The History of Basketball

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Basketball: Nothing but the Net

Fans, players, coaches, and parents will find the Web to be an excellent source of basketball information. It has sites covering introductory topics, sites providing exhaustive statistics, resources for keeping on top of the latest scores from the league, and others offering advice on how you can improve your game. The Web will act as not only your personal coach, but as your statistician and commentator as well.

The History of Basketball

The origins of basketball can be traced to 1891 when Springfield, Massachusetts P.E. teacher James Naismith devised an indoor game to keep his students occupied during the winter. At the time, a peach basket served as the hoop, and a soccer ball was used as the ball. The game has come a long way since those early days, and over the years has accrued a rich history.

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  • No two sites present basketball's history in exactly the same way. Some focus on the events surrounding its genesis, others on the NBA, and still others on specific aspects, like women's involvement or international play. Put them all together and you'll have a well-rounded understanding of the game's fascinating history.
  • Basketball history can be told through essays and narrative accounts, or through lists and statistics. Both prose and data figures are provided below.

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The Rules of Basketball

Since James Naismith introduced his original 13 rules, the game of basketball has been evolving, with rules constantly being tweaked to adjust to changing times. The Web will help you learn the game's central tenets and help you keep up with the latest changes for all levels of play.

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  • You'll find the rules of basketball in two primary forms: brief summaries of the central rules of play, and detailed breakdowns of the official rules. If you're unfamiliar with basketball, start by looking at a summary. If you're a veteran looking for clarification on some nuance, or just plain curious to see the official rules, use one of the detailed breakdowns.
  • Basketball.com may present the best overview of the NBA's rules but if you're looking for specific information on associations beyond the NBA, check out USbasketball.com, which digs a bit deeper.

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Professional Basketball Leagues and Amateur Organizations

Basketball is truly an international sport. Some of the NBA's top players hail from countries as far afield as Germany, Argentina, Serbia, and Lithuania. And although the NBA is the world's premier professional league, there are other exciting pro and amateur leagues with differing levels of talent, operating both at home and abroad. In this section we'll point you toward sites with information about these leagues and the organizations that represent them.

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  • To access the official sites of some obscure international leagues, like the Lithuanian Basketball League or the Philippine Basketball League, check out the Yahoo Directory of basketball leagues.
  • Each league page has links to the Web sites of its member teams.
  • For information on Division I, II, and III collegiate basketball, visit NCAAsports.com.

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Basketball Blogs

Sure, watching games and rooting for your team are at the heart of any fan's sporting experience. But let's be honest: the post-game discussion, in the form of amateur analysis, friendly argument, and water-cooler talk, is a huge part of the fun. This type of dialogue has been standardized (and commercialized) online, in the form of basketball blogs. These are daily diaries where fans and pundits vent, preach, or comment on the latest headlines from around the leagues. Their opinion-based observations can be both enlightening and entertaining.

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  • Often, individual teams have official or widely read, privately written blogs. A good method for locating team blogs is to check out the "External Links" section of your team's Wikipedia entry. To do this, visit Wikipedia.org, enter your team's name in the search bar, and scroll down toward the bottom of the page.
  • Large sports sites like ESPN.com and SportsIllustrated.com have very good college basketball coverage. For information about these sites and others, check out the "What's the latest in sports news?" section of our Sports guide.

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Basketball Stats

Statistics are an integral part of basketball (as they are for most all sports). Although they can't measure a player's intangibles, the only quantifiable way to assess a player's ability is to check his stats. Stats can be used to flesh out box scores, make projections, negotiate trades, and more.

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  • APBRmetrics is the analysis of basketball players and games through the study of statistics. Derived from baseball's SABRmetrics, APBRmetrics uses stats and calculations not found in the common box score like Offensive and Defensive Efficiency, Effective Field Goal Percentage and Pythagorean Record.
  • 82games.com is dedicated to APBRmetric analysis, and Basketball Reference features many APBRmetric stats. Basketballprospectus.com will apply APBRmetrics to NCAA Basketball when the site launches in time for the 2007-2008 season.

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Basketball Tickets

The roar of the crowd, the throbbing of their stomps and cheers, the smells of the vendors, and the intensity of the players can only be experienced by seeing a game in person. From your doorstep to the stadium gate, the Web can get you there.

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  • If you wish to see any of these teams play live, it's simple to buy tickets via the Internet. Although each team page at NBA.com provides links to purchase tickets, there are also other Web sites that sell tickets without much hassle.
  • Ticketmaster.com allows you to buy tickets directly from the box office. The other sites mentioned in this section allow customers to purchase tickets from third parties, typically at a price chosen by the original ticket owner. Every so often you can get tickets for less than face value on the third-party sites as prices are typically set by supply and demand, but more often you'll pay a premium. However, if you want hard-to-get tickets for big events, these sites are very helpful.

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Watching and Listening to Basketball Games Online

The Web gives you many options for following basketball, even if you live outside your favorite team's market. It's easy to see or hear games live if you know where to look.

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  • Oftentimes the easiest way to find where your favorite team is being broadcast is to visit their official site.
  • For advice on watching the NBA (and other sports) online, check out the "How can I watch games online?" section of our Sports guide.

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Fantasy Basketball

The Web offers options for both casual and devoted fantasy basketball users, including analysis to help you win your league.

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  • The typical fantasy basketball leagues are comprised of 10 categories: points, rebounds, assists, field goal percentages, free-throw percentages, steals, blocks, three-point field goals, and turnovers.  
  • At NBA.com there's a fantasy NBA area with research tools like injury reports, news, a stats center, and depth charts.

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Improving your Basketball Skills

If you wish to improve your skills and reach your potential as a player, use one of the many Web sites dedicated to basketball skills development.

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  • Below you'll find three varieties of skill improvement sites: those containing original content, those selling instructional videos, and those hosted by national basketball camps.
  • Sites with free content are great because they make browsing and reviewing different drills, plays, techniques, and strategies quick and easy. Most use some combination of text, diagrams, and video clips to narrate the instruction. Often these are personal pages, hosted by people with varying degrees of knowledge, so you'll have to evaluate the material from an objective perspective. Degerstrom.com is an example of one such site.
  • Videos aren't generally free, but they can be extremely effective tools given their visual nature and cheesy 80s soundtracks. You'll have to select a video based on factors like cost, reviews, authority, and content.
  • Basketball camps are the most effective resource, given the individual attention and customized coaching they offer.
  • Each of the basketball camp Web sites listed below can provide useful information on how to register for a basketball camp, depending on your age and skill level. Local Web sites may provide information on specific, locally held camps; searches like this can be done on Google.com, searching for "basketball camps" or "adult basketball camps," + "[your area]."

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