The word Basketball conjures up images of speed and precision. It also creates a sense of elation as there is something magical about the game. What started as an indoor game to ward off cold winters, developed into a much sought after game. James Naismith, an aspiring priest, was entrusted the job of coming up with a new game that could be played indoors. This was to prevent kids from venturing out during biting cold winters.
Naismith set out to accomplish the task set to him in all earnestness and gusto. He got inspiration from the game he used to play with his friends which was called “Duck on a Rock”, where one person guarded his duck from a gang that kept pelting stones at it. The duck got replaced with a basket and the rocks with a ball and the first basket ball game ever was played in December 1891. However, even to this day the game follows most of the 13 rules set by the “father” of Basketball. It was a soccer ball that was used originally. Today, we have hi-tech courts and synthetic balls of amazing varieties and with various grades of quality.
The first ever professional league was formed way back in 1898, with 6 teams taking part in the National Basketball League. Six years later the league was disbanded with teams splintering and parting ways. The first professional team to be formed after this was The Original Celtics who lead a nomadic life. They moved from town to town, camping in every small town to challenge the best local team to a match. They could thus be called the fathers of modern basketball and credited with the spread of the game all over the country. Their reign as the strongest team lasted from 1922 to 1928 after which the team got disbanded due to petty quarrels that led to ownership issues.
The American Colleges took over from there and kept the game going with the formation of what was called the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The NCAA was responsible for the creation of United States Championship in 1939. It was in 1946 that the National Basketball Association was founded in New York City. It consists of 30 franchised member clubs, with 29 located in the United States and 1 in Canada. A rival organization calling itself the American Basketball Association was formed and both the prime set-ups were functioning side by side, each trying to outdo the other.
The most popular basketball teams today are the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, Philadelphia 76ers,and San Antonio Spurs to name a few. The most memorable match ever could have been the 2010 NBA all-star game that was held in Cowboys Stadium with a large crowd exceeding 100,000. The ensuing match had the fans in frenzy. There has been an international influence of late, with players from Serbia, Croatia, Lithuania and Germany joining the NBA directly.
Michael Jordan is considered to be one of the best players ever. A thorough professional who is a majority owner of Charlotte Bobcats is a successful entrepreneur with an enviable Net worth of over $500 million and is surpassed by a few millions by another legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson who owns restaurants and real estate businesses. They made it to the top by virtue of endorsements and clever investments made at the right time. Today, fans and viewers alike have the privilege of watching prime matches from the comfort of their homes itself. With programs being aired by popular service providers like Dish TV, missing any of the matches would be one of their least worries.