The National Basketball Association
A Brief History of “Duck on a Rock”
The term basketball is known widely around the world because of a Canadian named James Naismith, a Doctor of Physiology and Athletic Director for the YMCA Training School in Springfield Mass (Now Springfield College). Due to bitter weather he was faced with the need for an indoor sport and remembered a pastime he and his friends used to occupy their free time with. It consisted of attempting to knock a “duck” (rock) off with a larger rock. This game was mostly played outside his one room schoolhouse. In 1891, Dr. Naismith came up with a soccer ball and two peach baskets and a set of thirteen rules. Spread by the YMCA movement, the sport rapidly gained fans and players. By 1895 many colleges adopted the sport and by 1898 the first league (The National Basketball League) was formed. By the 1950’s basketball had become a major college sport thus leading the way for professional basketball.
The Basketball Association of America (BAA) was formed on June 6, 1946 and consisted of 11 franchises that formed two divisions. The first game kicked off on Nov. 1, 1946 and by the end of that first season, the Philadelphia Warriors claimed the first Professional Basketball Championship beating the Chicago Stags 4 games to 1 in a best of 7 series.
There are many definitions of best in regards to being named the best basketball player of all time. Some would judge by the amount of championships an individual has won (if this were the case then Bill Russell with 11 Championships wins) or by who has won the most scoring titles (in that case then Michael Jordan is your man with 10) or should it be the player with the best overall stats (which would be The Big O, Oscar Robertson whose career averages are 25.7 pts, 7.5 rebounds, 9.5 assists while shooting 44% and 84% at the free throw line. Hands down the best team in NBA history is the Boston Celtics who won 17 championships in 63 seasons.
Either way, the NBA has carved a culture in the fabric of American Life and basketball has joined the other leagues, football and baseball, as an American pastime.