Essentials for Fans of Basketball

For basketball fans that own a personal digital assistant device, one of the most essential items that they will need to enjoy all the action on the courts for an NBA team will be the mobile services offered online by the National Basketball Association. Fans can stay connected to up-to-date information about their favorite professional basketball team, and download ringtones and wallpaper to personalize their mobile phone to show others which National Basketball Association team has their full support.

Fans can also be alerted to changes that occur everyday in the National Basketball Association through text messaging and alert systems. The National Basketball Association believes that keeping in touch is one of the essential elements that fans need to enjoy the sport of professional basketball more. Some business can be conducted at the basketball games because mobile internet access is possible with these handheld devices.

Fans can even play games on their devices as they wait for an National Basketball Association game to begin. With an internet connection, National Basketball Association fans can access photos of their favorite players and gain access to essential information about each player on any team in the National Basketball Association. They can view an up-to-date injury list to determine which National Basketball Association players will not be on the court for several weeks.

The NBA Logo.

The NBA Logo.

There two essential elements that fans would need to enjoy a professional game of basketball. Fans enjoy wearing ball caps of their favorite NBA franchise to show their favorite team that they have their full support. An National Basketball Association basketball fan will also be able to go online and purchase tickets for any game and in team. No fan can do without good tickets that offer great seating arrangements during the basketball season. Some families give National Basketball Association fans season tickets for Christmas.

Being able to track a National Basketball Association teams standings is another essential item that a National Basketball Association fan will need to enjoy professional basketball to the fullest. As favorite teams battle it out each week on the basketball court, fans can busy themselves at home by tracking how a victory will affect the current standings. Some players only track the statistics of their favorite players while others keep stats on everything that occurs in basketball games throughout the year.

Some fans come to realize that with one more victory under their belt, one National Basketball team will be on their way to a championship playoff. A game can get intense when two teams are battling to be the best in any particular basketball season, and fans anxiously await for certain players to score more and play better than they have been playing all year.

The National Basketball Association schedule is one of the most essential elements of NBA basketball that a fan can use repeatedly throughout the season. With an National Basketball Association schedule in hand, fans can purchases several tickets at one time, and save money by going to games that are in the same geographical area. They can follow the news updates online, and keep up with any changes that occur to the National Basketball Association schedule.

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The Birth of Basketball

In early December 1891, Dr. James Naismith, a minister on the faculty of a college for YMCA professionals (today, Springfield College) in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA, 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 an 10-foot (3.05 m) elevated track. In contrast with modern basketball nets, this peach basket retained its bottom, so balls scored into the basket had to be poked out with a long dowel each time. A soccer ball was used to shoot goals.


            Basketball’s founding father!

Dr. Naismith’s handwritten diaries of the time indicate that he was nervous about this invention, which incorporated rules from a Canadian children’s game called “Duck on a Rock”, as many had failed before it. Dr. Naismith himself was originally from Canada.

Naismith’s new game is quite similar to the game of team handball, which had already been invented in the early 1890s.

The first official basketball game was played in the YMCA gymnasium on January 20, 1892 with nine players, on a court just half the size of a present-day National Basketball Association (NBA) court. “Basket ball”, the name suggested by one of Naismith’s students, was popular from the beginning.

Women’s basketball began in 1892 at Smith College when Senda Berenson, a physical education teacher, modified Naismith’s rules for women.

Basketball’s early adherents were dispatched to YMCAs throughout the United States, and it quickly spread through the USA and Canada. By 1895, it was well established at several women’s high schools. While the YMCA was responsible for initially developing and spreading the game, within a decade it discouraged the new sport, as rough play and rowdy crowds began to detract from the YMCA’s primary mission. However, other amateur sports clubs, colleges, and professional clubs quickly filled the void. In the years before World War I, the Amateur Athletic Union and the Intercollegiate Athletic Association (forerunner of the NCAA) vied for control over the rules for the game.

Basketball was originally played with a soccer ball. The first balls made specifically for basketball were brown, and 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 that is now in common use.

Dribbling, the bouncing of the ball up and down while moving, 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 eventually introduced but limited by the asymmetric shape of early balls. Dribbling only became a major part of the game around the 1950s as manufacturing improved the ball shape.

Basketball, netball, dodgeball, volleyball, and lacrosse are the only ball games which have been identified as being invented by North Americans. Other ball games, such as baseball and Canadian football, have Commonwealth of Nations, European, Asian or African connections.

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Who Are the Harlem Globetrotters?

The Harlem Globetrotters are a basketball team that combines athleticism and comedy to create one of the best-known sports entertainment franchises in the world. Created by Abe Saperstein in 1927 in Chicago, Illinois, the team adopted the name Harlem because of its connotations as a leading African-American community. Over the years it has toured over 118 countries, playing more than 20,000 exhibition games, mostly against deliberately ineffective opposition like the Washington Generals (1953-1995) and the New York Nationals (1995-present).

There is no clear consensus as to the very beginnings of the Globetrotters. The official history contains several facts which are clearly untrue, such as the team being organized in 1926 in the Savoy Ballroom, which opened in 1927. What is clear is that the genesis of the Globetrotters takes place in the South Side of Chicago in the 1920s, where all the original players grew up. Most, if not all of the original players attended Wendell Phillips High School. When the Savoy Ballroom opened in November of 1927, one of the premier attractions was the Savoy Big Five, a basketball team that played exhibitions before dances.

In 1928, several players left the team in a dispute over bringing other players who had left the team back. That fall, several players led by Tommy Brookins formed a team called the “Globe Trotters” which would tour Southern Illinois that winter. A white man named Abe Saperstein became involved with the team, though to exactly what extent is unclear. In any event, by 1929 Saperstein was touring Illinois and Iowa with his basketball team, called the “New York Harlem Globe Trotters”. Saperstein decided to pick Harlem as their home city since Harlem was considered the center of African-American culture at the time, and an out of town team name would give the team more of a mystique. After four decades of existence, the Globetrotters played their first “home” game in Harlem in 1968.

The first star player of those early Globe Trotters (the name would be merged into one word later on was Albert “Runt” Puller, an adept dribbler and shooter. Soon he would be joined by 6’3″ Inman Jackson, who played center and had a flair for showboating. They would originate the two roles that would stay with the ‘trotters for decades, the showman and the dribbler.

The Globetrotters were initially a serious competitive team, and despite a flair for entertainment, they would only clown for the audience after establishing a safe lead in the game. In 1940, they accepted an invitation to participate in the World Professional Basketball Tournament. Defeating the New York Rens in the semi-finals, they advanced to the championship game, where they beat the Chicago Bruins in overtime by a score of 31-29.

The Globetrotters beat the premier professional team, George Mikan and the Minneapolis Lakers, for two games in a row in 1948 and 1949, with the Lakers winning the third contest. The February 1948 win (by a score of 61-59, on a buzzer beater) was a hallmark in professional basketball history, as the all-black Globetrotters proved they were on an equal footing with the all-white Lakers. Momentum for ending the NBA’s color line grew, and in 1950, Chuck Cooper became the first black player drafted by an NBA team. From that time on the Globetrotters had increasing difficulty attracting and retaining top talent.

The Globetrotters gradually worked comic routines into their act until they became known more for entertainment than sports. The Globetrotters’ acts often feature incredible coordination and skillful handling of one or more basketballs, such as passing or juggling balls between players, balancing or spinning balls on their fingertips, and making unusual, difficult shots.

Among the players who have been Globetrotters are NBA (National Basketball Association) greats Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain, Connie “The Hawk” Hawkins and Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton, as well as Marques Haynes, George “Meadowlark” Lemon, Jerome James, former Temple coach John Chaney, and Reece “Goose” Tatum. Another popular team member in the 1970s and 1980s was Fred “Curly” Neal who was the best dribbler of that era of the team’s history and was immediately recognizable due to his shaven head. Baseball Hall of Famers Bob Gibson, Ferguson Jenkins and Lou Brock also played for the team at one time or another. Another famous former player is comedy legend Bill Cosby who had a contract with the Globetrotters when he was younger.[citation needed] In 1985, the Globetrotters signed their first female player, Olympic gold medalist Lynette Woodard, and their second, Joyce Walker, just three weeks later.

Because virtually all of its players have been African American, and because of the buffoonery involved in many of the Globetrotters’ skits, they drew some criticism in the Civil Rights era. The players were derisively accused of “Tomming for Abe”, a reference to Uncle Tom and white owner Abe Saperstein. However, prominent civil rights’ activist Jesse Jackson came to their defense by stating, “I think they’ve been a positive influence. (…) They did not show blacks as stupid. On the contrary, they were shown as superior.”

During the 1970s and 1980s, the team was controlled by Metromedia and, in addition to their touring and playing the Washington Generals or the New York Nationals, were featured in numerous television series and specials, including appearances in live-action variety shows and several Hanna-Barbera cartoons (see “Media” section below).

After a period of decline the Globetrotters franchise was purchased by former team member Mannie Jackson in 1993, and its fortunes revived again. In 2002 the team was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

To try to offset the criticism that they do not play “real basketball”, in recent years the Trotters have scheduled games against college teams and pickup teams like Magic Johnson’s All Stars with varying results. This renews a tradition of playing NBA teams, which the Globetrotters did during the 1950s.

The Harlem Globetrotters visited Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in November of 2000 and named the Pontiff an Honorary Harlem Globetrotter.


Some say the Harlem Globetrotters are uniquely gifted.

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The Legacy of Michael Jordan

Although he has been retired for several years now, Michael Jordan is still widely regarded as the greatest basketball player to ever play the game. His influence was felt not only in the way the game was played, but also in how it was perceived around the world. Ultimately, his excellence at his sport was instrumental in catapulting the popularity of basketball and the National Basketball Association all over the world during the eighties and nineties. Beyond all this, Jordan was also a marketing force and was hands-down the most successfully marketed athlete of his generation and, possibly, all time. In 1999, Jordan was named by ESPN as “the greatest athlete of the 20th century.”

A legend at work.

A legend at work.

Jordan retired from the NBA after 15 seasons, during which he established a number of prestigious records. His 30.12 points per game average is the highest ever in NBA history. He also won six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls and was the MVP of the NBA Finals every time they claimed the championship. In addition, Jordan has been the NBA’s leading scorer for 10 straight seasons and was the league’s Most Valuable Player five times. He was also selected to the All-NBA First Team 10 times, the All-Defensive First Team nine times aside from leading the NBA in steals in three years. The Associated Press also ranked him as second only to Babe Ruth as top athlete of the century.

Jordan’s wizardry on the basketball court was evident from the very first time he stepped onto an NBA court as a rookie in 1985. He unveiled the full package – a dazzling array of dunks, ferocious defense and the amazing ability to score any time he wanted to. His leaping ability was off the charts and quickly earned him such colorful nicknames as “Air Jordan” and “His Airness.” In one playoffs game against the Boston Celtics in 1986, Jordan scored a record 63 points, which prompted the league’s then-reigning MVP Larry Bird to proclaim that he was “God disguised as Michael Jordan.”

The media has portrayed a number of players as “the next Michael Jordan” upon entering the NBA, including such renowned hoopsters as Grant Hill, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter, who have all fallen short of their lofty billing. The latest to earn the sobriquet are LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, but they have a long way to go before they can earn the right to be called the next Jordan.

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Madrid Basketball


This is a new blog and our first post will be very soon!

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