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Basketball is inarguably one of the most celebrated sports in the world. It may not be as popular as association football, but it has got a huge fan following especially in North America. What is amazing about the game is that you don’t need a whole lot of equipment to play, rendering it easily accessible to all classes. All you need are a ball and two baskets. Yet it is a fantastic game. Anyone who has a penchant for running, jumping and shooting will instantly fall in love with the sport. One of its professional leagues – the NBA – has grown to be the third wealthiest sports league in the world by revenue.
There is an interesting story behind how the game of Basketball came into being. It all started on a rainy December day way back in 1891. Winters in New England last long, the physical-education professor James Naismith at the International YMCA training school was looking for ways to engage his gym class in a vigorous manner indoors. He wanted a game that would help his students maintain their fitness properly during the long winters. He had many ideas at first, but finally came up with a game wherein two peach baskets will be mounted high on the wall and players would pass a ball among teammates and try to score points by tossing the ball into it. The students loved the game and started playing regularly. One of the players suggested they name the game “Naismith ball”, but the professor laughed it off. They named it ‘Basketball’ instead. The first official game was played with nine players in the YMCA gymnasium in 1982. Soon enough, Basketball was no longer a game that is played to keep players fit in the winters. Initially, there were not as many rules as there are now. In 1906 metal hoops came to be used in place of peach baskets.
National level Basketball leagues are conducted regularly in almost all major countries. The National Basketball Association (NBA) in North America is the most popular amongst them. The immense popularity has made the league’s name a synonym for the game itself. Spain’s Liga ACB, the Turkish Basketball Super League (BSL), Russia’s VTB United League etc., are popular as well. However, almost every top player around the world catches the flight to the US where there is more glamour, more money and whatnot. Each one of the 30 franchises of the NBA is at least worth a billion dollars. The most celebrated of them include Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets. The league has given the world gems like LeBron James and Michael Jordan.
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