basketball usa nba sports

The doctor and pedagogue James Naismith developed the basic ideas and the game principle of the team sport that is known today as basketball. The whole idea was to create a preferably bodiless and not so injury-prone alternative activity, which still promoted physical fitness and kept students in good spirits. Especially in the winter months this sport was supposed to be a distraction from day-to-day studying. So Naismith saw to it that the first official basketball game took place in a hall in 1892 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The rules of Basketball
The principle of the game is to throw a ball in a kind of basket. Sounds simple. A team consists of five players (starting five), who play on a playing field that is close to 30 meters long and 15 meters wide. On both sides of the field there is a basket at a height of 3.05 meters. The goal of both teams on the field is to capture the ball and to try to throw it into the opposing team’s basket. The latter can happen by throwing the ball from a distance or by pressing the ball directly into the basket, which is called dunking. Shots from a further distance, close to seven meters, are called three-point field goals and shots within these seven meters are rewarded with two points. The ball may be dribbled or passed. But it is important that the ball may only be dropped into the basket from above.

Five active players are allowed to enter the field. In modern basketball there is a variety of playing positions that are filled by the field players. One of the most important players is the center. He is often the most physically robust and also the tallest player. He mostly stands right in the middle of the game play and is responsible for the balls bouncing back from the basket. If the center catches this ball and then shoots it into the basket then this is called a "rebound". The attacking players on the sides of the playing field are called "forwards". They are responsible for passes from the sides or for points outside or within the "zone". This only leaves the two "guards": the "point-guard" and the "shooting-guard". These two players are point guards, i.e. component defenders, and one of them is also a playmaker. The "shooting-guard" is a specialist for three-point-shots and the "point-guard", the "playmaker", is responsible for the game ideas, meaning the game scheme, gameplay or playmaking of the team. Usually the guards are the shortest players on the field and are especially dangerous because of their small body size, which makes them agile and quick.

The game is played in four quarters and the playing time is 4 times 12 minutes in the North American professional league. Only the actual playing times is counted, however. When there are fouls or balls that land outside of the playing court, the time is stopped.

Since 1936 basketball is an Olympic sport and nowadays with around 450 million registered players it is one of the most played sports worldwide. The most professional and most successful league in basketball sports is the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the U.S.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the professional basketball league in North America and is ranked as the strongest basketball league of the world. In the NBA there are currently 30 teams that are fighting for the championship.

Foundation: 1946

Teams: 30

Current title holder (2013/2014): San Antonio Spurs

Record champion: Boston Celtics (17 championships)

Division: Respectively 15 teams play in the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference, which are again each divided into 3 divisions:

Eastern Conference

Western Conference






Boston Celtics


Denver Nuggets

Brooklyn Nets

Minnesota Timberwolves

New York Knicks

Oklahoma City Thunder

Philadelphia 76ers

Portland Trail Blazers

Toronto Raptors

Utah Jazz


Chicago Bulls


Golden State Warriors

Cleveland Cavaliers

Los Angeles Clippers

Detroit Pistons

Los Angeles Lakers

Indiana Pacers

Phoenix Suns

Milwaukee Bucks

Sacramento Kings


Atlanta Hawks


Dallas Mavericks

Charlotte Hornets

Houston Rockets

Miami Heat

Memphis Grizzlies

Orlando Magic

New Orleans Pelicans

Washington Wizards

San Antonio Spurs





After 82 games – in a regular season –the eight best teams of each conference are in the play-offs and compete for the NBA Cup. Three rounds are played as a seven-game series. 

NBA All-Star Game:

Ever since 1951 the best players of the Eastern and Western Conference compete in the NBA All-Star Game. One half is picked by the fans, the other half by head coaches. 

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