Basketball emerged in the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) of Springfield, United States, due to the need for students and teachers to practice an indoor sport during the region’s harsh winter. Its invention, in 1891, is attributed to the Canadian physical education teacher James Naismith (1861-1939). However, antecedents of this sport are also known in the ancient Mesoamerican cultures (the Mayans and the Aztecs, in particular).
The 13 rules that Naismith established for basketball practice were:
The ball can be thrown in any direction with one or two hands.
The ball can be hit, but never with the fist.
The player cannot run with the ball in his hands.
The ball must be held with only one or two hands. No other part of the body can be used to support it.
A player may not grab, push or take any violent and intentional action toward an opponent. An infraction of this type is considered a fault.
The action of hitting the ball with the fist and the situations described in points 3, 4, and 5 are considered fouls.
If a team commits three consecutive fouls, a point will be awarded to the opposing team.
A goal is scored when the ball is thrown toward the rim and goes inside.
When the ball leaves the field, the player who touches it must throw it back into the area (it must not take more than five seconds to do so).
The assistant referee is in charge of judging and sanctioning fouls during the match.
The main referee is in charge of keeping track of time, ball possession, and goals.
The match lasts for two fifteen-minute halves with a five-minute break in between.
The team that scores the most goals will be the winner. In the event of a tie, the game may continue until a basket is scored.
The first professional basketball game in history was in 1896, and since then, basketball has evolved to define its rules professionally. In 1936 men’s basketball was introduced as an Olympic sport held in Berlin. For its part, women’s basketball became an Olympic sport at the 1976 Montreal games.
famous basketball players
Some of the most recognized players in NBA history are:
Bill Russell (1934). He is a former American basketball player who won eleven NBA rings with the Boston Celtics. He is considered one of the most critical players in NBA history and one of the most outstanding defenders.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1947). He is a former American basketball player and the leading scorer in the history of the NBA. He is one of the players with the most games played in this league and was a six-time champion with the Los Angeles Lakers (5) and the Milwaukee Bucks (1).
Larry Bird (1956). He is a former American basketball player and is considered one of the most outstanding forwards in the history of the sport. He was an NBA champion with the Boston Celtics three times and won the Olympic medal with the US team in 1992.
Earvin “Magic” Johnson (1959). He is a former basketball player who earned five NBA rings with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was part of the so-called “dream team” that won the gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Michael Jordan (1963). He is a former American basketball player and one of the most prominent in the history of this sport. He won six rings with the Chicago Bulls and was the NBA’s leading scorer ten times.
Karl Malone (1963). He is a former American basketball player and the second-highest-scoring player in the history of the NBA. He was a historical player for the Utah Jazz.
Shaquille O’Neal (1972). He is a former American basketball player, winner of four NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers (3) and the Miami Heat (1). He served as a center and is considered one of the most critical players in the history of the NBA.
Kobe Bryant (1978-2020). He was an American basketball player who stood out for the Los Angeles Lakers, a team with which he won five NBA rings. He is one of the highest-scoring players in NBA history and was a two-time Olympic medal winner with the US national team.
LeBron James (1984). He is an American basketball player who plays shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers. He won four NBA championships, with the Miami Heat (2), the Los Angeles Lakers (1), and the Cleveland Cavaliers (1), and is one of the leading scorers in the history of this league.