Basketball was invented in 1891 by James Naismith in response to a request for indoor entertainment. The NBA was formed in 1946, but it wasn’t until the late 1950s and early 1960s that the popularity of the NBA and basketball expanded. The game is now played and enjoyed worldwide, with refined rules and court sizes. The three-point shot was introduced in the 1970s and has changed the game dramatically. The NCAA’s annual tournament, “March Madness,” is a popular event, with universities like UCLA, Kentucky, North Carolina, Indiana, Duke, and Kansas winning multiple national championships.
James Naismith, a Canadian educator and recreational sportsman, invented the game of basketball in 1891 in response to a request from YMCA leaders to develop “a rigorous and interesting form of indoor entertainment.” Naismith and his aides spent 14 days in Springfield, MA, putting together the rules for the game of basketball. It was initially played with nine outfield players per team and with peach baskets as baskets. The ball itself was a soccer ball.
Throughout his childhood, basketball was played by professionals who made their way across the United States. The NBA was formed in 1946, and while the league produced some of its first stars and held competitive games, it hasn’t had the exposure that other major sports have received. It wasn’t until the late 1950s and early 1960s that the popularity of the NBA expanded as well as that of the game of basketball itself, when Bill Russel and his Boston Celtics teams won eight consecutive championships .
Basketball is a game that is now being played and enjoyed by people of all ages and genders. The game’s popularity reached new heights in the late 1970s, thanks in large part to the Larry Bird vs. Magic Johnson matchup in the 1979 NCAA National Championship game. Bird’s Indiana State team lost to the Indiana State team. Johnson’s state of Michigan, but the two men later played for the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, respectively, where their teams met multiple times during the 1980s to battle for the NBA crown. Their rivalry has fueled a huge interest in their sport.
Michael Jordan, arguably the best NBA player ever, led his Chicago Bulls teams to six NBA championships throughout the 1990s, taking basketball’s popularity to even greater heights and giving Jordan one of the most recognizable faces anywhere . Although invented in the United States, the popularity of basketball has spread to Europe and every other continent. It’s a game now played and seen around the world.
Over the years, the rules of basketball and the game itself have been refined. Now, five players per team are allowed on the pitch at the same time and the fishing baskets used by Naismith have been replaced by 19cm diameter iron hoops, with nylon or cotton mesh underneath. An NBA court measures 48 feet (94 m) long and 28.65 feet (50 m) wide. The sizes of college, high school, and grammar school courts are all different. Two points are awarded for a made field goal, and one point is awarded for a free throw, a shot made from the free throw line 15.24 feet (15 m) from the basket. Free throws are awarded primarily when a player is fouled during the act of shooting. A player who commits six fouls in an NBA game is disqualified. For the other levels, a player is disqualified after 4.57 fouls.
Although the 3-point shot was used in the insurgent league ABA (American Basketball Association), the shot was not really appreciated in the NBA until 1979 and with the NCAA until 1980. A shot made from beyond the three-point arc (19 feet 9 inches (6 meters) in college and 22 feet to 23 feet 9 inches (7 meters) in the NBA) three points are awarded. The advent of the three-point shot changed the game of basketball dramatically. Coaches now make their players spend many hours perfecting their long shots, instead of simply shooting shots closer to the basket.
The NCAA’s annual tournament, called “March Madness,” has become one of the most popular sporting events of all time. Viewers tune in to TV and watch games to solicit their favorites from the field of 64 to see who becomes the next national champion. Universities like UCLA, Kentucky, North Carolina, Indiana, Duke and Kansas have all won multiple national championships.