Portal:Basketball

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Basketball is a competitive sport invented as a men's game in 1891 by James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts but now played on every inhabited continent and by men and women. It is contested by two teams, each comprising five players, in a rectangular basketball court. The team attempts to advance a spherical ball through a cast-iron basket with attached net and backboard, elevated such that the basket rim is–in most professional leagues–ten feet (3.048 meters) from the surface of the court.

Offensively, a player advances the ball either by bouncing it himself while stationary or moving (dribbling) or by throwing it (passing) it to a teammate, such that a player, within the time permitted by a shot clock, eventually propels (shoots) the ball toward the basket; should the ball pass through the basket, one (free throw), two (field goal), or three (three-point field goal) points, depending on the distance from which the shot is taken, are awarded.

Several strategies are employed by a team toward the end of generating uncontested shots for players, who most often begin a given play in distinct areas—the center and power forward proximate to the basket (top of the key); the small forward and shooting guard proximate to the three-point arc; and the point guard passim. The team to have scored more points upon the expiration of the time allotted for the game is the winner, and ties are most often settled during overtime periods.

A defense attempts to prevent an offensive team from scoring and to garner the ball for itself, employing various strategies to force an opposing player to surrender (turnover) the basketball, by dispossessing (steal) a player or successfully contesting his shot (block) or, upon an opponent's making an unsuccessful shot, overcoming an opponent to win the loose ball (rebound).

Certain disruptive contact, especially that by which an advantage is gained, is penalized (as a personal foul), as is unsportsmanlike conduct (as a technical foul), with disqualification often imposed on players who accumulate a pre-arranged number of fouls in one game. Certain means of ballhandling, such as one's running with the ball while not dribbling (travelling) or one's catching the ball between dribbles (double dribbling) are proscribed and, when committed by a given team, result in the awarding of possession to the opposing team.

Selected article

In basketball, a double is the accumulation of a double-digit number total in one of five statistical categories—points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocked shots—in a game. Multiple players usually score double-digit points in any given basketball game; the double nomenclature is usually reserved for when a player has double-digit totals in more than one category. A double-double is the accumulation of a double-digit number total in two of the five categories in a game. The most common double-double combination is points-rebounds, followed by points-assists. Since the 1985–86 season, Karl Malone leads the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the points-rebounds combination with 811 and John Stockton leads the points-assists combination with 709. A triple-double is the accumulation of a double-digit number total in three of the five categories in a game. The most common way to notch triple-double is through points, rebounds, and assists. Oscar Robertson leads the all-time NBA list with 181. Until his retirement in 2013, Jason Kidd led the list among active players with 107. A quadruple-double is the accumulation of a double-digit number total in four of the five categories in a game. This has occurred four times in the NBA. A quintuple-double is the accumulation of a double-digit number total in all five categories in a game. Two quintuple-doubles have been recorded by high school girls, but none have occurred in college or professional games. A similar accomplishment is the five-by-five, which is the accumulation of at least five points, five rebounds, five assists, five steals, and five blocks in a game. In the NBA, only Hakeem Olajuwon and Andrei Kirilenko have accumulated multiple five-by-fives since the 1985–86 season.

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Michael Jordan in 1987
Credit: Steve Lipofsky

Michael Jordan going in for a slam dunk with his signature exposed tongue.

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Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson (born 1959) is a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA Draft by the Lakers. He won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in his rookie season, and won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s. Johnson retired in 1991 after announcing that he had HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award. He retired again for four years, but returned in 1996 to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time. Johnson's career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Star games, and ten All-NBA nominations. He led the league in regular-season assists four times, and is the NBA's all-time leader in assists per game. Johnson was a member of the "Dream Team", the U.S. basketball team that won the Olympic gold medal in 1992. He was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996, and enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.

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