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I love basketball, almost as much as golf, but I am plagued by one reoccurring question:
How long did it take Naismith to figure out that the game would be easier to manage if he simply removed the bottom on the peach baskets that served as hoops during those early games?

Or even better, why didn’t he think of this right away?

It wasn’t like he was using steel buckets or ceramic pots as goals. They were peach baskets. The bottoms could have been easily removed with a decent pair of pruning sheers or one good, swift kick with a booted foot.

To hang peach baskets on the wall for the purpose of shooting balls into them and with their bottoms still intact strikes me as insane.

Perhaps it was the game’s initial low scoring that caused Naismith to think that grabbing a ladder every time a point was scored wasn’t a big deal. The first official basketball game was played in a YMCA gymnasium on January 20, 1892, with nine players on a court about half the size of today’s modern courts.

The game ended at 1–0.

With just one basket, I guess that getting the ladder didn’t seem like much trouble at first.

But still, it’s a little ridiculous for a man who possessed the vision to create a game that is now played all over the world to fail so miserably when it came to a little common sense.


The first basketball court: Springfield College