Basketball is one of the most recognized and played sports in the world with which came into existence around 130 years ago and since then has changed a lot. Also, with such a rich legacy, the game has its fair share of facts and today we bring to you list of top 30 interesting Basketball facts which would blow your mind.
Basketball is a very demanding sport and needs great endurance, competence along with high team spirit to outscore other teams and win the matches.
It was not so long ago that the game of Basketball was completely different from what it is now. To give you a glimpse of what is to come, not many people know that at one point the game of basketball was played with 9 people on each team.
What Are The 30 Amazing Basketball Facts 2023?
Please note that these Basketball facts are not ranked in any order rather placed on the list in a random order.
1. Invention Of Basketball
The game of Basketball was invented by a Canadian Physical Education (PE) teacher in 1891 when he was trying to find ways to keep his class busy on a rainy day of 21st December 1981.
Little did he know that it would go on to become one of the most famous sports in the world. Isn’t this an interesting Basketball fact to begin the list with?
2. Basket Net? No, Peach Basket!
In the earlier time, Basketball had no nets, instead they used peach baskets with the bottoms unremoved. This means that every time either team scored a basket, the match officials would have to pause the match and retrieve the ball from the basket.
The concept of nets came in around 1900s, some joke by saying it was probably because there was a match that had far too many stoppages.
3. First 3-Pointer Line
It was only in 1961, 70 years after the invention of the sport, that the 3-point line was introduced and it was the American Basketball League (ABL) that organised the first professional basketball league to use it.
4. First 3-Pointer Basket
We now know that it is the year 1961 that the 3-point line was introduced to the game, but not many people know that it was on the 12th October 1979 that a player was finally able to score a three-pointer in a game.
An amazing basketball fact is that it was Chris Ford, guard for Boston Celtics who scored the first 3-pointer in Basketball which came against Huston Rockets.
An additional fact here is that it was the same match when the Celtics legend Larry Bird made his debut.
When the game of basketball started gaining popularity, people noticed that Basketball, despite being a totally different game, was played using a soccer ball. It was only in the 1950s that Tony Hinkle introduced the orange ball so that it is more visible to the players as well as the spectators.
6. Dribbling In Basketball? No!!
As we now know that initially Basketball was played using a football (soccer) and to get a better grip players would rub coal dust on their hands, however, soccer ball did not allow a lot of dribbling and thus players were allowed to hold the ball and move a few steps before stopping and tossing the ball for a basket.
After the Basketball-ball was introduced, it was only then that dribbling became integral for the game, making this one of the most amazing Basketball fact.
7. Basketball In A Cage?
Did you know that in the early 1900s, to refrain the basketball players from falling onto the spectators, the game was played in cages of chicken wire and mesh. However, due to a lot of players getting injured too often, this was soon stopped.
8. First Shot Clock
One of the most crazy basketball facts which is not known by many is that the 24-second shot clock came from the mind of the owner of Syracuse Nationals, Danny Biasone, and the General Manager (GM) Leo Ferris.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) adopted the shot clock during the 1954-55 season.
9. First Basketball Match In Europe
The first ever basketball match in Europe was played in the year 1983, 92 years after the game’s invention, at YMCA in Paris, France. The game was arranged by Mel Rideout.
10. Freer Free Throws
Another top Basketball fact is that before the year 1921, any player of the team could take the free throw irrespective of the person who was fouled. It was only after 1920s that the rule was implemented that the person who got fouled will be the person to take the free throw.
11. The Punch
In a court fight in 1977 between the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers, forward Kermit Washington almost fatally punched forward Rudy Tomjanovich’s jaw which led to the spinal fluid to leak from his brain.
Later he said that he could recall tasting the fluid in his mouth.
12. Who Founded FIBA?
Another amazing basketball fact is that there are 8 founding nations of FIBA which stands for Fédération Internationale de Basketball and is also called the International Basketball Federation are:
FIBA was founded on the 18th of June 1932 in Geneva, Switzerland.
13. Only 2 Women Drafted In The NBA
There have been only 2 women drafted in the NBA. The first woman was Denise Long who was drafted by the San Francisco Warriors in the 13th rounds while the second woman was Luisa Harris by the New Orleans Jazz as the 137th overall draft pick.
14. Basketball Before FIBA?
Before FIBA was established (June 18, 1932), basketball was under the purview of the International Amateur Handball Federation (IAHF). At the time, this federation handled all the ball games which were played by hand.
15. Origin Of NBA
A rather unknown basketball fact is that people really do not know the origin of the NBA. NBA was originally known as the Basketball Association of America (BAA) and was founded on the 6th of June 1946 but on the 3rd August 1949 was merged with its rival National Basketball League and the name was changed to the National Basketball Association.
16. Basketball Becomes A Part Of The Olympics
Did you know that it was during the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics that Basketball became an official Olympics event? The Olympic basketball games were not played indoors, but on modified tennis courts.
17. Most Infamous Brawl In History Of NBA
The day was 19th November 2004 when the most infamous brawl of NBA history known as the “Malice in the Palace”.
The fight involved not only players from the two teams but also the spectators. In total 9 NBA players were suspended and a total of $ 11 million were lost in salaries. But this was not it, as many as 5 fans were banned from piston home games for life and also received criminal charges.
18. Interference From Spectators
Initially, the basketball hoops were nailed to the mezzanine balcony of the basketball court, however, due to continued interference from the spectators with shots, the backboard was introduced to the game between 1893.
What comes as an amazing basketball fact is that it was only after the introduction of the backboard that rebounding became an integral part of the game.
19. Goaltending Was Legal
Before unveiling the fact behind goaltending, let us tell you what it is: In basketball, goaltending is the violation of interfering with the ball while it is on its way to the basket and it is (a) in a downward flight (b) above the basket ring and within the imaginary cylinder and (c) not touching the rim.
Now, until 1943 goaltending was not considered a violation, and the reason behind it being legal is one of the most crazy basketball facts which is because there were relatively fewer players who could execute goaltending.
20. Most Missed Field Goals In Regular Season Match
The record of missing the most field goals in a regular season game goes to Joseph “Jumping Joe” Fulks of Philadelphia Warrior who missed 42 set during the game against the Providence Steam Rollers. He attempted 55 field goals and made only 13 of them.
21. Most Missed Field Goals In PostSeason Match
A fun basketball fact is that the record for missing the most field goals during the postseason match in basketball is also held by Joseph “Jumping Jow” Fulks, he missed a total of 38 field goals in the game against St Louis Bombers.
22. Longest Basketball Match in NBA History
We know that a typical basketball match is played for 48 minutes which is broken down in 4 quarters of 12 minutes each. But on the 6th January 1951 during the match between Rochester Royals and Indianapolis Olympians, the match lasted for 78 minutes and had 6 overtimes.
The Indianapolis Olympians won the game 75 to 73.
23. Longest Suspension In NBA
The record for the longest NBA suspension is held by Indiana Pacers’ Ron Artest when in the year 2004 during the Piston-Pacers brawl he landed punches at fans who threw a cup at him.
He was handed a suspension of 73 matches along with 13 playoff matches. He lost as much as $ 7 million in salary.
24. Difference Between A Warm And A Cold Basketball
Another unknown fact of Basketball is that a warmer basketball is more bouncy than a cold one and this is because the molecules in the warm basketball hit the inside surface at a higher speed. Did you know this one? Tell us in the comments.
25. Basketball Match Win With The Biggest Margin
The day was 17th December 1991, the match was played between Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat when the former created a record of a win with the biggest margin as they demolish the Heat 148 to 80. With a point difference of 68 points.
With this, we conclude our list of the 30 best basketball facts which can stand the test of times. How many of these did you already know? Which one or ones are your favourite, do tell us down in the comments.
Do you have some awesome Basketball facts that we missed? Feel free to share them with us in comments, we might just add them here.
26. When the Basketball Game Went Unbelievable 222-0
The most lopsided score in basketball history was recorded in a high school game between Cumberland and Georgia Tech, with an astounding final score of 222-0. The scene was set on February 20, 1927, in Atlanta, Georgia. As soon as the game began, Georgia Tech quickly established control by showcasing its superior abilities.
On the other hand, Cumberland found it difficult to mount any sort of offence. Georgia Tech was in the lead 110-0 at the half. When the final buzzer sounded, the scoreboard showed a staggering victory margin of 222-0.
27. Muggsy Bogues’ Giant Impact in a Small Frame
Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues, the shortest player in the history of the NBA, despite being only 5 feet 3 inches (160 cm) tall, had a successful NBA career and won an NBA title in 2001 with the Miami Heat. Muggsy Bogues was not only a superb point guard but also an inspiration to many aspiring basketball players because of his extraordinary basketball IQ and court vision.
During the 1988–89 NBA season, Muggsy Bogues topped the league in thefts. His distinctive playing style and skill set proved that even the smallest players can have a significant impact on the game.
28. A Historic Swish: Sue Wicks and the WNBA’s Inaugural Basket
In 1997, during the opening game of the inaugural WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Players Association) season, Wicks’ shot started the game’s scoring and ushered in a new era for women’s sports. The New York Liberty and Los Angeles Sparks squared off in the first WNBA inaugural season game.
A forward for the New York Liberty, Sue Wicks was destined to leave her mark on history. Sue Wicks took a shot with the ball in her hands that will live in infamy. That first basket in WNBA history was made when the ball swished through the net, and women’s professional basketball became a reality.
29. The Triple-Double Tsunami: Russell Westbrook’s 42-Game Spectacle
The 2016–17 NBA season was a historic one, and the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook was the epicentre. That season, Westbrook’s astounding play and constant pursuit of triple-doubles not only broke records but also completely rewrote the NBA’s canon.
A triple-double in basketball is an extraordinary feat. In a single game, it denotes a player who has double digits (10 or more) in three different statistical categories, usually points, rebounds, and assists. Westbrook accomplished it 42 times in a single season.
30. Nat Hickey: The Unconventional Rookie of the NBA
Nat Hickey’s career in basketball as a professional did not start as a player but as a coach. The Providence Steamrollers desperately needed a coach when Hickey was 45 years old. Nat Hicket took up this chance and joined as a head coach.
Nat Hickey made NBA history in the 1947–1948 season when he entered the game as a player–coach at 45 years and 363 days. He scored 10 points in that game, which is a commendable achievement for any athlete.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question 1: What is a fun fact about basketball?
Answer 1: There are a plethora of fun facts about basketball including that the first 3 pointer basket was made on 12th October 1979, 88 years after the game was invented.
Question 2: Who invented basketball?
Answer 2: The game of basketball was invented by a Canadian Physical Education (PE) teacher named James Naismith, in 1891 when he was trying to find ways to keep his class busy on a rainy day.
Question 3: What ball was first used in basketball?
Answer 3: Initially, basketball was played with a Football (soccer ball) and players used to rub coal dust for better grip on the ball. It was only in the 1950s that Tony Hinkle introduced the orange ball so that it is more visible to the players as well as the spectators.
Question 4: Where is basketball most popular?
Answer 4: The game of Basketball is most famous in the United States of America.
Question 5: Where is the birthplace of basketball?
Answer 5: The birthplace of Basketball is Springfield, Massachusetts where a Canadian Physical Education (PE) teacher James Naismith.