The game of basketball was invented by Dr. James A. Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1891 to give his physical education students something to do in the winter months while indoors. Since that time, basketball has grown dramatically and is arguably the second-most popular sport in the world behind soccer. There have been many memorable basketball moments and stars.
Chamberlain's 100-Point Night
Wilt Chamberlain is perhaps the greatest player in the history of basketball. His 100-point game while playing for the Philadelphia Warriors against the the New York Knicks may be the greatest individual performance in the history of professional sports. No basketball player has ever come close to matching that performance. Chamberlain's 100-point night took place in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on March 2, 1962. Chamberlain made 36 of 62 field-goal attempts and 28 of 32 free-throw attempts. He scored 31 points in the fourth quarter to reach the century mark.
The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers are the two most dominant franchises in the history of professional basketball. The Celtics started playing in the NBA in 1947 and have won 17 league titles. The Lakers started playing in 1949 and have won 16 championships. Both teams have had some of the greatest players in the history of the game. The Celtics have been led by Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, Dave Cowens, Larry Bird, Robert Parish, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. The Lakers have had stars like Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Kobe Bryant. Shaquille O'Neal has played for both teams but was at his peak while in a Laker uniform.
Michael Jordan may have eclipsed Wilt Chamberlain as the greatest player in the history of the game. Jordan, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard, could not compare with Chamberlain in terms of size or strength. Chamberlain was 7-foot-1 and 275 pounds during his career. However, Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships during the 1990s and is the NBA's all-time leader in points per game with a career average of 30.1.
The greatest basketball ever assembled was the 1992 United States Olympic team that won the gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics. This team swept through eight opponents, winning each game by an average of 44 points. The team was led by Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing and Larry Bird, and it was coached by Chuck Daly.