Fact Number 1: The Smallest Ever NBA Player Stood 5 Foot 3 Inches
Mugsy Bogues is the smallest ever NBA player. He stood at 5 foot 3 inches and he played in the NBA from 1987 to 2001, an incredible fourteen years. I am a six foot four inch man while my wife is a towering 5 foot 5 inches.
At this moment I started to think more about basketball and how it has become so popular and as such I thought I would look into whether there were any more basketball facts that I might find interesting. It also made me realize that size or lack of it does not prevent anyone from accomplishing anything, a fact that my loving spouse had no problem reminding me … several times.
Fact Number 2: A 3-Term Senator For New Jersey Was Prior to Politics a Stalwart NBA Player
Bill Bradley, a three-term Senator for the state of New Jersey was once a star NBA basketball player who helped the New York Knicks win two championships and he graduated from Princeton University. A man with brains and athletic ability. I would have been happy to have only one of these great skills but I guess God forgot me when I was in the line and blessed these gifts to Mr. Bradley.
Fact Number 3: Basketball Is A Game Loved By Americans But The First Pro Game Was Actually Played in Canada
The first professional basketball game was played between the Toronto Huskies and the New York Knickerbockers in Toronto, Ontario on November 1, 1946.
A game that is now arguably the most popular sport in the United States was created by a Canadian man, Dr. James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts but the first revenue generating game was played in Canada.
The athletic footwear companies Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and Reebok all owe this man and the country of Canada a special thanks because the game of basketball is keeping these companies in business. If you could see all the young people surrounding the court it is reminiscent of what a shoe convention must be like. At least that is how my wife is currently describing it as we sit on the park bench while she rates the shoes that the participants and observers are wearing as the games are being played.
Fact Number 4: Women Have Been Dunking Since December 21, 1984
While it is commonplace to see men dunk a basketball I am pleasantly surprised to learn that on December 21, 1984, a woman, Georgeanne Wells dunked a basketball while playing for West Virginia University in an organized game. In fact, the dunking of a ball has become so commonplace by collegiate and professional women basketball players that it is no longer a cause for celebration as it was in the past because of the exploits of current women basketball stars such as Lisa Leslie and Candace Sparks.
This knowledge has resulted in my unofficial retirement from pick up basketball as this thirty-five year old man has no desire to be dunked on in a pick up game by a woman. To my chagrin my wife is trying to bait me into playing by saying she will buy me brand new basketball shoes if I would be willing to play with the young women who have now occupied the court. Several of them play at such a speed that my joining the court with them would be the equivalent of a tortoise trying to chase a pack of cheetahs on a basketball court. As you can probably tell, my wife has a large amount of love for me.
Fact Number 6: The Tallest NBA Player Was Gheorge Muresan Who Stood 7 feet 7 inches
Can you imagine the difficulty his mother must have had trying to buy clothes for Gheorge to attend school? My mother used to want to rip my head off for coming home from school with dirt stains on my knees and my relatives constantly asked her what she was feeding me because I grew to 6 feet 4 inches. I can only imagine what Mrs. Muresan must have been going through trying to find clothes for Gheorge let alone shoes.
7 feet 7 inches is 2.31 meters! If Gheorge had been my brother I would never have needed a ladder to reach the top shelves where Mom used to hide the chocolate chip cookies she baked.
Gheorge, where were you when I needed you.
Fact Number 7: Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley, Two of the Greatest Basketball Players in History Were Cut From Their High School Teams! There is Hope for Us.
Michael Jordan is considered to be the greatest NBA player in the modern history of the game. Charles Barkley. his aood friend is a Hall of Fame NBA player and is also considered one of the areats players in history. However, in a story that no one could make up it sounds so far fetched, both players were cut from their high school teams.
Charles Barkley was cut by the coaches in both grade 8 and grade 9 while he played in Leeds, Alabama. Michael Jordan was cut by his North Carolina high school coach in grade 10.
I would love to see the players who were chosen over these two players but it also makes me feel a little better because I too was cut from my high school team in grade 9 and 10. At least now I will be able to tell my grandchildren that their grandfather might have been as great Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley if he had decided to continue playing basketball but he decided to focus on other activities.
My wife read that last line and she is now rolling on the grass laughing hysterically. It looks like I will have to tell the grandchildren that story while she is out of the room or when me and the grandkids are alone together.
I hope you enjoyed learning about some of the interesting facts about the game of basketball as much as I have. My wife certainly has enjoyed learning about this great sport and she would likely contribute her comments but she is still wiping the tears of laughter from her eyes as a result of my earlier comments about me possibly being a great basketball player.
To all the people who love sports I recommend that you take the time to learn about this great sport because there are many more interesting facts that will serve as great conversation starters.