Basketball Positions

Gaining an idea of the major basketball positions.

Before you start playing basketball in earnest, you must know about the main basketball positions. There are no hard and fast positions laid down in the game of basketball which will have to be maintained. So, in informal games, the basketball positions are often dropped or one player can play in many positions. However, according to the strategy of the game, there are five main basketball positions. These can be grouped into two: the offensive positions and the defensive positions.

Various basketball positions.

Basketball positions

The different basketball positions are as follows:
Point guard is the team leader. Typically, he has the best skills to handle and pass the ball. He calls the plays and often directs the other players. Because agility was a key factor, point guards were often small, fast players. This changed after the advent of Magic Johnson on the scene of basketball that used his great height to advantage. Today, instead of height, leadership qualities and talent for running and passing are considered while selecting the point guard.

• The next basketball position is the shooting guard. He is also called two and is typically the best shooter of the team. They create their own shot from dribbles. Long outside shots and three point shots are their forte. The position of shooting guard is generally the top scorer in the team. One of the best known and most versatile shooting guards was Michael Jordan.

• The next basketball position is small forward, also known as three. They are typically shorter and fast runner, handling defense well. It is the most versatile of all basketball positions. The position of the shooting guard and small forward is often interchanged.

• The number four on basket ball positions is held by the power forward. The main job of the power forward is to score on rebounds and clear some area under the basket. They also block shots.

• The final basketball position is the center. He is typically the largest member of the team and has to combine a number of skills. He is a good shooter, a shot blocker as well as a strong rebounder. It is common knowledge that a strong center is the key basketball position in order to secure a win. This basketball position is also called five or pivot.

Apart from these five principle basketball positions, the bench can definitely be included in the list of important basketball positions. Basketball is typically played by five players. However, it is a very fast paced game and often tiring – even for professional athletes. So, it is vital to have a good bench to support the team. Typically, at least three bench players can end up playing for considerable time.

Learn basketball positions to understand the game.

You should be well conversant with these different basketball positions in order to understand and enjoy the game. However, in a play, one player can end up playing multiple roles because basketball positions are not fixed by the rule of the game.

http://www.madridbasketball.com

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Basketball Cards

Collecting basketball cards

One of the most popular hobbies today is collecting basketball cards. If you are an aficionado of the game, you may have started collecting quite early. A basketball card is a trading card, typically printed on thick paper or paperboard and contains the picture of a player and some trivia as well. In some innovative designs, game memorabilia are also being attached to the cards. The earliest basketball cards made their appearance in 1910 when thirty cards were printed. The basketball cards generally have pictures of players of National Basketball Association, Olympic basketball, National Collegiate athletic association, Women’s National Basketball Association etc.

Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls)

Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls)

How to collect basketball cards

Here is a short checklist to help you collect basketball cards:

  • • It is necessary to gather certain background information before starting to collect basketball cards. Topps and Upper Deck produce NBA basketball cards.
  • • You can get retail or hobby boxes of basketball cards at Wal-Mart or your local Hobby shops.
  • In general, cheaper basketball cards are released early in the year while at the end of the season, the more expensive cards are released.
  • • Do not be too picky while collecting basketball cards. Instead, just start by buying some of the commonly available boxes of basketball cards. Start with Topps, Topps Chrome, or Fleer. Get recent players with whom you are familiar. Just get used to the feel of the cards as well as the thrill of opening a new pack. If basketball cards do not interest you, you will know by this stage and stop when you can.
  • • Once you are ready to start collecting basketball cards seriously, decide on a focus of your collection. The theme can be your favorite player, your favorite team, a set or a type of card. Narrowing your focus will help you to create a more valuable collection of good basketball cards instead of a number of low value cards resulting in a diluted collection.
  • • Try to locate a local card shop and visit it regularly in search of good basketball cards. They are no longer very common, but are definitely worth the interest if you do manage to locate one.
  • • Finally, a number of online trading forums have come up where you can buy basketball cards.

Deciding the price of basketball cards

A number of factors influence the price of the basketball cards. Here are some guidelines you should keep in mind:

  • • Set your budget; otherwise you will not be able to build up a well balanced collection of basketball cards.
  • • Physical attributes of the card are used to grade it which in turn influences the price. The color, gloss, corner and centering of the picture are some of the criteria. Grades are given from 1 to 10 with 10 or Gem Mint being the highest grade. Such a card has to be nearly flawless.
  • • The most expensive basketball cards contain an insert. This may be the part of a subset or contain a piece of game memorabilia. They are printed in few numbers and are may be numbered if it is a part of a series.

http://www.madridbasketball.com

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Choosing the Correct Basketball Shoes

How to choose basketball shoes?

If you are a serious or frequent player of basketball, then it is imperative that you get a pair of basketball shoes to play the game. Wearing regular shoes during basketball is not advisable. They do not offer the proper grip or traction. As a result, not only are they uncomfortable, they will also affect your game. A number of different types of basketball shoes are available on the market. There are a number of things to keep in mind when you go shopping for basketball shoes.

Steps to buying basketball shoes

Make sure you get a decent pair of basketball shoes.

Make sure you get a decent pair of basketball shoes.

Here are some important tips about how to buy basketball shoes:

  • • Choosing the correct size is a must. Get a fresh measurement at the time of buying the shoe instead of relying on the measurement for your regular shoe.
  • • The style of play is one of the most important factors deciding which basketball shoes would suit you best. If you are a power player, you will need heavier shoes to obtain greater cushioning. On the other hand, a fast player should choose lightweight low cut shoes. For the all around player, basketball shoes must offer ankle support and a degree of cushioning.
  • • Another essential characteristic of basketball shoes is the shoe cut. There are three different types of uppers used in basketball shoes – each with its own merits:
    o High tops are by far the greatest favorite as they offer stability and ankle support.
    o Mid tops are suitable for players who prefer speed to stability.
    o Low tops are not very common though they are light.
  • • Today, uppers of basketball shoes are no longer made exclusively of leather. All synthetic materials have become more common.
  • • Check the midsole. It should be comfortable enough to provide adequate cushioning.
  • • Basketball shoes offer a number of closing systems like zippers, straps, laces and Velcro. The Velcro straps are suitable only for kids. Apart from this, you can choose any closing system you like.
  • • Finally, stability of basketball shoes is another element to consider while making your choice. A stable base is created by a flat and wide outsole. If you plan to play indoors, the lighter soles are okay. However, if you plan mostly to play outdoors, you should get basketball shoes with heavy rubber outsoles.
  • • You should always try on the basketball shoes before buying them. This is of course not possible if you buy them over the internet. In that case, check the specifications thoroughly before buying them.

A few precautions

Here are a few precautions that you should keep in mind while buying basketball shoes:

  • • Do not compromise quality for price. It may not only affect your game but also lead to pain in calf muscles.
  • • Women should not buy men’s basketball shoes as the construction is different. Men’s shoes are wider and offer less grip and stability.
  • • Wear your basketball shoes only when playing the game. This will help to increase the longevity of the shoes.

http://www.madridbasketball.com

Email: madridbasketball@gmail.com

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The Game of Basketball

Hi ballers!

This month’s blog was written by self confessed ‘basketball nut’ Jose McGrotty!

Hope you enjoy it and if you want to write a guest blog yourself, drop us a line at madridbasketball@gmail.com.

Facts and trivia about basketball games

Today, basketball games are probably one of the most widely viewed sporting events in the world. Originally invented in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith to keep his students occupied by a vigorous indoor game, this game has now become popular all over the world. From 1900, it gained recognition as a college sport and in 1937, the first National Championship Game was organized. A huge number of basketball teams emerged throughout 1920s and the following years. Finally, in 1949, the famous National Basketball Association was formed by the merging of Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League.

Some interesting trivia about basketball games

Here is some important trivia you might find interesting:

  • • The first basketball game was shown on television in 1932.
    • In 1932, eight nations joined together to form of International Basketball Federation. These countries were Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Switzerland. This was the FIBA which is the highest global regulating authority of basketball.
    • Basketball games came to be included in the Olympics for the first time in 1936 at the Berlin Olympics. In 1976, Women’s Basketball games were included in the Olympics.
    • The biggest winner at the Olympics is the USA Basketball team. They have won 13 gold medals.
    • In 2010, the longest marathon basketball game was seen in Hungary. The game was played continuously for 107 hours with no rest breaks. The final score was 9900 – 8169.
    • Today, basketball has become hugely popular as a college sports for both men and women. Women’s basketball began in 1892. It soon spread to many states and became very popular.
The famed Madrid Basketball 'shoot some hoops with us' tree.

The famed Madrid Basketball ‘shoot some hoops with us’ tree.

Equipment used in basketball games

Basketball is actually a simple game where lots of paraphernalia are not required. Here is a little information on the main equipment necessary for basketball games:

  • • A traditional eight panel basketball is the main thing necessary for a basketball game. For men, it has a diameter of 29.5 inches (size 7) while for women, it has a size of 28.5 inches (size 6).
    • Then, you require a basketball court. This game can be played both indoors and outdoors. By international standards, basketball courts are 91.9 feet long and 49.2 feet wide, though the measurement may vary a little. Basketball courts generally have wooden flooring.

http://www.madridbasketball.com 

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Understanding Basketball Positions

Gaining an idea of the major basketball positions

Before you start playing basketball in earnest, you must know about the main basketball positions. There are no hard and fast positions laid down in the game of basketball which will have to be maintained. So, in informal games, the basketball positions are often dropped or one player can play in many positions. However, according to the strategy of the game, there are five main basketball positions. These can be grouped into two: the offensive positions and the defensive positions.

Various basketball positions

The different basketball positions are as follows:

• Point guard is the team leader. Typically, he has the best skills to handle and pass the ball. He calls the plays and often directs the other players. Because agility was a key factor, point guards were often small, fast players. This changed after the advent of Magic Johnson on the scene of basketball that used his great height to advantage. Today, instead of height, leadership qualities and talent for running and passing are considered while selecting the point guard.

• The next basketball position is the shooting guard. He is also called two and is typically the best shooter of the team. They create their own shot from dribbles. Long outside shots and three point shots are their forte. The position of shooting guard is generally the top scorer in the team. One of the best known and most versatile shooting guards was Michael Jordan.

• The next basketball position is small forwards, also known as three. They are typically shorter and fast runner, handling defense well. It is the most versatile of all basketball positions. The position of the shooting guard and small forward is often interchanged.

• The number four on basket ball positions is held by the power forward. The main job of the power forward is to score on rebounds and clear some area under the basket. They also block shots.

• The final basketball position is the center. He is typically the largest member of the team and has to combine a number of skills. He is a good shooter, a shot blocker as well as a strong rebounder. In is common knowledge that a strong center is the key basketball position in order to secure a win. This basketball position is also called five or pivot.

Apart from these five principle basketball positions, the bench can definitely be included in the list of important basketball positions. Basketball is typically played by five players. However, it is a very fast paced game and often tiring – even for professional athletes. So, it is vital to have a good bench to support the team. Typically, at least three bench players can end up playing for considerable time.

You should be well conversant with these different basketball positions in order to understand and enjoy the game. However, in a play, one player can end up playing multiple roles because basketball positions are not fixed by the rule of the game.

http://www.madridbasketball.com

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Historical Pro Basketball Players

Ever since the first players sunk the first hoops back over a century ago, basketball has been one of America’s number one sports, and pro basketball players have been making sports history.

American pro basketball history can be traced to a game played in 1896 at the YMCA in Trenton, New Jersey. This game was played as the result of a fallout dispute between members of the YMCA team and a YMCA official. The disillusioned players formed their own professional team and began to play for money.

Two years later, a group of New Jersey newspaper sports editors founded the National Basketball League (NBL). The stars of this first pro league were Barney Sedran and Ed Wachter.

As the league progressed into the twentieth century, the first two successful professional teams were the Buffalo Germans and the Original Celtics. The first major national professional league was the American Basketball League. The Harlem Globetrotters and the New York Renaissance, also known as the Rens, the most successful teams of the 1930s. Both of these teams were comprised entirely of black players. There were also women’s basketball teams at this time, with the top women players being Nera White, Alline Banks Sprouse, and Babe Didrikson.

The Original Celtics in their favourite team pose.

The Original Celtics in their favourite team pose.

The Minneapolis Lakers dominated the pro basketball circuit throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s. The Lakers, coached by John Kundla and led by George Mikan, took the NBA championship titles in 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953 and 1954. Historical pro basketball players of this era were forward Bob Pettit and guard Bob Cousy, who guided the Boston to six NBA titles (1957, 1959-1963). The Celtics commanded due respect in the NBA from 1957 to 1969. During this period the team won a total of eleven NBA titles, including eight in a row. Bill Russell was the star player of the Celtics, while another historically dominant center, Wilt Chamberlain, played for the Philadelphia Warriors.

The undisputed leader of the period from 1963 to 1975 was the University of California, Los Angeles. UCLA won ten national championships in all, including seven in a row. Some historical pro basketball players of this UCLA team were centers Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, guard Gail Goodrich and forwards Marques Johnson and Jamaal Wilkes. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played an incredible twenty seasons in the NBA before retiring as the league’s leading career scorer with 38,387 points.

In 1967, the NBA found a rival in the American Basketball Association (ABA). The ABA gained a fan following for its flashy style and its red, white, and blue basketballs. Without question, the ABA’s best player was guard and forward Julius Erving. In 1976 the ABA disbanded and most of its teams joined the NBA.

1979 was a historically important year for major league basketball. That year, Magic Johnson of Michigan State University and Larry Bird of Indiana State revived NBA fortunes. The Detroit Pistons emerged as a late 1980s powerhouse with star players like Dennis Rodman and Isiah Thomas.

Over the past forty years, sports reporters have been kept busy with historical pro basketball players in women’s leagues as well. Rule changes in the 1960′s brought the sport in sync with men’s competitions. Dribbling became fully legal in 1966, and then in 1969 the five-player full-court format was introduced, a format that would become official in 1971. The Basketball Hall of Fame began to recognize the valuable contributions of women’s basketball players in 1985, conducting woman players, coaches and contributors. Some of the first players to be honoured with Hall of Fame recognition were Carol Blazejowski, Anne Donovan, Nancy Lieberman-Cline, Ann Meyers and Cheryl Miller.

In the 1990s, the pro basketball spotlight belonged to Michael Jordan as he led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships. Other great players of the decade were Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson and John Stockton. Jennifer Azzi, Cynthia Cooper, Teresa Edwards, Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes were some of this era’s most important women players.

Historical pro basketball players have been bringing excitement to fans and honour to teammates for more than a century. With the continued interest in pro basketball and sellout crowds across the league, there is no sign that the popularity of basketball is slowing down any time soon.

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Keep Your Eye On The Ball

Our preoccupation with sports comes from all the good they can give to us. It allows us to marvel at the feats the human body can achieve with training, practice and strategy. Sports encourages us to pin our hopes on individuals or corporate entities, known as teams, and experience the joy of mob mentality while cheering them on to victory. That allows us escape from our work and school in daily life and gives us a chance to focus on something other than the bills on the desk or the work waiting to be done. However, when controversy enters the realm of sports it has the ability to dampen all of those positive aspects and make us want to spend our time escaping through something else. Nowhere has that become more evident than in the NBA’s controversy with hip-hop music.

What’s music got to do with it?

The first question one must ask in this controversy is why is a professional sport having a problem with music at all? Other than playing songs before and during games, what does music have to do with basketball? Actually, music as a lot to do with it. Rappers are not only basketball fans but have moved into the realm of corporate sponsors and team owners. Their videos, merchandise and relationships with high-profile players have brought the world above the rim onto the major stage. Critics charge the NBA got into this controversy by exploiting hip-hop to draw crowds into the arena to be a part of this environment. Other say that because hip-hop has its roots in the African-American community which currently dominates professional basketball, it was a natural link. Either way, the baggage that comes with hip-hop music: its roots from being a street form of expression and its current concerns about lyrics involving misogyny, violence and social unrest create an unlikely connection to an American iconic sport.

Jay-Z is part owner of the New Jersey jets.

Jay-Z is part owner of the New Jersey jets.

Gang connections

Media releases from the NBA All-Star game in Las Vegas were filled with as many police reports as on-court statistics. Reports of violence, arrests, shooting, and unlawful behavior made headlines while reports from the game of three point shots, rebounds and passes, remained in the background. Hip Hop music and its gangland connection seem to have taken the brunt of the blame for this turn in the NBA’s image. Many columnists and critics point out that other sports have problems with violence and violent actions on behalf of their players. Embracing this possible connection, many well-known street gangs have taken to wearing NBA jerseys of their favorite players and bringing basketball into their world as well. While this may seem to be innocent fan’s obsession with their team, the connection between street gangs and NBA basketball is not mutually beneficial.

Turn from the dark side

Anyone of any race can listen to and enjoy hip-hop music. The challenge for the NBA is to separate music from the genre that is violent, dark and unseemly from being a part of their sport and merchandising. They have taken such steps as creating a new dress code and defining behavior both on and off the court for players when representing the NBA. They are hoping to stem the tide of gang-related activity, both on and off the court.

We must always be careful when looking at any trend in music to make sure that our understandings of it are based on statistics and experience and not racial stereotypes and oppressive majority behavior. However, as the scene in basketball shifts from athletic to antisocial, recognition of this controversy and resolving it is imperative for the NBA.

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