Although NBA teams with the best players are usually the winners, this is not always the case. In fact, one of the main reasons basketball is a difficult sport to master is that it takes more than just individual skills to succeed. Rather, factors such as endurance and team spirit play significant roles in outperforming opponents and coming out victorious. There’s more to basketball than meets the eye. Below are some little-known facts about this intriguing sport.
A Different Ball Use To Be Used
Basketball’s first official rules were drawn up by a group of Massachusetts high school students in 1891. The objective was to eliminate the free-for-all that had developed over the years, which often resulted in stifling physical contact and damaged player morale. Basketball was originally played with a soccer ball and peach baskets, with referees needing to retrieve the ball after every basket. String baskets were introduced to the game in 1900, followed by backboards later that year as spectators attempting to block shots became an issue.
Dribbling Wasn’t Allowed
The game was stopped for lack of a ball. Each player had to throw it from wherever he caught it instead. The first team to dribble the ball successfully and advance it by one position played at Yale in 1897, and four years later, the dribble was legalized. The slam dunk, one of the most spectacular basketball moves, was prohibited prior to the 1967-1968 season until the 1976-1977 season.
Basketball was Invented by James Naismith
In 1891, James Naismith was asked by his boss at a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, to invent an indoor winter activity. Naismith is credited as the founder of basketball and also wrote the original basketball rule book. In addition, he founded the University of Kansas basketball program.
Fouls Per Game
It has been said that a player who throws his opponent across the ring in an attempt to win a bout is “no better than an illegal wrestler.” The only exception was if one player was trying to overcome the other and had not yet won. Throwing, shoving, tripping, or otherwise striking an opponent was never permitted. However, such acts were not considered fouls until 1910, when a rule prohibiting players from committing four of them was introduced. In the first rules of the Basketball Association of America (the original name of the National Basketball Association), introduced in 1946, the maximum number of fouls was set at five. The next year, it was raised to six.
The Number of Players Per Team
Naismith invented an indoor winter activity with no specified number of players per side so that anyone who wanted to play could join in. For a period of time, the total number of players by default was 18, nine people per side – which just so happened to be the same number of players that showed up for the inaugural game.
Basketball Games Were Shorter
Naismith originally proposed that the game be split into two 15-minute halves with five minutes of rest in between.
Referees Referred to Watches
That is because one of the initial responsibilities of early officials was timekeeping. The 24-second shot clock didn’t come into play until 1954 when NBA teams began employing stalling methods to combat the six-second limit on field goals.
The 1979 NCAA Tournament Displayed the First Greats
College basketball is still one of the most popular sports, but the Michigan State versus Indiana State college basketball game from 1979 during the NCAA tournament was one of the sport’s most well-known events. This game was the first time that Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, two of basketball’s greats, played against each other. It also marked the beginning of NBA stars playing in tournament games.
Possession Rules Changed in 1913
Rules for out-of-bounds balls have changed over the years due to player safety. In 1913, the rule was created that whoever last had contact with the ball would keep possession. Keep in mind, before this change, players would often get injured trying to get possession of an out-of-bounds ball. Before that, however, a referee would simply pick up and throwball.
Michael Jordan Paid Fines for Wearing His Shoes
Michael Jordan is probably best-known for his popular Air Jordans shoes, which have reached iconic status due to their sales numbers. However, you may not know that these kinds of shoes were against the NBA dress code at one point in time. Michael Jordan paid an NBA fine each time he wore them during a game, rather than go without them altogether. Eventually, though, the NBA allowed players to wear these types of shoes on the court while playing.