It's not hard to reason this one but you migh...
Since it was invented back in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith in the United States, basketball has gained popularity all over the world. This is largely due to the emergence of exciting leagues like the National Basketball Association (NBA) that feature some of most skilled athletes in the world.
From glorious dunks and magical alley-oops to long-range three-pointers, this sport always keeps specators on the edge of their seats. Little wonder why die-hard fans can't get enough of it and know everything there is to know about it--or do they?
Here are some facts about basketball that you might not have been aware of:
Fact one: Till 1929, basketball was largely played with regulation soccer balls.
Fact two: In its earliest days, basketballs used to be brown in colour. However, over time, regulation basketballs became brighter--mostly orange. Today, prominent leagues like the WNBA (Women's National Basketball Association) even use multi-coloured basketballs!
Fact three: In the good 'ol days, hoops were primarily made of peach baskets, and backboards were made from wire. It must've been really tough rebounding off them!
Fact four: In 1949, the National Basketball League (NBL) and the Basketball Association of America (BAA) came together to form the National Basketball Association (NBA). Back then the league had 17 franchises.
Fact five: Legend has it that backboards were added because spectators in balcony seats used to often try to handle the ball whenever it came near them!
Fact six: The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which is the breeding ground for the biggest NBA stars, had officially banned slam dunks between 1967 and 1976!
Fact seven: Basketball became an Olympic sport in the 1936 Berlin Games. It has been an integral part of the Olympics ever since!
Fact eight: Alley-oops--the plays where one player throws the ball near the basket and a teammate catches it in mid air and scores a basket--were legalized by FIBA (International Basketball Federation) only in 1994. However, the NBA had no such sanctions on alley-oops during that time!
Fact nine: The now-standard three-point line was first tested in 1933. It was later adapted in a few college basketball games and lesser-known leagues. However, the NBA only warmed up to the idea of a three-point line--hence the three-point rule--in the 1979-80 season. FIBA embraced this rule in 1984.
Fact ten: The first ever basketball game was played in 1892. The court for that particular game was roughly half the size of today's regulation court. Also, given that it was a new sport and the players involved were inexperienced, only one point was scored in the game!
-Picture courtesy Thinkstock-
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