As they old saying goes, “ball is life.” But just like in life, there’s just facts that aren’t obvious to everyone. The same applies to hoops.
We’ve gathered 10 that every self-proclaimed “hoop head” should know even if they are a geek or a nerd!
1. The first balls used to play basketball weren’t actually basketballs
They were soccer balls — back when they still had laces. This was the case until 1929.
2. Since we’re on the topic of “how basketball used to be” the sport also didn’t use string nets at first. In fact, the hoop was originally a peach basket with the bottom still intact.
3. It is believed Jack Inglis pulled off the first-ever slam dunk way back during the 1910’s in a rinky-dink court in Troy, New York.
4. The three-point shot has taken over basketball today across all levels — pro, college, high school. But the rule wasn’t instituted in the sport until 1961 by the now-defunct American Basketball League. The NBA didn’t adopt the rule until 1979.
5. Let’s talk about mergers. Surely, you know about the NBA and ABA (American Basketball Association) merger, but what the collation before that which formed the NBA itself? Two leagues — the National Basketball League (NBL) and the Basketball Association of America — were the backbone of that merger.
6. It’s a two-way tie for tallest player in NBA history between Manute Bol and Gheorghe Muresan. Both were an eye-popping 7-foot-7 in height, though Bol had the longer wingspan at 8 feet and 6 inches.
7. We’re not done with Bol yet. He holds one of the most dubious records in NBA history that will likely never been matched or broken. For five straights seasons, Bol blocked more than 10 percent of all two-point shots attempted while he was on the floor. Outside of Bol, no player has ever done that in a single season (data via Sports-Statistics.com).
8. Believe it or not, two women — Denise Long and Lusia Harris — have been selected over the course of NBA Draft history. However, neither ever played in an NBA game.
9. By now, you know Michael Jordan was cut from his high school varsity team. But he’s not the only NBA Hall of Famer that’s happened to. Charles Barkley is another, matter of fact, he was cut on two different occasions.
10. Jordan’s NBA record for the highest-paying salary in a single season — $33 million in 1998 — stood unbroken until 2018 when Steph Curry made over $34 million during the year.
Basketball is a great game and can be fun for just about everyone to play. Just setup a portable basketball hoop in your drive way or backyard and get started.