1. The History of the NBA Game Ball
Since its inception, basketballs have come a long way. Initially, most basketballs were brown, but nowadays, orange is the more popular choice. Spalding has been the official producer of the NBA game ball since 1983, and they were the first company to produce a basketball for official use.
2. The Birth of Basketball
In 1892, James Naismith, a Canadian-American sports coach, invented the sport of basketball. The first game was played on a court that was half the size of today's courts, and lasted for 30 minutes. Surprisingly, only one point was scored in the entire match, marking the beginning of a sport that has since become one of the most popular in the world.
3. The NBA's 70 Years of Growth
Seventy years ago, the National Basketball Association (NBA) was born out of the merger of the National Basketball League (NBL) and the Basketball Associate of America (BAA). Fast forward to today, and the NBA has become a multi-billion dollar industry, generating over $7 billion in revenue and with the average team being worth an estimated $1.25 billion. This remarkable growth has made the NBA one of the most successful sports leagues in the world.
4. The History of Basketball
In 1891, Basketball was invented by Dr. James Naismith, and the original ball used was a soccer ball. However, in 1929, the official basketball was changed to a brown one, making it easier to dribble and shoot. It wasn't until the late 1950s that an orange ball was introduced, as it was found to be more visible for both players and spectators. This change revolutionized the game, as it allowed for more accurate shooting and passing.
5. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Still Reigns Supreme
Michael Jordan is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. His impressive career total of 32,292 points is a testament to his skill and determination, and has cemented his place in basketball history. However, as of July 2021, the all-time scoring leader is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who has an incredible 38,387 points to his name. This is a remarkable achievement, and one that is unlikely to be surpassed anytime soon.
6. The History of Backboards in Basketball
At first, basketball was played without backboards, but they were soon added to prevent interference from the audience balcony. Initially, these backboards were made out of chicken wire, but in 1904, wooden backboards were introduced for safety reasons. This was due to spectators who were still trying to interfere with the game, and were getting hurt on the chicken wire.
7. The Re-Invention of the Slam Dunk
In 1967, the slam dunk was banned from basketball due to safety concerns and the belief that it was not a particularly skillful shot. However, after nine years, the dunk was reinstated, allowing players to once again show off their athleticism and skill with this exciting move. The slam dunk is now a staple of the game, with players of all ages and skill levels attempting to replicate the feats of their favorite players.
8. Basketball's evolution: From peach-shaped hoops to fast-paced action!
In the early days of basketball, the hoops were shaped like a peach, with a bottom. Every time a team scored, the referee had to climb a ladder to retrieve the ball. This changed in 1906 when a hoop with a bottom cut out to allow the ball to fall through was introduced. This innovation revolutionized the game, making it much easier for referees to keep up with the action and allowing the game to move at a much faster pace.
9. The First Game of Its Kind: The History of Women's Basketball
In 1896, women's basketball was developed alongside men's basketball, with some rules modified to better suit the female players. That same year, the first intercollegiate women's basketball game was held between Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, marking a major milestone in the history of the sport. This game was the first of its kind and set the stage for the growth of women's basketball in the years to come.
10. The United States of America: The 16 Gold Medal Champions
At the 1936 Berlin Olympics, 21 teams competed in the first ever Olympic basketball tournament, with the United States emerging victorious and claiming the very first gold medal. Since then, the US has gone on to win an impressive 16 gold medals, 14 more than the Soviet Union, the second-most successful nation in Olympic basketball history.