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Basketball Facts

Basketball is more than a sport. It requires team spirit, endurance, and competence to win. The game is more than just a team of players and a referee. We’ll be discussing 50 fun facts about basketball and 15 facts about players. 

Original basketball was played with a different type of ball. It is strange to say that the original game was played with a standard soccer ball and peach baskets. It was interesting that referees were required to retrieve the ball each time a basket was made. This changed with the introduction of string baskets and the installation of backboards to discourage spectators from interrupting shots.

A second interesting fact is a prohibition against dribbling. It sounds strange, but it was true. The ball was not allowed to be advanced by players; instead, they were required to simply throw the ball over. Yale’s 1897 Yale game saw the first player allowed to advance the ball with a single dribble. After four years, this was finally adopted.

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Basketball Facts

The game was shorter than expected. It consisted of two 15-minute halves separated by a 5-minute rest. The duty of timekeeping was performed by referees using watches. However, this changed in 1950 to combat stalling tactics.

50 interesting facts about basketball

1. Brown was the first colour for basketballs. A brown ball is difficult to see for fans and players. Tony Hinkle, a coach at Butler University, came up with the idea of creating an orange ball in 1957 to increase ball visibility. 

2. James Naismith, a Physical Education teacher at Springfield College (now International YMCA Training School), invented basketball in 1891 to help students stay active and busy indoors in winter. The school janitor provided a peach basket, and the first hoops were nailed to a balcony edge. 

3. In 1961, the American Basketball League (ABL) was the first professional basketball league to adopt the three-point line. 

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4. Chris Ford, a Boston Celtics player, made the first three-point shot in National Basketball Association (NBA) against the Houston Rockets on October 12, 1979. It was also the game in which Larry Bird, the Celtics’ legend, made his debut. 

5. Since the 1973-1974 NBA season, blocks and steals have been officially recorded. Elmore Smith, who had 17 blocks during that season, was the player with the most blocks in an NBA match. 

6. Leo Ferris, general manager of Syracuse Nationals and Danny Biasone, were the inventors of the 24-second shot clock. The NBA first used the shot clock during the 1954-1955 season. 

7. The 1953-1954 season saw the signing of the first NBA national television contract between the NBA Television Network and Dumont Television Network.

8. Mel Rideout, a Parisian organizer of the first European basketball game, organized it. 

9. FIBA (Federation international de basketball amateur) was founded by eight nations: Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Portugal, Romania and Switzerland. FIBA was established in Geneva on June 18, 1932. 

10. Two women have been drafted into the NBA. Denise Long, drafted by the San Francisco Warriors in the 13th round, was the first. Luisa Harris was the second draft pick and was selected by the New Orleans Jazz in the 137th round. 

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11. The league’s original name that we now call the NBA was the Basketball Association of America (BAA). It was established on June 6, 1946. It was merged with the rival National Basketball League in August 1949. The league changed its name to National Basketball Association. 

12. Before the creation of FIBA, basketball was under the control of the International Amateur Handball Federation. The federation handled all handball games. Protocol of Stockholm was the treaty that gave FIBA oversight of basketball. 

13. The 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics made basketball an official Olympic event. The Olympic basketball games were played outdoors on modified tennis courts. 

14. Contrary to their name, the Harlem Globetrotters weren’t from Harlem, New York. Their roots are from Chicago, Illinois. 

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Springfield, Massachusetts. Basketball facts. Image credit – mark6mauno

15. In 1926, Abe Saperstein founded Harlem Globetrotters. Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1971. At 5’3″, Saperstein is the Basketball Hall of Fame’s shortest male inductee. 

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16. The Harlem Globetrotters, a highly competitive basketball team, existed in 1940. They beat the Chicago Bruins to win the 1940 World Professional Basketball Tournament. 

17. Because George Mikan, a Hall of Famer, used goaltending against opponents in 1944, it was not considered a violation. Goaltending was legal before 1944 because only a few people could execute it. 

18. Joseph Fulks, Philadelphia Warriors forward, holds the record for most field goals missed in a regular-season match with 42. He did this during a game against Providence Steam Rollers. He attempted 55 field goals and made only 13. 

19. Jumping Joe Fulks holds the record for most field goals missed in a postseason match. In a game against St. Louis Bombers, he missed 38 field goals. 

20. Greg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs coach, holds the fastest NBA history ejection record. He was kicked out of a game against Denver Nuggets after playing 63 seconds. 

21. It was the longest NBA game ever, lasting 78 minutes with 6 overtimes. It was played between the Indianapolis Olympians (now the Rochester Royals) on January 6, 1951. The Olympians won 75 games to 73. 

22. Multiple NBA records were set on December 13, 1983, when the regular season match between the Detroit Pistons (now the Denver Nuggets) was played. After three overtimes, the game was over, with Detroit winning 186-184. This game holds the NBA record for most points in a single game and most and second-most points by a team in one game.

23. Gene Conley won three championships with the Boston Celtics and one with baseball’s Milwaukee Braves during the 1957 World Series. He is the only player who has won a World Series championship and an NBA championship. 

24. The Kansas City Kings drafted Bruce Jenner, now Caitlin, in the 7th round 1977 NBA draft. 

25. Size 7 is the official size for competitive men’s basketball. It has a circumference of 29.5 inches or 75 cm. 

26. For women’s competitive basketball, the official size is 6, with a circumference of 28.5in or 72 cm. 

27. The Moneyball, which is worth two points in NBA’s 3-point shooting contests, was modelled after the American Basketball Association’s coloured red, white and blue balls. 

28. Official FIBA court dimensions are smaller than the NBA. Official NBA court length is 94 feet, while FIBA courts are 91.86 feet. The court width for NBA courts is 50 feet, and for FIBA courts, it is 49.21 feet.

29. Official rim heights for NBA, WNBA and FIBA courts are 10 ft (or 3.05 meters). 

30. Sergei Belov was the first international player inducted into the Basketball Hall. He is considered one of the greatest European basketball players and was part of the Soviet team that defeated the United States to win the gold medal at the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics. [49]

31. The United States has not won the gold medal for men’s basketball since the 1936 Summer Olympics. The Soviet Union won the gold in 1972 and 1988, Yugoslavia in 1980 (the 1980 Olympics were boycotted in the United States), and Argentina in 2004. 

32. Paul Westhead, the first coach to win championships in the NBA (Los Angeles Lakers) and the WNBA(Phoenix Mercury), is Coach. [55]

33. Five international players won the NBA’s MVP Award. These include Hakeem Olajuwon, Tim Duncan (Virgin Islands), Steve Nash( Canada), Dirk Nowitzki( Germany) and Giannis Antetokounmpoo (Greece). [66]

34. Before 1966, the NBA used territorial draft picks. These special picks allowed teams to choose a player within 50 miles of their city and forfeit their first-round picks. 

35. The New Jersey Nets protested against the outcome of their game against the Philadelphia 76ers on November 8, 1978. The game’s final 17:50 minutes was replayed on March 23, 1979. Before the game’s replay, a trade had taken place between both teams. So, Eric Money and Harvey Catchings are listed as having been on both sides of the game. 

36. NBA floors are made of hard maple (Acer saccharum), a board cut to 3/4ths inch thick. The only exception to this rule is Boston’s TD Garden floor, made from red oak. 

Basketball facts. 

37. A traditional basketball jersey is a combination of shorts and a jersey with no sleeves. The NBA tried adding sleeves to their jerseys in 2013, making them similar to t-shirts. Fans and players were furious at the idea. This experiment continued until 2017 when Nike purchased the NBA uniform contract and announced that they would no more use sleeved jerseys. 

38. The NBA rules stipulate that the cord basketball net must not have less than 30 threads and not more than 120. 

39. For pre-game warmups, each team must provide at least nine balls according to NBA rules. 

40. Officially approved NBA balls should be between 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 pounds in pressure. 

41. Denver Nuggets play at a home stadium that is 1 mile (5280 feet) above sea level. This high elevation has given the Nuggets and all Denver home teams in major American sports an advantage in playing home games. 

42. According to a 2017 study, the NBA’s Eastern Conference teams may be at a disadvantage when travelling westward for away games. Travelling from East to West, counter to the West-to-east rotation of the Earth’s orbit, can disrupt the circadian rhythm and cause individuals to feel more stressed and tired. This may lead to a disruption in performance and could affect visiting teams. 

43. A NBA player’s average distance per match is 2.5 miles. Blazers Guard CJ McCollum ran an average of 2.75 mi per game during the 2019-20 NBA season. 

44. The most common injury among NBA players was the lateral ankle sprain. This was revealed in a study that examined 17 years’ worth of medical records. Patellofemoral inflammation, or knee pain, was also the most common reason players missed games in the NBA.

Harrison Jones
Harrison Jones
Harrison has been a freelance financial reporter for the past 6 years. He knows the major trends in the financial world. Jones’ experience and useful tips help people manage their budgets wisely.


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