Classical And Modern Era of Basketball

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When and Who Invented Basketball?

Basketball was invented in 1891 by James Naismith in Springfield Massachusetts. He wanted a way to keep his young students fit while they were at recess. He originally designed the game to have only five players per team, but soon added more due to popularity. The first recorded professional basketball game took place in 1898 between two teams of amateurs. In 1905, the American Professional Football Association formed and began playing games. Basketball became popular outside of the United States after World War II, when soldiers brought the sport back home with them. Due to its popularity, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) was created in 1906.

What is Spalding's Basketball?

In 1892, Dr. William Goudy came up with the idea of using rubber balls instead of leather-covered cork. He patented his design in 1902, giving him legal ownership over the world’s first ball-like object. However, it wasn’t until 1908 that he actually started producing his first model. His company called “WG Ball Co.” later changed their name to “Spalding”.

The Perfect Basketball

Spalding's original basketballs weren't made out of a single piece of vulcanized rubber. Instead, they consisted of many layers of leather wrapped around a solid rubber core. These early models had rough surfaces and were heavy, making them uncomfortable to play with. By 1916, Spalding produced what would become known as "the perfect basketball." This model was much lighter than previous ones, and featured a smooth outer shell and round corners.

First Official NBA

The first official NBA draft occurred in 1947. There were eight rounds, and the draft order was determined via coin flip. Teams could not exceed the salary cap, which was $50,000; however, some owners chose to pay additional fees to sign undrafted free agents. In 1951, the first player selected went to the Boston Celtics with the first pick.


Image by Rubén Calvo from Pixabay

The NCAA Tournament

The NCAA tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, bringing about increased interest on college campuses. Universities began to recruit top high school players, causing high schools to change their practices. Schools stopped focusing so heavily on academics, and began recruiting athletes who were good students, but who were also great athletes. As a result, academic requirements increased, leading to a decrease in athletic scholarships.

Enhancement of Divisions

The number of Division I men's basketball programs grew from 10 in 1979 to 30 in 1991. Today, there are 125 active Division I basketball programs.

Classical Era of Basketball

In 1898, Dr. James Naismith patented the game of basket ball. His first patent consisted of a wooden peach basket mounted inside a square metal frame. The first professional basketball team was the Canton Bulldogs, founded in 1899. They were owned by Albert Spalding who bought them after they had been bought by Chris Herring.

Amateur Athletic Association (ABA)

In 1905, Dr. Herring brought the idea of the rules to an Amateur Athletic Association called the ABA. The ABA lasted until 1926. Then, two different leagues formed. One was the National Basketball League (1929-1931) and the second league was the NBL's successor, called the American Basketball League (1930-1932). Another league was started in 1937 called the BAA which later became the NBA.


Image by Olavi Anttila from Pixabay

Unity of NBA and AAU and Then Again Breakdown

In 1947, the NBA changed its name to the All-America Conference. After the 1948 season, the AAU merged with the NBA. The merger did not last long though. By 1950, the AAU decided to break away again.

Canadian Basketball Association (CBA)

Basketball became popular in Canada around 1920. In 1949, the Canadian Basketball Association was formed. Today, the CBA is still going strong. In 1965, Bill Russell retired from the Boston Celtics. He was known as the best player to ever play for the Celtics. In 1971, the NBA adopted the shot clock.

In the 1960s, there was a lot of controversy about wearing headgear in basketball. The main argument was if someone gets hurt while playing without a helmet, then it’s their own fault. Also, some argued that wearing a full face helmet would obstruct vision. However, in 1969, the NBA banned any type of hard plastic helmets.

The Big Dipper

In 1970, Kareem Abdul Jabbar scored 100 points in a single game. He was known as “The Big Dipper” back then. Nowadays, he is remembered for being a member of the Los Angeles Lakers and winning the slam dunk contest three times.

Achievement of Micheal Jordon

Michael Jordan won 6 championships. Four of those titles came between 1989 and 1992. Before Jordan joined the Bulls, Chicago had only won five championships. Magic Johnson was born in St. Louis, Missouri. As a rookie, he averaged 24.0 points per game. He led the Lakers to four consecutive NBA Finals appearances. He also won the Rookie of the Year award in 1984.


Decline of Interest of Audience

From the 1970s to 2000, college basketball attendance declined drastically, with record lows being set in 1975 (16 million fans), 1976 (15.1 million) and 1978 (14.7 million). Most experts attribute this decline to longer seasons, higher television ratings, and the emergence of rival sports like football and hockey.

Role of NCAA

The NCAA introduced the shot clock in 1986. Previously, a full-court press was allowed, meaning that opponents could call timeout whenever they wished. The addition of the shot clock forced teams to hurry up and get shots off before the buzzer sounded, reducing the amount of stoppages. Because of this rule change, coaches no longer had time to give instructions to their players, leaving fans confused as to whether the final possession should have been given to the opposing team or to theirs.

Modern Era of Basketball

The 1992–93 season saw the birth of the small forward position. Small forwards, also known as power forwards, were a relatively new position. This group of players did not even exist before 1990. Before then, three-point shooters filled up the front court, while centers dominated the paint. After 1990, players like Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant helped create this position, which was now becoming a big deal. At the same time, the center position was shrinking, with players starting at 6'9'' and moving down to 6'8''.

What is UCLA?

During the 2008–09 season, UCLA Bruins freshman sensation Lonzo Ball led the nation in assists with 8.0 per game. On January 24th, 2014, North Carolina passed House Bill 142, requiring almost all 16 and 17 year old male athletes attending public high schools to cut their hair. The law was enacted to reduce head injuries among teenage athletes. Athletes who fail to comply face being charged with misdemeanor truancy. In 2016, Kentucky Wildcats guard Malik Monk broke the NCAA freshman record for points scored in a season with 1,454 points. In 2017, Florida Gators guard Donovan Mitchell was named SEC Freshman of the Year and AP National Player of the Year in the same season.


Image by Marko Bukorovic from Pixabay

Brief History of Basketball

Basketball is said to have originated in 1891 at Springfield College in Massachusetts. However, the first documented game was played between Harvard University and Princeton University in 1865 where both teams were armed with peach baskets and leather balls.

Basketball was originally called “Basket Ball”, which was derived from the name of the peach basket used as a ball carrier. In the 19th century, these baskets were woven from hemp rope and had no netting. The rules for Basket Ball weren't formalized until the early 20th century.

International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Basketball was first recognized as a sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Paris, France in 1900. It wasn't until 1936 that the first World Championships were held in Germany. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), became the governing body for college basketball in 1939.

Professional basketball didn't become popular till around 1950 after the creation of the American Basketball League. Then came the integration of the NBA in 1951.

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