Thurl Lee Bailey is an American retired professional basketball player whose NBA career spanned from 1983 to 1999 with the Utah Jazz and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Bailey has been a broadcast analyst for the Utah Jazz and the University of Utah— in addition to work as an inspirational speaker, singer and film actor. Bailey attended North Carolina State University and was a leader in the Wolfpack's miracle run to the 1983 NCAA Championship; that year, under head coach Jim Valvano, he led the Wolfpack in rebounding. The Utah Jazz selected him as the 7th pick of the 1983 NBA draft. Jazz management reported that he was selected for the quality of his character, as well as the quality of his game; this was the beginning of 16 years of his playing professional basketball, 12 of those years were with the NBA. Bailey was a starter with the Jazz for most of his first two seasons, but with the drafting of Karl Malone, Jazz coach Frank Layden made Bailey one of the first options off the bench; as a result, Bailey had his two finest NBA seasons in 1987-88 and 1988-89.
On November 25, 1991, he was traded by the Jazz along with a 1992 second-round draft pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Tyrone Corbin. Bailey holds the unusual distinction of playing 84 regular season games in the 1991-92 season and Timberwolves combined, he played for three seasons in Minnesota until 1994 when he left the NBA and played in the Greek League for the 1994–95 season. From 1995 to 1998 he played in the Italian League for Polti Cantù in 1995–97 and Stefanel Milano in 1997–98, before returning to the Jazz as a free agent on January 21, 1999, he retired after the end of 1998–99 season. Throughout his career Bailey has been involved in community service, he has directed basketball camps for youth since 1984 in which he teaches young people lessons about life and basketball. Bailey's basketball camps focus on students with serious illnesses or disadvantaged backgrounds. Bailey's record of service has resulted in numerous awards for leadership and contributions to the community. Included in his awards are: the NBA's prestigious Kennedy Community Award, the Utah Association for Gifted Children's Community Service Award, Sigma Gamma Chi fraternity's Exemplary Manhood Award, the Great Salt Lake Council of the Boy Scouts of America's American Champion Award and the Italian League's 1998 All Star Games Most Valuable Player.
Bailey is a public speaker, a broadcast analyst for the Utah Jazz and the University of Utah, an actor, a singer/songwriter. Bailey's music includes uplifting songs as well as Nu Soul, his albums include Faith In Your Heart, The Gift of Christmas, I'm Not the Same. In addition to his music, he has appeared in a few films. Bailey is chairman of Big T Productions, Fertile Earth, FourLeaf Films, he works with various charities — including Make-A-Wish, D. A. R. E; the Happy Factory. Bailey continues to coach in the Salt Lake City area using CoachUp. Bailey gave the opening prayer at the 2008 Republican National Convention. Bailey was born in Washington, D. C. and grew up in a violent household in a high-crime neighborhood in the suburbs of Maryland bordering D. C, he is the father of six children. Bailey and his wife, live in Salt Lake City with their three children. Bailey has a daughter with his college sweetheart, two sons from his first marriage. Bailey was raised Baptist. While playing basketball in Italy, Bailey decided to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He was baptized by his father-in-law on 31 December 1995. Official website Thurl Bailey at Basketball-Reference.com Historical Player Profile at NBA.com Thurl Bailey on IMDb Thurl Bailey Talks about His Life Purpose, video on YouTube Thurl Bailey — Former NBA player — Discussion 59 interview on the Mormon Channel
The Cleveland Cavaliers referred to as the Cavs, are an American professional basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavs compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Central Division; the team began play as an expansion team in 1970, along with the Portland Trail Blazers and Buffalo Braves. Home games were first held at Cleveland Arena from 1970 to 1974, followed by the Richfield Coliseum from 1974 to 1994. Since 1994, the Cavs have played home games at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in downtown Cleveland, shared with the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League and the Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League. Dan Gilbert has owned the team since March 2005; the Cavaliers opened their inaugural season losing their first 15 games and struggled in their early years, placing no better than sixth in the Eastern Conference during their first five seasons. The team won their first Central Division title in 1976, which marked the first winning season and playoff appearance in franchise history, where they advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The franchise was purchased by Ted Stepien in 1980. Stepien's tenure as owner was marked by six coaching changes, questionable trades and draft decisions, poor attendance, leading to $15 million in financial losses; the Cavs went 66–180 in that time and endured a 24-game losing streak spanning the 1981–82 and 1982–83 seasons. George and Gordon Gund purchased the franchise in 1983. During the latter half of the 1980s and through much of the 1990s, the Cavs were a regular playoff contender, led by players such as Mark Price and Brad Daugherty, advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals in 1992. After the team's playoff appearance in 1998, the Cavs had six consecutive losing seasons with no playoff action. Cleveland was awarded with the top overall pick in the 2003 draft, they selected LeBron James. Behind James and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, the Cavaliers again became a regular playoff contender by 2005, they made their first appearance in the NBA Finals in 2007 after winning the first Eastern Conference championship in franchise history.
After failing to return to the NBA Finals in the ensuing three seasons, James joined the Miami Heat in 2010. As a result, the Cavaliers finished the 2010–11 season last in the conference, enduring a 26-game losing streak that, as of 2017, ranks as the longest in NBA history for a single season and second overall. Between 2010 and 2014, the team won the top pick in the NBA draft lottery three times, first in 2011 where they selected Kyrie Irving, again in 2013 and 2014. LeBron James led the team to four straight NBA Finals appearances. In 2016, the Cavaliers won their first NBA Championship, marking Cleveland's first major sports title since 1964; the 2016 NBA Finals victory over the Golden State Warriors marked the first time in Finals history a team had come back to win the series after trailing three games to one. The Cavaliers have made 22 playoff appearances, won seven Central Division titles, five Eastern Conference titles, one NBA title; the Cavaliers began play in the 1970–71 NBA season as an expansion team.
They set losing records in each of their first five seasons before winning their first division title in 1976. That team was led by Austin Carr, Bobby "Bingo" Smith, Jim Chones, Dick Snyder, Nate Thurmond, head coach Bill Fitch, was remembered most for the "Miracle at Richfield", in which the Cavaliers defeated the Washington Bullets 4–3 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, they won Game 87 -- 85, on a shot by Snyder with four seconds to go. The Cavaliers moved on to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time, but were without Chones after he broke his foot in a practice right before the series opener; as a result, the Cavaliers went on to lose 4–2 to the Boston Celtics. They made playoff appearances in the following two seasons before going on a six-year playoff hiatus; the early 1980s were marked by Ted Stepien's ownership, who had a disastrous run as owner and de facto general manager between 1980 and 1983. During Stepien's reign, the Cavaliers made a practice of trading future draft picks for marginal veteran players.
His most notable deal sent a 1982 first-round pick to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Dan Ford and the 22nd overall pick in 1980. As a result of Stepien's dealings, the NBA introduced the "Stepien Rule", which prohibits teams from trading first-round draft picks in successive seasons; the Cavaliers went 66–180, dropped to the bottom of the league in attendance and lost $15 million during Stepien's three years as the owner. The Cavs went through six coaches including four during the 1981 -- 82 season; the team finished 15–67, between March and November 1982, the team had a 24-game losing streak, which at the time, was the NBA's longest losing streak. George and Gordon Gund purchased the Cavaliers from Stepien in 1983; the Cavaliers made the playoffs ten times between 1984–85 and 1997–98. In 1988–89, the Cavaliers had their best season to date, finishing the regular season with 57–25 record behind the likes of Brad Daugherty, Mark Price, Ron Harper and Larry Nance, head coach Lenny Wilkens.
They reached the Eastern Conference Finals that year. However, between 1998–99 and 2004–05, the Cavaliers failed to make a playoff appearance; the 2002–03 season saw the Cavaliers finish 17–65, tied for the worst record in the NBA. The Cavaliers' luck changed; the team selected heralded forward and future NBA MVP LeBron James, a native of nearby Akron who had risen to national stardom at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. In 2005, the team would be sold to businessman Dan Gilbert; that year, the
Birmingham is a city located in the north central region of the U. S. state of Alabama. With an estimated 2017 population of 210,710, it is the most populous city in Alabama. Birmingham is the seat of Alabama's most populous and fifth largest county; as of 2017, the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 1,149,807, making it the most populous in Alabama and 49th-most populous in the United States. Birmingham serves as an important regional hub and is associated with the Deep South and Appalachian regions of the nation. Birmingham was founded in 1871, during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, through the merger of three pre-existing farm towns, most notably Elyton; the new city was named for Birmingham, the UK's second largest city and, at the time, a major industrial city. The Alabama city annexed smaller neighbors and developed as an industrial center, based on mining, the new iron and steel industry, rail transport. Most of the original settlers who founded Birmingham were of English ancestry.
The city was developed as a place where cheap, non-unionized immigrant labor, along with African-American labor from rural Alabama, could be employed in the city's steel mills and blast furnaces, giving it a competitive advantage over unionized industrial cities in the Midwest and Northeast. From its founding through the end of the 1960s, Birmingham was a primary industrial center of the southern United States, its growth from 1881 through 1920 earned it nicknames such as "The Magic City" and "The Pittsburgh of the South". Its major industries were steel production. Major components of the railroad industry and railroad cars, were manufactured in Birmingham. Since the 1860s, the two primary hubs of railroading in the "Deep South" have been Birmingham and Atlanta; the economy diversified in the latter half of the 20th century. Banking, telecommunications, electrical power transmission, medical care, college education, insurance have become major economic activities. Birmingham ranks as one of the largest banking centers in the U.
S. Also, it is among the most important business centers in the Southeast. In higher education, Birmingham has been the location of the University of Alabama School of Medicine and the University of Alabama School of Dentistry since 1947. In 1969 it gained the University of Alabama at Birmingham, one of three main campuses of the University of Alabama System, it is home to three private institutions: Samford University, Birmingham-Southern College, Miles College. The Birmingham area has major colleges of medicine, optometry, physical therapy, law and nursing; the city has three of the state's five law schools: Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham School of Law, Miles Law School. Birmingham is the headquarters of the Southwestern Athletic Conference and the Southeastern Conference, one of the major U. S. collegiate athletic conferences. Birmingham was founded on June 1, 1871, by the Elyton Land Company, whose investors included cotton planters and railroad entrepreneurs, it sold lots near the planned crossing of the Alabama & Chattanooga and South & North Alabama railroads, including land, a part of the Benjamin P. Worthington plantation.
The first business at that crossroads was the trading post and country store operated by Marre and Allen. The site of the railroad crossing was notable for its proximity to nearby deposits of iron ore and limestone – the three main raw materials used in making steel. Birmingham is the only place where significant amounts of all three minerals can be found in close proximity. From the start the new city was planned as a center of industry; the city's founders, organized as the Elyton Land Company, named it in honor of Birmingham, one of the world's premier industrial cities, to emphasize that point. The growth of the planned city was impeded by an outbreak of cholera and a Wall Street crash in 1873. Soon afterward, however, it began to develop at an explosive rate; the Tennessee Coal and Iron Company became the leading steel producer in the South by 1892. In 1907 U. S. Steel became the most important political and economic force in Birmingham, it resisted new industry, however. In 1911, the town of Elyton and several other surrounding towns were absorbed into Birmingham.
From the early 20th century, the city grew so it earned the sobriquet "The Magic City". The downtown was redeveloped from a low-rise commercial and residential district into a busy grid of neoclassical mid- and high-rise buildings crisscrossed by streetcar lines. Between 1902 and 1912, four large office buildings were constructed at the intersection of 20th Street, the central north-south spine of the city, 1st Avenue North, which connected the warehouses and industrial facilities along the east-west railroad corridor; this early group of skyscrapers was nicknamed the "Heaviest Corner on Earth". Birmingham was hit by the 1916 Irondale earthquake. A few buildings in the area were damaged; the earthquake was felt as far as Atlanta and neighboring states. While excluded from the best-paying industrial jobs, African Americans joined the migration of residents from rural areas to the city, drawn by economic opportunity; the Great Depression of the 1930s struck Birmingham hard, as the sources of capital fueling the city's growth dried up at the same time farm laborers, driven off the land, made their way to the city in search of work.
Hundreds poured into many riding in empty boxcars. "Hobo jungles" were established in Boyles, the Twenty-fourth Street Viaduct, G
The point guard called the one or point, is one of the five positions in a regulation basketball game. A point guard has the most specialized role of any position. Point guards are expected to run the team's offense by controlling the ball and making sure that it gets to the right player at the right time. Above all, the point guard must understand and accept their coach's game plan. While the point guard must understand and accept the coach's gameplan, they must be able to adapt to what the defense is allowing, they must control the pace of the game. A point guard, like other player positions in basketball, specializes in certain skills. A point guard's primary job is to facilitate scoring opportunities for his/her team, or sometimes for themselves. Lee Rose has described a point guard as a coach on the floor, who can handle and distribute the ball to teammates; this involves setting up plays on the court, getting the ball to the teammate in the best position to score, controlling the tempo of the game.
A point guard should know when and how to instigate a fast break and when and how to initiate the more deliberate sets. Point guards are expected to be vocal floor leaders. A point guard needs always to have in mind the times on the shot clock and the game clock, the score, the numbers of remaining timeouts for both teams, etc. Among the taller players who have enjoyed success at the position is Ben Simmons, who at 6’ 10” won the 2018 National Basketball Association Rookie of the Year Award. Behind him is Magic Johnson, who at 6’ 9” won the National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player Award three times in his career. Other point guards who have been named NBA MVP include Russell Westbrook, Bob Cousy, Oscar Robertson, Allen Iverson, Derrick Rose and two-time winners Steve Nash and Stephen Curry. In the NBA, point guards are about 6' 4" or shorter, average about 6' 2" whereas in the WNBA, point guards are 5' 9" or shorter. Having above-average size is considered advantageous, although size is secondary to situational awareness, speed and ball handling skills.
Shorter players tend to be better dribblers since they are closer to the floor, thus have better control of the ball while dribbling. After an opponent scores, it is the point guard who brings the ball down court to begin an offensive play. Passing skills, ball handling, court vision are crucial. Speed is important. Point guards are valued more for their assist totals than for their scoring. Another major evaluation factor is assist-to-turnover ratio, which reflects the decision-making skills of the player. Still, a first-rate point guard should have a reasonably effective jump shot; the point guard is positioned on the perimeter of the play, so as to have the best view of the action. This is a necessity because of the point guard's many leadership obligations. Many times, the point guard is referred to by announcers as a "coach on the floor" or a "floor general". In the past, this was true, as several point guards such as Lenny Wilkens served their teams as player-coaches; this is not so common anymore, as most coaches are now specialized in coaching and are non-players.
Some point guards are still given a great deal of leeway in the offense. Point guards who are not given this much freedom, are still extensions of their coach on the floor and must display good leadership skills. Along with leadership and a general basketball acumen, ball-handling is a skill of great importance to a point guard. Speaking, the point guard is the player in possession of the ball for the most time during a game and is responsible for maintaining possession of the ball for his team in the face of any pressure from the opponents. Point guards must be able to maintain possession of the ball in crowded spaces and in traffic and be able to advance the ball quickly. A point guard that has enough ball-handling skill and quickness to be able to drive to the basket in a half-court set is very valuable and considered by some to be a must for a successful offense. After ball-handling and scoring are the most important areas of the game for a point guard; as the primary decision-maker for a team, a point guard's passing ability determines how well a point guard is able to put his decision into play.
It is one thing to be able to recognize the player, in a tactically advantageous position, but it is another thing to be able to deliver the ball to that player. For this reason, a point guard is but not always, more skilled and focused on passing than shooting. However, a good jump shot and the ability to score off a drive to the basket are still valuable skills. A point guard will use his ability to score in order to augment his effectiveness as a decision maker and play maker. In addition to the traditional role of the point guard, modern teams have found new ways to utilize the position. Notably, several modern point guards have used a successful style of post play, a tactic practiced by much larger centers and forwards. Working off of the fact that the opposing point guard is in all probability an undersized player with limited strength, several modern point guards have developed games close to the basket that include being able to utilize the drop step, spin move, fade away jump shot. In recent years, the sport's shift from a fundamental style of play to a more athletic, scoring-oriented game resulted in the proliferation of so-called combo guards at the po
1985–86 NBA season
The 1985–86 NBA season was the 40th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Boston Celtics winning their third championship of the decade, beating the Houston Rockets 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals; the 1986 NBA All-Star Game was played at Reunion Arena in Dallas, with the East defeating the West 139–132. Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons wins the game's MVP award. To add to the All-Star Weekend festivities, 5-foot-7-inch Spud Webb of the Atlanta Hawks wins the slam-dunk competition; the first three-point shootout was held, won by Larry Bird. The Kings relocate from Missouri to Sacramento, California, they played their home games at ARCO Arena I for three seasons while ARCO Arena II was under construction. The Chicago Bulls are the last Eastern Conference team in NBA history to lose 50 or more games in a season and still make the playoffs; the Boston Celtics post an impressive 40–1 record at home. Their only regular-season home loss occurred on December 6, 1985, to the Portland Trail Blazers, by the score of 121–103.
The record would be tied by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2015–16 season. The Celtics would win all 10 of their home games in the postseason; this season marks the first time the NBA hands out a Most Improved Player award at the end of a season. Alvin Robertson of the San Antonio Spurs is the first to win the award. Robertson would set the record for consecutive games with a steal, which stood for 22 years. In the third game of the season, Chicago Bulls sensation Michael Jordan suffered a broken left foot and missed the next 64 games. In Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round series, Jordan scored 63 points against Boston, an NBA playoff record, but his Chicago Bulls would lose in double overtime. All Midwest Division teams make the playoffs, the first time an entire division had done this since the 1983–84 season when all Atlantic Division teams made the playoffs; the first NBA draft of the Lottery Era was conducted at the Felt Forum of Madison Square Garden in New York City. Patrick Ewing was selected as the first overall pick by the New York Knicks.
Ewing, the winner of the NBA Rookie of the Year Award that season, set the record for most games missed for a Rookie of the Year winner. Ralph Sampson's off-balanced buzzer-beating shot in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals sent the Houston Rockets to their second NBA Finals, defeating the erstwhile defending champion Los Angeles Lakers 4-1; this marked the second and last time in the 1980s a team other than the Lakers represented the West in the NBA Finals. The Rockets fell in six games to the Boston Celtics, a similar result to their previous meeting five years earlier. Detlef Schrempf became the first German player to enter the NBA, he would become the first European-born player to be named an All-Star in 1993 and had the most number of seasons played for a European player. New Jersey Nets guard Micheal Ray Richardson was banned for life by the NBA for his third violation of the league's anti-drug policy. Houston Rockets guard John Lucas was suspended by the team for a similar violation.
On Wednesday, October 30, 1985, forward Georgi Glouchkov arrived in the U. S. from Bulgaria to play for the Phoenix Suns. He was the first player from a former Eastern Bloc country to play in the NBA, he would make his debut on November 6 against the Atlanta Hawks. The Los Angeles Clippers surprised the league by starting the season 5-0; the Denver Nuggets were the last undefeated team, starting the season 6-0. The New York Knicks started the season 0-8 in the midst of a 20-game losing streak; the Knicks' last victory was March 22, 1985. The Phoenix Suns were the last winless team, starting the season 0-9. On Saturday, November 30, 1985, Cleveland Cavalier World B. Free scored his 16,000th career point. On Wednesday, December 4, 1985, Maurice Lucas of the Los Angeles Lakers made a 60-foot shot at the regulation buzzer to send the game into overtime; the Lakers would go on to defeat the Utah Jazz 131-127. On Tuesday, December 10, 1985, the Indiana Pacers scored only 64 points in a 64-82 loss to the New York Knicks.
It was the fewest points scored by a team in 13 years – since an October 21, 1972 game in which the Buffalo Braves managed only 63 against the Milwaukee Bucks. Indiana's 64 was the fourth lowest total since the NBA implemented the 24-second shot clock in 1954–55; the Los Angeles Lakers started the season 19-2. On Wednesday, December 25, 1985, in a matchup of one of the worst teams in the league against one of the best, the Knicks defeated Boston in double overtime, 113-104. Rookie Patrick Ewing had 11 rebounds for the Knicks. On Tuesday, January 14, 1986, the Utah Jazz snapped the Houston Rockets' 20-game home winning streak with a 105-102 victory. Both Akeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson foul out of the game. On Wednesday, January 15, 1986, the Golden State Warriors scored 150 points in a 150-104 regulation victory over the Utah Jazz. None of Golden State's starters played in the fourth quarter. Eight Golden State players scored in double figures. On Wednesday, January 22, 1986, the Boston Celtics defeated the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers 110-95 in a matchup of the league's two best teams.
On Friday, January 24, 1986, the Boston Celtics overtook the Los Angeles Lakers as the team with the best record in the NBA. The Celtics maintained the league's best record for the remainder of the season. On Thursday, February 6, 1986, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers scored 46 points in a game against the Houston Rockets, his highest single-game total since a 48
1983 NBA draft
The 1983 NBA draft took place on June 28, 1983, in New York City. A total of 226 players were selected over 10 rounds by the league's 23 teams. At least four players from the 1983 draft served or now serve as coaches. One served at a major-college program—Craig Robinson at Oregon State—and two in the NBA—Doc Rivers for the Los Angeles Clippers and Randy Wittman for the Washington Wizards. Another player, Byron Scott, coached for the Los Angeles Lakers from 2014 to 2016. While Scott won the Coach of the Year award in 2008, Rivers won an NBA Championship with the Celtics in that same year. Robinson, who led the Beavers to the 2009 College Basketball Invitational title, has an additional claim to fame as the older brother of former First Lady Michelle Obama. Sidney Lowe coached at North Carolina State from 2006 to 2011. Manute Bol was selected in the 5th round by the Clippers, but the NBA rejected the pick on technicalities. Manute had never filed draft paperwork, his passport listed him at 19. Florida State star Mitchell Wiggins, father of future No. 1 overall draft pick and Canadian Andrew Wiggins, was drafted 23rd by the Indiana Pacers.
Leo Rautins, current colour man for Toronto Raptors broadcasts, made history as the first Canadian drafted in the first round of an NBA draft. Rautins, one of the greatest players to come out of Syracuse University, had his career cut short by injury, he would go on to coach Canada's senior men's national basketball team. Despite there being only 23 teams at the time of the draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers were awarded the 24th pick out of courtesy. Then-owner Ted Stepien was infamous for trading first-round picks in the late 1970s and early 1980s, considering Cleveland's morose records in that time period culminated in the NBA creating a rule banning teams from dealing all of their first-round picks in consecutive years. *Compensation for draft choices traded away by Ted Stepien. These picks have played at least one game in the NBA but were not selected in the first or second rounds. General Specific NBA.com NBA.com: NBA Draft History
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