San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. The Spurs compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division; the team plays its home games at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. The Spurs are one of four former American Basketball Association teams to remain intact in the NBA after the 1976 ABA–NBA merger and are the only former ABA team to have won an NBA championship; the franchise has won NBA championships in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014. As of May 2015, the Spurs had the highest winning percentage among active NBA franchises; as of April 2019, the Spurs have won 22 division titles since joining the NBA and have only missed the playoffs four times. From 1999–2000 to 2016–17, the Spurs won 50 games each season, setting a record of 18 consecutive 50-win seasons. In the 2018–19 season, the Spurs matched an NBA record for most consecutive playoff appearances with 22; the team's recent success coincides with the tenure of current head coach Gregg Popovich, who has coached the team since 1996.
The Spurs are the city's only team in any of the four major U. S. professional sports leagues and the only major-league team in the city's history to have lasted more than five years. Spurs players are active members of the San Antonio community, many former Spurs are still active in San Antonio including David Robinson with the Carver Academy and George Gervin with the George Gervin Youth Center; the Spurs set several NBA attendance records while playing at the Alamodome including the largest crowd for an NBA Finals game in 1999, the Spurs continue to sell out the smaller AT&T Center on a regular basis. Since 2003, the team has been forced on an extended road trip for much of February since the AT&T Center hosts the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo; this is informally known as the "Rodeo Road Trip". The Spurs have posted winning road records during this period, including an NBA-record longest single road trip winning streak; when the Spurs have won the NBA title, the team's victory parades have been boat trips on the San Antonio River Walk.
The San Antonio Spurs started out as the Dallas Chaparrals of the original version of the American Basketball Association. Coached by player/coach Cliff Hagan the Dallas Chaparrals were one of 11 teams to take the floor in the inaugural season of the upstart ABA; the Chaps' second season was a bit of a disappointment, as the team finished in 4th place with a mediocre 41–37 record. In the playoffs the Chaparrals fell to the New Orleans Buccaneers; the team suffered from general disinterest in Dallas. In fact, during the 1970–71 season, the name "Dallas" was dropped in favor of "Texas" and an attempt was made to make the team a regional one, playing games in Fort Worth, at the Tarrant County Convention Center, as well as Lubbock, at the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum, but this proved a failure and the team returned full-time to Dallas in time for the 1971–72 season, splitting their games at Moody Coliseum and Dallas Convention Center Arena. While the Chaparrals had been modestly successful on the court, they were sinking financially by their third season because the ownership group refused to spend much money on the team.
After missing the playoffs for the first time in their existence in the 1972–73 season, nearly all of the owners wanted out. A group of 36 San Antonio businessmen, led by Manager/Angelo Drossos, Chairman of the Board/John Schaefer and President/Red McCombs, worked out a "lend-lease" deal with the Dallas ownership group. Drossos and his group would lease the team for three years and move it to San Antonio, agreed to return the team to Dallas if no purchase occurred by 1975. After the deal was signed, the team was renamed the San Antonio Gunslingers. However, before they played a game the name was changed to Spurs; the team's primary colors were changed from the red and blue of the Chaparrals to the now familiar black and white motif of the Spurs. In the first game at the HemisFair Arena the Spurs lost to the San Diego Conquistadors, despite attracting a noisy crowd of 6,000 fans. A smothering defense was the team's image, as they held opponents to less than 100 points for an ABA record of 49 times.
The early Spurs were led by ABA veteran James Silas, the team would get stronger as the season went on as they twice took advantage of the Virginia Squires, acquiring Swen Nater, who would go on to win Rookie of the Year, in November, "The Iceman" George Gervin in January. The ABA tried to halt the Gervin deal, claiming it was detrimental to the league, but a judge would rule in the Spurs' favor, Gervin made his Spurs debut on February 7; the Spurs would go on to finish with a 45 -- good for 3rd place in the Western Division. In the playoffs, the Spurs would battle the Indiana Pacers to the bitter end before falling in seven games. San Antonio embraced the Spurs with open arms. Schaefer, Drossos and McCombs knew a runaway hit. After only one year, they exercised their option to tear up the lease agreement, buy the franchise outright and keep the team in San Antonio for good; the team made themselves at home at HemisFair Arena, playing to large and raucous crowds. Despite a respectable 17–10 start during the 1974–75 season, Coach Tom Nissalke was fired as owners become tired of the Spurs' slow defensive style of games.
He would be replaced by Bob Bass, who stated that the Spurs would have an new playing style: "It is my belief that you cannot throw a set offense at another professional team for 48 minutes. You've got to
Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers, abbreviated by the team as the LA Clippers, are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Clippers compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of Pacific Division of the league's Western Conference; the Clippers play their home games at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, an arena shared with fellow NBA team the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association, the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League. The franchise was founded in 1970 as the Buffalo Braves, one of three expansion teams to join the NBA that year; the Braves moved from Buffalo, New York to San Diego, California in 1978 and became known as the San Diego Clippers. In 1984, The Clippers moved to Los Angeles. Through much of its history, the franchise failed to see significant regular season or playoff success; the Clippers were seen as an example of a perennial loser in American professional sports, drawing unfavorable comparisons to the successful Lakers, with whom they have shared a market since 1984 and an arena since 1999.
The Clippers' fortunes turned in the early 2010s with the acquisition of core players Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Chris Paul. In 2013, the franchise won its first division title, as the team made the playoffs for the ninth time in franchise history and the third time in the previous eight seasons, they added to their budding rivalry with the Lakers, as they finished with a better record than the Lakers for the fifth time and won the season series for the second time since moving to Los Angeles in 1984, this time in a sweep. They repeated as division champions in 2014; the franchise began in Western New York as the Buffalo Braves, one of three NBA expansion franchises that began play in the 1970–71 season, along with the Portland Trail Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers. They played their home games at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, along with another Buffalo team that would begin play that year, the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres. After two bad seasons, the Braves' fortunes started to change under coach Jack Ramsay and star forward/center Bob McAdoo.
McAdoo led the NBA in scoring for three consecutive seasons and was named the league's MVP in the 1974–75 season. The Braves qualified for the playoffs three times in a row, losing twice to the eventual Eastern Conference champions. Despite the team's modest success in Buffalo, Braves owner Paul Snyder and the league found it impossible to schedule home games at the auditorium because of the Canisius Golden Griffins men's basketball team, which had a pre-existing lease on the arena and priority on game dates over the Braves; the Griffins saw the Braves as a threat to their own success, purposely scheduled all the best dates at the arena to prevent the Braves from succeeding. As a result, after a failed attempt to sell the team to an owner who intended to move it to South Florida, Snyder sold the team to Kentucky Colonels owner John Y. Brown, Jr. who decimated the team's roster, traded away all of its stars, drove attendance down to the point where they could break their own lease on the arena.
Brown met with Celtics owner Irv Levin in 1978 so they could trade franchise ownerships. Southern California resident Levin decided to move the Braves to San Diego, something the league would have never allowed him to do with the Celtics. In 1978, San Diego welcomed the relocation of the Buffalo Braves franchise because the city had lost their Rockets to Houston seven years earlier as well as their American Basketball Association franchise, the San Diego Sails after the 1974-1975 ABA season. San Diego team officials did not think Braves was a representative nickname for the club and a contest decided on "Clippers", because the city was known for the great sailing ships that passed through San Diego Bay; when the Clippers moved to Los Angeles in 1984, they kept their name. Playing at the San Diego Sports Arena, the Clippers posted a record of 43–39 in their first season in California under new head coach Gene Shue, leaving them two wins shy of the final playoff spot, it would be the Clippers' last winning season for 13 years.
It was in that first season in southern California that long-time announcer Ralph Lawler began his association with the franchise. The Clippers began pursuing star free agents, beginning with World B. Free, acquired in the offseason from the Philadelphia 76ers. Free finished second overall in NBA scoring average, with 28.9 per game, while George Gervin of the San Antonio Spurs had a 29.6 average. The 1979–80 season saw the Clippers begin to struggle, despite adding center Bill Walton, a San Diego native, two years removed from an NBA Championship with the Trail Blazers. Walton missed 68 games due to foot injuries. San Diego finished. Free again finishing second in league scoring, with 30.2 PPG. Paul Silas replaced Shue the following season, the Clippers finished 36–46, again missing the postseason. Walton missed the entire season again due to foot injuries, while Free was traded to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for guard Phil Smith; the 1981–82 season brought changes to the franchise as Levin sold the team to Los Angeles-area real estate developer and attorney Donald Sterling for $12.5 million.
The Clippers experienced poor play and franchise mismanagement in their final years in San Diego, much like in Buffalo, competition from other sports teams in town, namely the ascendant San Diego Chargers, sucked away attention from the Clippers. That season, the Clippers were drawing fewer fans than the Braves had
ASVEL Basket known as ASVEL or sometimes as ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne, known as LDLC ASVEL for sponsorship reasons, is a French professional basketball team, located in the city of Villeurbanne, a suburb of Lyon, France. The club, the basketball section of the ASVEL multi-sports club, competes in the top-tier level French Pro A League; the club's home games are played at L'Astroballe. In 2014, Tony Parker became the president of the club. In 2017, Nicolas Batum became the club's director of basketball operations. On September 11, 2018, the club changed its name to LDLC ASVEL for sponsorship reasons. Along with this change, the club changed its main colors from green to white; the decision was made with the explanation that, "when you are European, green is a colour that does not make you dream", was followed by criticism from fans. The new logo, used since 2018, consists of the number four, which refers to ASVEL legend Alain Gilles, while keeping the V, used in the previous logo; the parent club was founded with the merger of two multi-sport clubs in Lyon and vicinity.
In its history, ASVEL has won 18 French Pro A League championships, 8 French Cups, two French Supercups, one French Federation Cup, one Semaine des As Cup, which makes it the most titled basketball club in France. In 2014, former San Antonio Spurs star, former senior French national team player, Tony Parker, became the club's president. In the French Pro A League 2015–16 season, ASVEL won its 18th French League title, after beating Strasbourg IG 3 games to 2 in the French Pro A League Finals. ASVEL won three games in a row to take the championship. In March 2017, NBA player, Nicolas Batum, became a shareholder in Infinity Nine Sports, the main investment company behind the club, took over the position as director of basketball operations. Tony Parker remained majority owner, ASVEL President. In 2018, the club signed a 10 year name sponsorship agreement with LDLC; the club changed its main team colors from the original white and green to white and black, changed its main logo design. L'Astroballe, with a seating capacity of 5,556 has been used as the long-time home arena of ASVEL.
In July 2016, ASVEL announced that it would build a new multi-functional arena, with a seating capacity of 10,500 spectators. The arena is projected to cost €60 million euros. French LeagueWinners: 1948–49, 1949–50, 1951–52, 1954–55, 1955–56, 1956–57, 1963–64, 1965–66, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1974–75, 1976–77, 1980–81, 2001–02, 2008–09, 2015–16 Runners-up: 1953–54, 1958–59, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–00, 2002–03French CupWinners: 1952–53, 1956–57, 1964–65, 1966–67, 1995–96, 1996–97, 2000–01, 2007–08 Runners-up: 1953–54, 1954–55, 1958–59, 2001–02, 2015–16A Leaders CupWinners: 2010 Runners-up: 2017French Super CupWinners: 2009, 2016 Runners-up: 2008Federation Cup Winners: 1983–84 Runners-up: 1981–82 EuroLeagueSemifinalists: 1975–76, 1977–78 4th place: 1996–97 Final Four: 1997FIBA Saporta CupRunners-up: 1982–83 Semifinalists: 1984–85, 1986–87FIBA Korać CupSemifinalists: 1995–96Latin Cup3rd place: 1953, 1966 Season by season results of the club in national and European competitions.
Individual club record holders, while players of ASVEL. ASVEL players with the most French League championships won, while members of the club. LDLC Official Website Eurobasket.com Team Page Eurocupbasketball.com Team Page
In college athletics in the United States, recruiting is the process in which college coaches add prospective student athletes to their roster each off-season. This process culminates in a coach extending an athletic scholarship offer to a player, about to be a junior in high school or higher. There are instances at lower division universities, where no athletic scholarship can be awarded and where the player pays for tuition and textbook costs out of pocket or from financial aid. During this recruiting process, schools must comply with rules that define who may be involved in the recruiting process, when recruiting may occur and the conditions under which recruiting may be conducted. Recruiting rules seek, as much as possible, to control intrusions into the lives of prospective student-athletes; the NCAA defines recruiting as “any solicitation of prospective student-athletes or their parents by an institutional staff member or by a representative of the institution’s athletics interests for the purpose of securing a prospective student-athlete’s enrollment and ultimate participation in the institution’s intercollegiate athletics program."
To be considered a “recruited prospective student-athlete”, athletes must be approached by a college coach or representative about participating in that college's athletic program. NCAA guidelines specify when they can be contacted. Letters, telephone calls, in-person conversations are limited to certain frequency and dates during and after the student's junior year; the NCAA determines when the athletes can be contacted by dividing the year into four recruiting and non-recruiting periods:1. During a contact period, recruiters may make in-person, on - or off-campus evaluations. Coaches can write and/or phone athletes during this period.2. During an evaluation period, they can only assess playing abilities. Letters and phone calls are permitted. 3. During a quiet period, they may make in-person recruiting contacts only on the college campus. Off-campus, recruiters are limited to phone calls and letter-writing.4. During a dead period, they cannot make in-person recruiting contacts or evaluations on- or off-campus or permit official/unofficial visits.
However, phone calls and letters are permitted. During the recruiting process, the prospective student-athlete goes on an official visit to the school that they're being recruited by. An official visit is a prospective student-athlete's visit to a college campus paid for by the college; the college can pay for transportation to and from the college and meals while visiting and reasonable entertainment expenses, including three complimentary admissions to a home athletics contest. NCAA recruiting bylaws limit the number of official visits a recruit may take to five; the NCAA has imposed stringent rules limiting the manner in which competing university-firms may bid for the newest crop of prospective student-athletes. Such rules limit the number of visits, which a student-athlete may make to a given campus, the amount of his expenses that may be covered by the university-firm, so forth. During recruitment, a college coach may ask a prospective player to sign a National Letter of Intent or NLI for short.
The NLI is a voluntary program with regard to both student-athletes. No prospective student-athlete or parent is required to sign the NLI, no institution is required to join the program. By signing a NLI, a prospective student-athlete agrees to attend the designated college or university for one academic year. Pursuant to the terms of the NLI program, participating institutions agree to provide athletics financial aid to the student-athlete, provided he/she is admitted to the institution and eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules. An important provision of this program serves as a recruiting prohibition applied after a prospective student-athlete signs an NLI This prohibition requires participating institutions to cease recruitment of a prospective student-athlete once an NLI is signed with another institution; the NLI has many advantages to both prospective student-athletes and participating educational institutions: Once a NLI is signed, prospective student-athletes are no longer subject to further recruiting contacts and calls.
Student-athletes are assured of an athletics scholarship for a minimum of one full academic year. By emphasizing a commitment to an educational institution, not particular coaches or teams, the program focuses on a prospective student-athlete's educational objectives. In professional sports, the services of athletes are secured via an exclusive contract with an organization. By comparison, the services of many college athletes are secured through recruiting services established by the athletic departments which include staff members and influential friends of the institutions; the college athlete signs an exclusive contract, such as the NLI, at the expense of losing a year's eligibility if he chooses to transfer to another institution of his choosing. The NLI program is subscribed to by all major athletic conferences and nearly all-independent universities. NCAA Division I is to create its own NLI for each sport and, in addition, designate a different signing date for each sport in order to reduce the time and expense incurred when the recruiting season is overly long.
Recruiting top student-athletes is more strategic due to the potential increase in undergraduate admissions and booster donations that a championship may bring. Traditionally, coaches recruiting for major college athletic departments focused on highlighting the athletic accomplishments of the athletic program. Clotfelter writes about the problems of college sports, but he says ther
Big Ten Conference
The Big Ten Conference is the oldest Division I collegiate athletic conference in the United States, based in suburban Chicago, Illinois. Despite its name, the conference consists of 14 members, they compete in the NCAA Division I. The conference includes the flagship public university in each of 11 states stretching from New Jersey to Nebraska, as well as two additional public land grant schools and a private university; the Big Ten Conference was established in 1895 when Purdue University president James H. Smart and representatives from the University of Chicago, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, University of Wisconsin gathered at Chicago's Palmer House Hotel to set policies aimed at regulating intercollegiate athletics. In 1905, the conference was incorporated as the "Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives"; the conference is one of the nation's oldest, predating the founding of the NCAA by a decade, was one of the first collegiate conferences to sponsor men's basketball.
Big Ten member institutions are predominantly major flagship research universities with large financial endowments and strong academic reputations. Large student enrollment is a hallmark of Big Ten Universities, as 13 of the 14 members feature enrollments of 20,000 or more students. Northwestern University, the only full member with a total enrollment of fewer than 30,000 students, is the lone private university among Big Ten membership. Collectively, Big Ten universities educate more than 520,000 total students and have 5.7 million living alumni. Big Ten universities engage in $9.3 billion in funded research each year. Though the Big Ten existed for nearly a century as an assemblage of universities located in the Midwest, the conference's geographic footprint now stretches east to the Atlantic Ocean. Big Ten universities are members of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, an academic consortium. In 2014–2015, members generated more than $10 billion in research expenditures. Despite the conference's name, the Big Ten has grown to fourteen members, with the following universities accepting invitations to join: Pennsylvania State University in 1990, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2011, both the University of Maryland and Rutgers University in 2014.
Johns Hopkins University was invited in 2012 to join the Big Ten as an associate member participating in men's lacrosse, in 2015, it was accepted as an associate member in women's lacrosse. Notre Dame joined the Big Ten on July 2017 as an associate member in men's ice hockey. Notes Notes The University of Chicago was a co-founder of the conference. Lake Forest College attended the original 1895 meeting that led to the formation of the conference, but never participated in athletics or any other activities. Full members Full members Sport Affiliate Other Conference Other Conference The Big Ten Conference sponsors championship competition in 14 men's and 14 women's NCAA sanctioned sports. Notes: * Notre Dame joined the Big Ten in the 2017–18 school year as an affiliate member in men's ice hockey, it continues to field its other sports in the ACC except in football where it will continue to compete as an independent. ° Johns Hopkins joined the Big Ten in 2014 as an affiliate member in men's lacrosse, with women's lacrosse to follow in 2016.
It continues to field its other sports in the NCAA Division III Centennial ConferenceMen's varsity sports not sponsored by the Big Ten Conference that are played by Big Ten schools: Notes: 1: Fencing is a coeducational team sport, although a few schools field only a women's team. Ohio State and Penn State, like most NCAA fencing schools, have coed teams. 2: Men's rowing, whether heavyweight or lightweight, is not governed by the NCAA, but instead by the Intercollegiate Rowing Association. Rutgers Men's Rowing was downgraded to Club status in 2008, but remains a member of the EARC. 3: Unlike rifle, pistol is not an NCAA-governed sport. It is coeducational. 4: Rifle is technically a men's sport, but men's, women's, coed teams all compete against each other. Ohio State fields a coed team. Women's varsity sports not sponsored by the Big Ten Conference that are played by Big Ten schools: Initiated and led by Purdue University President James Henry Smart, the presidents of University of Chicago, University of Illinois, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, Northwestern University, Purdue University and Lake Forest College met in Chicago on January 11, 1895 to discuss the regulation and control of intercollegiate athletics.
The eligibility of student-athletes was one of the main topics of discussion. The Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives was founded at a second meeting on February 8, 1896. Lake Forest was not at the 1896 meeting that established the conference and was replaced by the University of Michigan. At the time, the organization was more known as the Western Conference, consisting of Illinois, Wisconsin, Chicago and Northwestern; the first reference to the conference as the Big Nine was in 1899 after Indiana had joined. Nebraska first petitioned to join the league in 1900 and again in 1911, but was turned away both times. In April 1907, Michigan was voted out of the conference for failing to adhere to league rules. Ohio State was added to the conference in 1912; the first known references to the conference as the Big Ten were in December 1916, when Michigan sought to rejoin th
The center known as the five, or the big man, is one of the five positions in a regular basketball game. The center is the tallest player on the team, has a great deal of strength and body mass as well. In the NBA, the center is 6 feet 10 inches or taller and weighs 240 pounds or more, they traditionally have played close to the basket in the low post. A center with the ability to shoot outside from three-point range is known as stretch five; the center is considered a necessary component for a successful team in professional leagues such as the NBA. Great centers have been the foundation for most of the dynasties in both the NBA and NCAA; the 6'10" George Mikan pioneered the Center position, shattering the held perception that tall players could not develop the agility and coordination to play basketball well, ushering in the role of the dominant big man. He led DePaul University to the NIT title after turning professional, won seven National Basketball League, Basketball Association of America and NBA Championships in his ten-year career, nine of them with the Minneapolis Lakers.
Using his height to dominate opposing players, Mikan invented the shot block. In the 1960s, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain further transformed basketball by combining height with a greater level of athleticism than previous centers. Following the retirement of George Mikan, the rivalry of the two big men came to dominate the NBA. Between the two of them and Russell won nine of the eleven MVP awards in the eleven-year period between 1958 and 1969. Many of the records set by these two players have endured today. Most notably and Russell hold the top eighteen season averages for rebounds. Bill Russell led the University of San Francisco to two consecutive NCAA Championships, he joined the Boston Celtics and helped make them one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history, winning eleven championships over his thirteen-year career as well as five MVP awards. Russell revolutionized defensive strategy with his shot-blocking and physical man-to-man defense. While he was never the focal point of the Celtics offense, much of the team's scoring came when Russell grabbed defensive rebounds and initiated fast breaks with precision outlet passes to point guard Bob Cousy.
As the NBA's first African-American superstar, Russell struggled throughout his career with the racism he encountered from fans in Boston after the 1966–67 season, when he became the first African-American in any major sport to be named player-coach. His principal rival, Wilt Chamberlain, listed at 7'1", 275 pounds, lacked Russell's supporting cast. Chamberlain played college ball for the Kansas Jayhawks, leading them to the 1957 title game against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Although the Jayhawks lost by one point in triple overtime, Chamberlain was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. A member of the Harlem Globetrotters before joining the Philadelphia Warriors of the NBA in 1959, Chamberlain won two Championships, in 1967 with the Philadelphia 76ers and 1972 with the Los Angeles Lakers, although his teams were defeated by the Celtics in the Eastern Conference and NBA Finals, he won seven scoring titles, eleven rebounding titles, four regular season Most Valuable Player awards, including the distinction, in 1960, of being the first rookie to receive the award.
Stronger than any player of his era, he was capable of scoring and rebounding at will. Although he was the target of constant double- and triple-teaming, as well as fouling tactics designed to take advantage of his poor free-throw shooting, he set a number of records that have never been broken. Most notably, Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history to average more than 50 points in a season and score 100 points in a single game, he holds the NBA's all-time records for rebounding average, rebounds in a single game, career rebounds. A lesser-known center of the era was Nate Thurmond, who played the forward position opposite Wilt Chamberlain for the San Francisco Warriors but moved to center after Chamberlain was traded to the new Philadelphia franchise. Although he never won a Championship, Thurmond was known as the best screen setter in the league, his averages of 21.3 and 22.0 rebounds per game in 1966–67 and 1967–68, are exceeded only by Chamberlain and Russell. In contrast to the Celtics dynasty of the 1960s, the 1970s were a decade of parity in the NBA, with eight different champions and no back-to-back winners.
At the college level, the UCLA Bruins, under Coach John Wooden, built the greatest dynasty in NCAA basketball history, winning seven consecutive titles between 1967 and 1973. UCLA had won two consecutive titles in 1964 and 1965 with teams that pressed and emphasized guard play. After not winning in 1966, Wooden's teams changed their style, he led UCLA to three championships-in 1967, 68' and 69'-while winning the first Naismith College Player of the Year Award. During his college career, the NCAA enacted a ban on dunking because of Alcindor's dominant use of the shot, his entrance into the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 was timely, as Bill Russell had just retired and Wilt Chamberlain was 33 years old and plagued by injuries. After leading the Bucks to the 1971 NBA championship, te
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws; the team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play is mandated. Players advance the ball by bouncing it while walking or running or by passing it to a teammate, both of which require considerable skill. On offense, players may use a variety of shots -- a dunk, it is a violation to lift or drag one's pivot foot without dribbling the ball, to carry it, or to hold the ball with both hands resume dribbling.
The five players on each side at a time fall into five playing positions: the tallest player is the center, the tallest and strongest is the power forward, a shorter but more agile big man is the small forward, the shortest players or the best ball handlers are the shooting guard and the point guard, who implements the coach's game plan by managing the execution of offensive and defensive plays. Informally, players may play three-on-three, two-on-two, one-on-one. Invented in 1891 by Canadian-American gym teacher James Naismith in Springfield, United States, basketball has evolved to become one of the world's most popular and viewed sports; the National Basketball Association is the most significant professional basketball league in the world in terms of popularity, salaries and level of competition. Outside North America, the top clubs from national leagues qualify to continental championships such as the Euroleague and FIBA Americas League; the FIBA Basketball World Cup and Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament are the major international events of the sport and attract top national teams from around the world.
Each continent hosts regional competitions for national teams, like FIBA AmeriCup. The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup and Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament feature top national teams from continental championships; the main North American league is the WNBA, whereas strongest European clubs participate in the EuroLeague Women. In early December 1891, Canadian James Naismith, a physical education professor and instructor at the International Young Men's Christian Association Training School in Springfield, was trying to keep his gym class active on a rainy day, he sought a vigorous indoor game to keep his students occupied and at proper levels of fitness during the long New England winters. After rejecting other ideas as either too rough or poorly suited to walled-in gymnasiums, he wrote the basic rules and nailed a peach basket onto a 10-foot elevated track. In contrast with modern basketball nets, this peach basket retained its bottom, balls had to be retrieved manually after each "basket" or point scored.
Basketball was played with a soccer ball. These round balls from "association football" were made, at the time, with a set of laces to close off the hole needed for inserting the inflatable bladder after the other sewn-together segments of the ball's cover had been flipped outside-in; these laces could dribbling to be unpredictable. A lace-free ball construction method was invented, this change to the game was endorsed by Naismith; the first balls made for basketball were brown, it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle, searching for a ball that would be more visible to players and spectators alike, introduced the orange ball, now in common use. Dribbling was not part of the original game except for the "bounce pass" to teammates. Passing the ball was the primary means of ball movement. Dribbling was introduced but limited by the asymmetric shape of early balls. Dribbling was common by 1896, with a rule against the double dribble by 1898; the peach baskets were used until 1906 when they were replaced by metal hoops with backboards.
A further change was soon made, so the ball passed through. Whenever a person got the ball in the basket, his team would gain a point. Whichever team got; the baskets were nailed to the mezzanine balcony of the playing court, but this proved impractical when spectators in the balcony began to interfere with shots. The backboard was introduced to prevent this interference. Naismith's handwritten diaries, discovered by his granddaughter in early 2006, indicate that he was nervous about the new game he had invented, which incorporated rules from a children's game called duck on a rock, as many had failed before it. Frank Mahan, one of the players from the original