The Changing Face Of Basketball Essay Research — страница 2

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games, Chamberlain?s points were down and rebounds were up and visa versa for Russell (Minsky 30). last, but definitely not least, was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Abdul-Jabbar, unlike Mikan, was predicted and destined to be great. At 7?2? and with the body of a sprinter, Abdul-Jabbar was expected to reach unrealistic standards, which he usually met all of his life. When he entered college, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) made a rule to outlaw dunking so he couldn?t score at will (Minsky 57). That forced him to develop his virtually unstoppable shot … the Skyhook. He used the Skyhook to lead the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to three straight NCAA titles and the Los Angeles Lakers to six NBA titles in 20 years. He also shattered Wilt Chamberlain?s all

time scoring record, won the league?s Most Valuable Player award a record six times and played on the All Star team 19 times (Minsky 58). Just like the evolution of the centers, all the positions changed like guards, shooting guards, and power forwards. Bob Cousy was the first showman of the NBA and many followed his act until it became normal procedure among players. It is almost painful to think of the tempo of the game before Bob Cousy arrived. He added a flair to the game never seen before. Soon, his style was transformed by Oscar Robertson, then by ?Pistol Pete? Maravitch, ?Magic? Johnson, and finally Isiah Thomas. Bob Petit was the first great power forward, using every pound and every inch the opponent allowed. What Petit lacked in style, he doubled in power.. Rick Barry

dramatically changed the power forward position with a dead-eye shot and an unorthodox free throw. Today we have the dazzling dunks of Karl Malone and Shawn Kemp. Perhaps the most revolutionized of all positions is the shooting guard. It all started with Elgin Baylor?s midair tactics and his great jump shot. Then the torch passed to Jerry ?Mr. Clutch? West (Minsky 37) whose uncanny ability to shoot was never again matched from this position. Early on, dunking was not used for style, it was just a way to get two points for the team – until Julius ?Dr. J? Irving came along. ?Dr. J? was 6?7? (Minsky 64), had huge but delicate hands, and excellent vertical and body control. Irving?s high flying dunks electrified crowds, even from the opposing teams. ?Dr. J? changed what was just

two points into a massive rush of adrenaline. He did not have a great outside shot but he could hang in the air with the best of them. The condition of Basketball games was not the best from the 1950?s and 1960?s due to the lack of knowledge regarding how to keep the wooden basketball floor in top form. Today there are Million dollar arenas with sponsors ranging from Nike to Xerox. Some of the older players would probably say that players today are spoiled in many ways because the former players did not have the break-away rims or fiberglass backboards. the balls are also made of a synthetic leather causing them to be more responsive in the dribble. The first professional basketball league formed was the National League and it consisted of six teams. When the National League

folded, the Philadelphia League was formed. The Eastern League, Central League, Hudson River League, and the New York State League soon followed (Hollander 17). The American Basketball League was formed in 1925 but had only short success. The New York Renaissance Five was the first Black team, followed by the Harlem Globetrotters. The National Basketball League was started in 1937 and lasted about 10 years(Hollandar 21-28). The NBA was developed in 1946 and was a success because of its big market arenas like Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Basketball Association of America (BAA) consisted of 11 members who scheduled games and found places for teams to play. The BAA merged with the NBA in the late 40?s. Now teams have their own arenas, enormous crown support, and

plenty of luxuries (Hollander 60-69). Original salaries were microscopic compared to salaries today, especially when compared to other professionals. Basketball today is being sold to the public more than any other sport. Corporate sponsors have lured players with million dollar offers. It is amazing at the difference between the salaries of basketball players and professionals such as teachers, nurses, social workers , and even what we pay our clergy. The public wants to be entertained, and will pay for it, but fails to give adequate payment to professionals who affect our daily lives. The style of play, players, facilities, and leagues have developed dramatically and gained tremendous popularity since its soccer ball and peach basket beginnings. Thesis Statement: Basketball has