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In 1891, Dr. James Naismith was a physical education teacher in Springfield, Massachusetts who was looking for a way to keep his students busy on a rainy day. He nailed a peach basket 10 feet above an indoor track and the sport of basketball was born. From those humble beginnings in Springfield, Naismith's game has grown into a worldwide phenomenon. Today, amateur basketball and professional basketball are played in countries all around the world.
The rules of basketball are simple. A basketball court is rectangular with baskets set up on each side. Basketball teams have five players on each side, although basketball games can be played with as few as one player on each side in a form of basketball that is called 1-on-1. Players advance the ball up the court either by dribbling the ball or by passing it to a teammate. They are not allowed to carry the ball while they move.
The object of basketball is to try to shoot the ball through the hoop in order to score points. A field goal is a shot that goes through the basket and is worth two points. A three-point field goal, or three pointer, is a shot made from behind the three-point line, an arc around the basket, and is worth three points. In certain situations, when a basketball player is fouled, they are awarded one or two free throws. Each free throw is worth one point. The basketball team that scores the most points in the game is the winner.
The National Basketball Association, or NBA, is the most popular professional basketball league. The NBA was founded in 1946. At the time it was called the Basketball Association of America (BAA). It became known as the NBA in 1949. Today, there are 30 NBA teams. Of those, 29 NBA teams are based in the United States, and one is in Canada.
The Boston Celtics have won the most NBA championships. The Celtics have won 17 titles. They are closely followed by the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers have won 16 NBA Finals. Over the years, the Celtics and Lakers developed one of the greatest rivalries in sports. The Lakers and Celtics have been led by some of the biggest basketball superstars, including Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Paul Pierce, and LeBron James.
Few basketball superstars are more famous than Michael Jordan. Nicknamed Air Jordan, he led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships in the 1990s and was the NBA Finals MVP each time. Jordan also won five NBA MVP awards and 10 NBA scoring titles.
More recently, LeBron James has drawn comparisons to Jordan. Both James and Jordan are often mentioned in debates about who is the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time). James came to the NBA straight out of high school and has played with three teams, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and Los Angeles Lakers. James has won three NBA championships, four NBA MVP awards, and two Olympic gold medals.
College basketball is also a very popular sport. The annual NCAA basketball tournament is known as March Madness. March Madness currently features 68 college basketball teams competing in a single-elimination tournament that leads to the Final Four and ends with the crowning of the NCAA national champion. The school that has won the most NCAA national championships is UCLA, with 11.
There are many ways to bet on basketball. Basketball betting can take place in the form of bets on the point spread, the moneyline, and the total score of basketball games. FOX Bet has basketball betting odds so that bettors can make NBA bets and college basketball bets. Other ways to take part in basketball team betting include wagering on the basketball odds at halftime and at the end of each quarter. It is also possible to place basketball wagers on futures.