clippers
As one of only a handful of people to own both president and head coaching titles within his organization, Rivers runs L.A.'s best team in every way possible.
The question looming is this: Will he fire himself as head coach if the Clippers come up short in the postseason once again?
Andy Miller, agent, ASM
Miller of ASM Sports is an agent with a deep player roster and strong relationships with almost every team in the league. He's pictured on the left with Kyle Lowry and Masai Ujiri on the day Lowry signed his contract extension with the Raptors.
Mark Bartelstein, agent, Priority Sports
Bartelstein of Priority Sports largely represents the NBA's middle class, and is top-three in the league in terms of total guaranteed salary he's responsible for, according to Draft Express.
Jeff Schwartz, agent, Excel Sports
Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports (center) has the league's largest client list and a deep roster of players he represents.
Leon Rose, agent, CAA
Leon Rose is part of the CAA team, and represents a nice combination of players which includes veterans like Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, along with up-and-comers like Devin Booker and Joel Embiid.
He's pictured above on the right next to Allen Iverson on the day A.I. signed his deal with the Grizzlies.
Jeanie Buss, Jim Buss, owners, Los Angeles Lakers
The family ownership dynamic inside the Lakers is among the most fascinating in all of sports. Jim runs the basketball side of things, while Jeanie runs the business side.
The league's most storied and glamorous franchise is in a transitional phase, but the Lakers immediately will become the darlings of the NBA again the moment they turn things around —and that's extremely good for business.
USA TODAY SportsJayne Kamin-Oncea
Phil Jackson, president, New York Knicks
As the man running the New York Knicks, Jackson is responsible for returning the team to a respectable level of contention as soon as possible.
The good news is that he drafted Kristaps Porzingis when others would have flinched. The bad news is that he can't escape the scrutiny of the media over his ties to the triangle offense, and that he seems to be shortcutting the rebuilding process in favor of trying to get the Knicks back to the playoffs while Carmelo Anthony is in the remaining years of his prime.
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images
Danny Ainge, president, Boston Celtics
Ainge has been running the Celtics front office since 2003, and continues to be one of the more well-respected executives in the league. He made deals to bring Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen (and a title) to Boston in 2008, and his more recent bold move of hiring an unproven coach in Brad Stevens seems to be paying off better than some outsiders expected.
The only knock on Ainge is that he collects "assets" in the form of draft picks that he can't end up flipping in a timely fashion, but he's as patient as anyone in his position, and isn't afraid to wait until the right deal comes along.
NBAE/Getty ImagesRich Obrey
Kevin Durant, SF, Golden State Warriors
As one of the game's top-five players, Durant has a sizable impact on two teams simultaneously when making his decision on where to play next.
The West saw a seismic shift when KD signed with Golden State, while the Thunder were forced to retool around the team's lone remaining star, Russell Westbrook.
Mitch Kupchak, GM, Los Angeles Lakers
Mitch Kupchak effectively has been the man in charge of personnel matters for the Lakers since Jerry West left in advance of the 2000-01 season. He handled Kobe Bryant's exit from the league flawlessly from a team and fan perspective, and while the jury is still out on the young players the team has drafted in recent years, it appears as though he's rebuilding the right way and once again setting up the franchise for success in the years to come.
USA TODAY SportsJayne Kamin-Oncea
David Griffin, GM, Cleveland Cavaliers
As the GM for a Cleveland Cavaliers team that features LeBron James, Griffin's is one of the more high-pressure gigs around.
The game's best player demands enough talent around him to be able to contend on an annual basis, and decisions like trading Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love, adding J.R. Smith and swapping out head coaches in the middle of the season were all key factors in the Cavaliers winning ther first-ever NBA title last year.
Bob Myers, GM, Golden State Warriors
The Warriors became the league's scariest team in large part due to the work of their GM. Myers found a way to dump enough salary to afford Andre Iguodala in free agency, and drafted Draymond Green after he fell to the second round.
No one may have seen the greatness of Stephen Curry coming, but these other moves were key in building a potential dynasty in Golden State.
USA TODAY SportsKyle Terada
Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder
After Kevin Durant left in free agency, the Thunder immediately became Westbrook's team, and that became even more true when he signed a contract extension to stay for (at least) one more season than was previously expected.
We've seen what Westbrook can do as the No. 1 option, and it's downright frightening how good he's been. The Thunder have this season and next to make sure there's enough talent around Westbrook to make the team a contender, otherwise the real fun begins in 2018 when he could decline his player option and choose to play somewhere else.
USA TODAY SportsSoobum Im
James Harden, PG, Houston Rockets
Harden is the game's most efficient high-volume scorer, and now that he's become the full-time point guard in Houston, he's leading the league in assists (12.6).
Harden is part of a very small group of the league's elite that immediately can transform a franchise's fortunes wherever he chooses to play.
USA TODAY SporAndrew Richardson
Mark Cuban, owner, Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks owner is among the league's most outspoken, and won't hesitate to battle with the NBA or its broadcast partners in order to make his opinions known.
Cuban is a passionate owner who's good for the NBA as a whole, and has the commissioner's ear perhaps more than anyone else in his position.
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
Rich Paul, agent, Klutch Sports
Paul is the founder of Kluth Sports Group and thanks in large part to his ties to LeBron James, remains one of the most powerful agents in the game.
In addition to representing LeBron, Paul has the superstar's backing in all of his negotiations, with LeBron at times taking to social media to urge a team to get a deal done.
Michele Roberts, executive director, NBPA
As the leader of the union for the players, Roberts has made sure to place importance on the issues that mattered most. She immediately gained the respect of leaders like Chris Paul and LeBron James, and is on the verge of helping to put a new collective bargaining agreement in place.
Jennifer S. Altman/For The Washington Post via Getty Images
Stephen Curry, PG, Golden State Warriors
The way Curry plays the game has changed it forever. By using his incredible ball-handling ability to get to his spots and knock down threes from seemingly anywhere in the gym, the next generation of players already has begun to work on those very specific skills to emulate last season's unanimous MVP.
Carmelo Anthony, PF, New York Knicks
Playing in the league's largest market and as one of only three active players to hold a no-trade clause, Anthony holds the fate of the Knicks franchise in his hands as long as he's under contract.
Melo's also used his platform to speak out and take a stand on social matters, which makes him one of the league's most important players.
Chris Paul, PG, L.A. Clippers
One of the best point guards in the game single-handedly began the Clippers' franchise turnaround by forcing a trade to L.A., and could have a similar impact anywhere he chooses to play.
Paul is also the president of the players union, which means his impact on the league reaches far beyond his on-court accomplishments.
R.C. Buford, Gregg Popovich - GM and head coach, San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs GM and head coach are the men responsibe for a run of success in San Anotnio that's lasted an incredible 19 years.
The culture they've created has resulted in the Spurs winning at least 50 games per season during that stretch — except of course for the lockout-shortened 1998-99 campaign, which ended with San Antonio winning the first of its five NBA titles.
Adam Silver, NBA commissioner
Since taking over as NBA commissioner for David Stern in February 2014, Silver consistently has been a positive beacon of leadership for the league and its players.
He deftly handled the Donald Sterling fiasco to the satisfaction of the players, and is on the verge of coming to an agreement with the players union on a new collective bargaining agreement that would prevent a work stoppage at the end of the 2016-17 season.
LeBron James, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron James is the league's most influential person for the simple fact that wherever he plays, that team is going to contend for a title almost instantly.
James has been to the Finals an incredible six straight years, and a seventh trip this season feels like a foregone conclusion. As long as he remains capable of playing at or near the height of his powers, there isn't anyone that can affect the outcome of an NBA season the way James can.