Basketball has a very old and interesting history. Founded in the late 1800s, it has grown to be one of the four major sports in the United States and is growing in popularity around the world. Basketball has a deep history and is full of traditions. Let’s learn more about basketball history, players, scoring, and some fun facts.
List of Historical Basketball Facts
Basketball was invented by James Naismith: Basketball was invented in 1891 by James Naismith, a Canadian-born gym teacher living in Springfield, Massachusetts. Naismith was looking for some way to keep his students busy on a rainy day and that is when the game of basketball was invented. Naismith later founded the Kansas University Basketball program.
In the early 1900s, the courts were surrounded by wire and mesh cages: In the early years of basketball, the leagues were trying to prevent the players from falling into the spectator areas, so they surrounded the courts with wire and mesh cages and fences to prevent this from happening. This did, however, lead to some injuries to the players.
The original basketball hoops were peach baskets: When basketball was first founded, the baskets were peach baskets. Therefore, they did not have open bottoms, so the officials had to use a pole to retrieve the ball every time a team scored. The first string nets, like what we see now, were not used until the early 1900s to make the game flow better.
Early on, basketball hoops were attached to the balcony seats: Basketball hoops were originally attached to the balcony, so spectators could, and often did, interfere with the game by hitting the ball when a team would shoot. This then led to the invention of backboards so that spectators could no longer interfere with the playing of basketball games.
At the start of basketball, dribbling was not allowed: In the very early years of basketball, dribbling was not permitted. It was not even thought to be used until 1897 when a team from Yale was first credited with advancing the ball doing so. It was then decided that dribbling would be allowed, but only one dribble per possession. Since then, dribbling has become an important part of the game.
List of Player Facts
The tallest NBA player ever was Manute Bol, at seven feet, seven inches: Manute Bol was the tallest NBA player ever, a staggering height of 7’7”. Bol played in the NBA for 10 seasons and was known for his defensive prowess and ability to block shots because of his immense height. Along with his enormous height, Bol had an 8’6” wingspan, which helped him even more.
The average salary of NBA players is $7.2 million: The average salary in the NBA is $7.2 million. The average salary of NBA players has been increasing consistently in recent years, and it is expected to increase more as the years go on.
There is an athlete in the NBA named Gerald Green who only has nine fingers: Gerald Green, a player for the Houston Rockets, was born with 10 fingers, but had an accident when he was younger that caused him to lose one of them. When Green was 11 years old, he was dunking on a makeshift basket with his brothers, and his ring got caught on the net and it led to his finger being amputated. Green has been in the NBA for many years, enjoying a successful career.
List of NBA Scoring Facts
The all-time NBA scoring leader is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer with an astonishing 38,387 total points scored throughout his career. Abdul-Jabbar was in the NBA for 20 years, first starting his career with the Milwaukee Bucks for six years and later being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for 14 more. Abdul-Jabbar was an All-Star player in 19 out of his 20 years.
Michael Jordan is the NBA’s all-time leader in points per game: Michael Jordan is the NBA’s all-time leader in points per game, barely beating Wilt Chamberlain. Wilt Chamberlain set the record for points scored in one game: Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in one game on March 2, 1962, against the New York Knicks. The record has stood since that date, with the next closest being 82 points in one game by Kobe Bryant in 2006 against the Toronto Raptors. Later that season, Chamberlain set the record for most points per game in a season with 50.36.
LeBron James is currently the leader among active players in total points: LeBron James started his career in 2003 for the Cleveland Cavaliers and since has become the all-time highest scorer in NBA history. James has over 38,388 points scored in his career and broke the previous record held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in February 2023 while playing for the Lakers.
List of NBA Fun Facts
The shortest player in NBA history and the tallest player were once on the same team: Manute Bol was the tallest player in NBA history, standing at 7’7”, and he was once on the same team as Muggsy Bouges, the shortest player in NBA history, who stood at 5’3”. Both players played for the Washington Bullets during the 1987-1988 season.
60% of NBA players become broke within five years of their retirement from the league: Although NBA players make a large amount of money, they often are unequipped to know the correct way to make use of that money so they end up becoming broke. The data is based on a study done by Sports Illustrated in the year 2009, but in large part, it remains true today.
A player was once drafted so young that his parents co-signed his first contract: Kobe Bryant got drafted right out of high school before the NBA made the rule that forced players to be one year removed from high school before they were eligible to be drafted. At the time, Bryant was not yet 18, so he was considered a minor in the United States, and therefore unable to sign his first contract. Therefore, his parents had to agree to the contract as well and co-signed it.