Basketball had a difficult start at the 1936 Olympics, played outdoors on a clay court with wooden baskets and a hole in the ball. The USA won the gold medal game against Canada. The US Supreme Court has a basketball gym, and 60% of NBA players fail within five years of retiring. Shaquille O’Neal made only one of 22 three-point field goal attempts in his NBA career.
Basketball got off to a somewhat inauspicious start at the 1936 Olympics. The German authorities who oversaw the Berlin Summer Games thought so little of the sport that it was played outdoors on a clay court with wooden baskets. It was supervised by officials who spoke only German, making communication with the players very challenging. The gold medal game between the United States and Canada was played in pouring rain, meaning the field surface quickly turned to mud. To make matters worse, the basketball itself had a hole in the side to inflate the internal bladder, so it wasn’t the round, bouncy ball today’s players enjoy. Indeed, dribbling was practically impossible. However, the USA won the game, 19-8.
What you may not know about basketball:
There is a basketball gymnasium in the US Supreme Court building; it is nicknamed “the highest court in the country”.
According to a 2009 Sports Illustrated article, approximately 60% of NBA players fail within five years of retiring.
Shaquille O’Neal attempted 22 three-point field goals in his NBA career; he made one.