The history of basketball is much easier to trace than other sports. It is clear that Dr. James Naismith is credited with creating basketball and much of basketball history. Dr. Naismith, born in 1861 in Ontario, Canada first came up with the concept of basketball during his youth school days in the area where he played a game that involved knocking a rock off an object by attempting to throw another rock at it. The game obviously evolved from there and began the history of basketball.
Mr. Naismith taught at the YMCA School in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1891, where the sport of basketball was created. He was faced with a problem of finding a sport that could be played indoors during the harsh Massachusetts winters. He needed to come up with a game that could be played in and outdoors and one that adopted a sense of skill and not just brawn. He first developed the game by involving a soccer ball and two peach baskets, who would have ever thought basketball history, could come from a soccer ball.
In addition to creating basketball Dr. Naismith became a medical doctor focused on sports science and was a minister. Naismith watched his sport grow to become one of the world’s most popular sports that saw its entrance in the Olympics in 1936 at Berlin and he fixed himself a spot in basketball history.
The history of basketball began with teams of five and was the sports standard by 1897. The sport became popular to both men and women and began to spread throughout Canada and the US. The US servicemen took the sport overseas with them in WWII and the history of basketball became global.
U.S. colleges accepted the game and began to have it as a standard college sport. College basketball history took off around the late 1890’s and the first college game began at the Madison Square Garden in New York.
Professional basketball history first began when the National Basketball League was created in the late 1800’s around 1898. The league however did not last and was broken up after 5 years providing a rough start to basketball history. The break up just led to a number of random leagues forming themselves in the early 1900’s and each was very loosely organized. Ironically enough the first super team was the Celtics but they were from New York City not Boston. The famous Harlem globetrotters were also founded around this time in 1927 and hold a place in basketball history as being the most entertaining of basketball teams.
It wasn’t until 1949 that two professional basketball leagues the NBL and the BAA merged to create what we all know now as the National Basketball Association or the NBA. The Boston Celtics dominated the NBA from the late 1950s through the 1960s. By the 1960s, professional teams had formed throughout the United States and basketball was a mainstream powerhouse. Players such as Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russel and Kareem Abdul-Jabar all became household names that drew millions to watch them play as they all found a spot in basketball history.
National Basketball Association fell off the charts and was surpassed by football in popularity through the 1970’s then got a resurgence from the popular Larry Bird and Magic Johnson era. Michael Jordan carried the league through the eighties and nineties and the torch has been passed on to Shaquille O’neal, Kobe Bryant and Lebron James. The history of basketball has never been so fascinating and it is all thanks to Dr. James Naismith.