Friday, March 24, 2017

Spring 2017 Part 5

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For decades, basketball has been a part of world culture. It has promoted teamwork, camaraderie, friendship, and honor. It is a total team sport, which requires not only fundamental skills, but endurance, practice, mental strength, and hard work. Millions of people in America and a lot of people worldwide either see it, participate in it, or know about its components. The game is fun and it is easy to understand too. 2 teams of five players compete against each other. The objective is to shoot a ball through a hoop, which is mounted on a backboard on each side of the court. It was invented in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts. It has been around for over 125 years, so beyond the 125 year anniversary of basketball, we certainly honor its history and its cultural impact internationally. People of every age, background, and sex have played this sport. People of a diversity of physical abilities and nationalities have played and enjoyed basketball too.

We know about Lisa Leslie slam dunking a basketball in the WNBA years ago. We know about Michael Jordan doing athletic moves and dunks in the basketball court. We know about Maya Moore inspiring her team and LeBron James making a championship a reality for the Cleveland Cavaliers for the first time of its franchise's history. Therefore, basketball is here to stay. Also, it is important to note the following. Just because we love basketball, doesn’t mean that we want to minimize STEM fields or other important aspects of human civilization. STEM fields, history, philosophy, political matters, art, medicine, etc. are additional fields that we inspire anyone to pursue. Basketball for generations has been involved in social movements for positive change, has brought people together, and has been a key part of great human expression indeed. Now, it's the time to show what the great sport of basketball is all about.

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The Start

Basketball has a long history in its invention. It was invented by Dr. James Naismith (who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959). He was an educator in physical education and he was born in Canada. In 1891, he invented basketball. He was working at the YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts. He wanted to invent a new game, because he was in the winter and young people were forced to play sports indoors. He wanted to promote a more athletic sport in the midst of the disruptive group of students. He also wanted to condition young athletes during cold months. Dr. Naismith used his mind to invent a game of skill, finesse, and accuracy instead of one relying solely on pure strength. He played a game as a child when he used rocks. He used a soccer ball and two peach baskets placed 10 feet up in the air. He organized nine players on each team. He created a set of 13 basic rules and basketball was formed. The first game was played on December 21, 1891.  The eighteen players were John G. Thompson, Eugene S. Libby, Edwin P. Ruggles, William R. Chase, T. Duncan Patton, Frank Mahan, Finlay G. MacDonald, William H. Davis and Lyman Archibald, who defeated George Weller, Wilbert Carey, Ernest Hildner, Raymond Kaighn, Genzabaro Ishikawa, Benjamin S. French, Franklin Barnes, George Day and Henry Gelan 1–0.  The goal was scored by Chase. Initially, players could only advance the ball by passing it. Bouncing the ball along the floor — what we call "dribbling" today — did not become part of the game until later. Points were earned by successfully tossing the soccer ball into the peach baskets.   After each basket that was made, players had to climb a ladder to retrieve the ball from the basket. Iron hoops with open-ended nets didn't come along until 1913.  The first public game was played in Springfield, Massachusetts on March 11, 1892. The first college basketball game was played on January 18, 1896, when the University of Iowa hosted a game with the University of Chicago. The final score was: Chicago 15, Iowa 12.  Only in 1906 were metal hoops, nets and backboards introduced. Moreover, the earlier the soccer ball was replaced by a Spalding ball, similar to the one used today.

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Basketball expanded rapidly during the late 19th century and early 20th century. The YMCA helped to spread basketball throughout America, Canada, and the world. By 1893, Mel Rideout created the first European basketball game in Paris in Montmartre. At the same time, Bob Gailey sent basketball in Tientsin, China. Duncan Patton came into India to spread basketball. There were Genzabaro Ishikawa to Japan, and C. Hareek to Persia to send the sport of basketball to those nations. When World War I came about in 1914, the U.S. Army soon fought in Europe by 1917. The American Expeditionary Force in WWI took basketball wherever it went.   Together with the troops, there were hundreds of physical education teachers who knew basketball. Naismith also spent two years with the YMCA in France in that period. The first professional league was founded in 1898. Six teams took part in the National Basketball League, and the first champions were the Trenton Nationals, followed by the New York Wanderers, the Bristol Pile Drivers and the Camden Electrics. The league was abandoned in 1904. Then, many small championships were organized, but most of them were not as important as some teams who played for money against challengers. There were the Original Celtics who were famous back during the early 20th century. They played until 1928. Some viewed the team as the forerunners of the Boston Celtics of the NBA. Yet, the team is not. The Boston Celtics was created in 1946.  In 1922, the first all-African American professional team was founded: the Rens (also known as New York Renaissance or Harlem Renaissance). The Rens were the Original Celtics’ usual opponent, and for their matches a ticket cost $1. They took part in some official championships and won the first World Professional Basketball Tournament in 1939. The team disbanded in 1949. In the 1920's and 1930's, Eastern Basketball League (founded in 1909), Metropolitan Basketball League (founded in 1921) and American Basketball League (founded in 1925) were the most important leagues in America.

During the year years of basketball, college basketball was always extremely popular in America. The first known U.S. college to field a basketball team against an outside opponent was Vanderbilt University. That team played against the local YMCA in Nashville, Tennessee on February 7, 1893. The second recorded instance of an organized college basketball game was Geneva College’s game against the New Brighton YMCA on April 8, 1893 in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania which Geneva won 3-0. The first recorded game between two college teams occurred on February 9, 1895, when Hamline University faced Minnesota A&M (which later became a part of the University of Minnesota). Minnesota A&M won the game, which was played under rules allowing nine players per side, 9–3. The first intercollegiate match using the modern rule of five players per side is often credited as a game between the University of Chicago and the University of Iowa, in Iowa City, Iowa, on January 18, 1896. The Chicago team was organized by Amos Alonzo Stagg. He learned the game from James Naismith at the Springfield YMCA. The Chicago team won the game 15-12. Some sources said that the first “true” five on five intercollegiate match was game  between Yale and Penn, because the Iowa team, that played Chicago in 1896, was composed of University of Iowa students, but did not officially represent the University of Iowa – rather being organized through a YMCA. College basketball games spread to colleges nationwide by 1900. In 1897, the AAU (or the Amateur Athletic Union) has taken oversight of basketball activity from the YMCA. By April 1905, representatives of fifteen colleges separately took over control of the college game. They created the collegiate “Basket Ball Rule Committee.” The Committee was in turn absorbed into the predecessor of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (or NCAA) in 1909. The extremely popular NCAA’ Men’s Basketball Tournament was created in 1939. Basketball traveled quickly internationally. In 1909, the first international match was held in Saint Petersburg.  Mayak Saint Petersburg beat a YMCA American team. The first great European event was held in 1919 in Joinville-le-Pont, near Paris, during the Inter-Allied Games. United States, led by future Hall of Fame player Max Friedman, won against Italy and France, and then Italy beat France. Basketball soon became popular among French and Italians. The Italian team had a white shirt with the House of Savoy shield and the players were: Arrigo and Marco Muggiani, Baccarini, Giuseppe Sessa, Palestra, Pecollo and Bagnoli.

World basketball grew as well during the early 20th century. On June 18, 1932, a real international organization was created. It had tournaments and teams. Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania and Switzerland founded the International Basketball Federation (Fédération internationale de basketball amateur, FIBA) in Geneva. Its actions and work was crucial in causing the first inclusion of basketball in the Berlin Summer Olympic Games in 1936. The first Olympic title was won by the U.S. national team: Sam Balter, Ralph Bishop, Joe Fortenberry, Tex Gibbons, Francis Johnson, Carl Knowles, Frank Lubin, Art Mollner, Donald Piper, Jack Ragland, Willard Schmidt, Carl Shy, Duane Swanson, Bill Wheatley and the trainer James Needles. Canada was runner-up; the games were played on an outdoor clay court. The first World Championship was held in Argentina in 1950.

African Americans have a long history in the early years of basketball. The Smart Set Athletic Club of Brooklyn and the St. Christopher Club of New York City were established as the first fully organized independent all-black basketball teams in 1906. These teams were amateur. In 1907 the amateur, all-black Olympian Athletic League was formed in New York City consisting of the Smart Set Athletic Club, St. Christopher Club, Marathon Athletic Club, Alpha Physical Culture Club, and the Jersey City Colored YMCA. The first inter-city basketball game between two black teams was played in 1907 when the Smart Set Athletic Club of Brooklyn traveled to Washington, DC to play the Crescent Athletic Club. In 1908, Smart Set Athletic Club of Brooklyn, a member of the Olympian Athletic League was named the first Colored Basketball World's Champion. In 1910 Howard University’s first varsity basketball team started. In 1922 the Commonwealth Five, the first all-black professional team was founded. The New York Renaissance was founded in 1923. In 1939 the all-black New York Renaissance beat the all-white Oshkosh All-Stars in the World Pro Basketball Tournament. From the late 1920's the African American Harlem Globetrotters were a successful touring team, winning the WPBT in 1940. The all-white National Basketball League began to racially integrate in 1942 with 10 black players joining two teams, the Toledo Jim White Chevrolets, and the Chicago Studebakers. The NBA integrated in 1950–51 seasons, just two years after its founding, with three black players each achieving a separate milestone in that process. In the draft held immediately prior to that season, Chuck Cooper became the first black player drafted by an NBA team. Shortly after the draft, Nat Clifton became the first black player to sign an NBA contract. Finally, Earl Lloyd became the first black player to appear in an NBA game as his team started its season before either Cooper's or Clifton's. After the integration of the NBA, the Harlem Globetrotters started to focus on international touring and exhibition performances, including comic routines. These tours helped to popularize basketball internationally, and gave the Globetrotters the reputation as Basketball's goodwill ambassadors.

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The NBA was called the Basketball league at first in June 6, 1946. It was founded in New York City. In 1967, the NBA faced new competition with the creation of the ABA or the American Basketball Association. So, both leagues had the best players in the country. The NBA landed the most talented college star of that era. His name is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (his previous name was Lew Alcindor). Also, Rick Barry (the NBA’s leading scorer back then) jumped into the ABA along with 4 veteran referees (their names are Norm Drucker, Earl Strom, John Vanak, and Joe Gushue). In 1969, Alan Siegel, who oversaw the design of Jerry Dior's Major League Baseball logo a year prior, created the modern NBA logo inspired by the MLB's. It incorporates the silhouette of the legendary Jerry West based on a photo by Wen Roberts. Although NBA officials denied a particular player as being its influence because, according to Siegel, "They want to institutionalize it rather than individualize it. It's become such a ubiquitous, classic symbol and focal point of their identity and their licensing program that they don't necessarily want to identify it with one player." The iconic logo debuted in 1971 and would remain a fixture of the NBA brand. The ABA was very successful. They signed many major stars during the 1970’s. One was Julius Erving of the Virginia Squires. It allowed teams to sign college undergraduates.  The NBA expanded rapidly during this period, one purpose being to tie up the most viable cities. From 1966 to 1974, the NBA grew from nine franchises to 18. In 1970, the Portland Trail Blazers, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Buffalo Braves (now the Los Angeles Clippers) all made their debuts expanding the league to 17. The New Orleans Jazz (now in Utah) came aboard in 1974 bringing the total to 18. Following the 1976 season, the leagues reached a settlement that provided for the addition of four ABA franchises to the NBA, raising the number of franchises in the league at that time to 22. The franchises added were the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, and New York Nets (now the Brooklyn Nets). Some of the biggest stars of this era of the 1970's were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Rick Barry, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Dave Cowens, Julius Erving, Elvin Hayes, Walt Frazier, Moses Malone, Artis Gilmore, George Gervin, Dan Issel, and Pete Maravich. WIlt and Chamberlain had a powerful rivalry. Kareem is right that Wilt is a great player and possibly the strongest player in NBA history. Yet, Kareem is right to mention in a letter to criticize Wilt's denigration of black women in his autobiography and his support of a criminal like Richard Nixon. Wilt was a political conservative and he was overt in his right wing, Republican ideology. I disagree with Wilt's misogynoir and his politics. While Wilt criticized the Black Panthers, Kareem defended Muhammad Ali, advanced progressive causes, and stood up in favor of social justice in public. The end of the decade, however, saw declining TV ratings, low attendance and drug-related player issues – both perceived and real – that threatened to derail the NBA.

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Basketball increased with popularity still. The NBA added the ABA’s innovative 3 point field goal starting in 1979 to open up the game. During that same year, rookies Larry Bird and Magic Johnson joined the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers respectively. This started a period of significant growth in fan interest in the NBA nationwide and internationally. Both players were some of the greatest players in NBA history. In 1984, they played against each other for the first time in NBA Finals. Magic Johnson and the Lakers during the 1980’s caused the Lakers to get five titles. Bird and the Celtics went on to cause the Celtics to win 3 titles. Also in the early 1980's, the NBA added one more expansion franchise, the Dallas Mavericks, bringing the total to 23 teams. Later on, Larry Bird won the first three three-point shooting contests. Former league commissioner David Stern who took office on February 1, 1984 before retiring February 1, 2014, oversaw the expansion and growth of the NBA to a global institution.

The 1984 NBA Draft was one of the most talented drafts in NBA history. The players of the draft during that year included Hakeem Olajuwon, Sam Bowie, Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, Charles Barkley, Melvin Turpin, Alvin Robertson, John Stockton, and other players. Scottie Pippen, Dominique Wilkins, and other players of the 1980’s were ahead of their times and excellent in their talent. Michael Jordan entered the league in 1984 with the Chicago Bulls, providing an even more popular star to support growing interest in the league. This resulted in more cities demanding teams of their own. In 1988 and 1989, four cities got their wishes as the Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, and Minnesota Timberwolves made their NBA debuts, bringing the total to 27 teams. In the first year of the 1990's, the Detroit Pistons would win the second of their back-to-back titles, led by Coach Chuck Daly and guard Isiah Thomas. Jordan and Scottie Pippen would lead the Bulls to two three-peats in eight years during the 1991–98 seasons. Hakeem Olajuwon won back-to-back titles with the Houston Rockets in 1994 and 1995. The 1992 Olympic basketball Dream Team, the first to use current NBA stars, featured Michael Jordan as the anchor, along with Bird, Johnson, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Chris Mullin, Charles Barkley, and Christian Laettner. Eleven players on the Dream Team have been inducted individually into the Basketball Hall of Fame. The Dream Team was a great team.

In 1995, the NBA expanded to Canada with the addition of the Vancouver Grizzlies and the Toronto Raptors. In 2001, the Vancouver Grizzlies relocated to Memphis, which left the Raptors as the only Canadian team in the NBA. In 1998, the NBA owners began a lockout which lasted 191 days and was settled on January 18, 1999. As a result of this lockout the 1998–99 NBA season was reduced from 82 to 50 games (61% of a normal season), and the All-Star Game was cancelled. The San Antonio Spurs won their first championship, and first by a former ABA team, by beating the New York Knicks, who were the first, and are the only, eighth seed to ever make it to the NBA Finals. By this time, the modern era of the NBA existed. By the summer of 1998, the breakup of the Chicago Bulls championship roster existed. The Western Conference afterwards dominated the NBA Finals. Since 1998, the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs combined to win the title nine out of 14 seasons.  Tim Duncan and David Robinson won the 1999 championship with the Spurs, and Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant started the 2000's with three consecutive championships for the Lakers. The Spurs reclaimed the title in 2003 against the Nets. In 2004, the Lakers returned to the Finals, only to fall in five games to the Detroit Pistons. After the Spurs took home the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy in 2005, the 2006 Finals featured two franchises making their inaugural Finals appearances.

The Miami Heat, led by their star shooting guard, Dwyane Wade, and Shaquille O'Neal, who had been traded from the Lakers during the 2004 summer, won the series over the Dallas Mavericks in six after losing the first two games. The Lakers/Spurs dominance continued in 2007 with a four-game sweep by the Spurs over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were led by LeBron James. The 2008 Finals saw a rematch of the league's highest profile rivalry, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, with the Celtics winning, for their 17th championship, thanks to their new big three of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett. In 2009, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers returned to the Finals, this time defeating the Dwight Howard-led Orlando Magic. Bryant won his first Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his 13th season after leading the Lakers to their first NBA championship since the departure of Shaquille O'Neal. The 2010 NBA All-Star Game was held at Cowboys Stadium in front of the largest crowd ever, 108,713. At the end of that season, the Celtics and the Lakers renewed their rivalry from 2008 when they met again in the NBA Finals for a record 12th time. The Lakers won the title by winning Game 7, 83–79.

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Before the start of the 2010–11 season the NBA had an exciting summer with one of the most anticipated free agent classes of all time. Two of which signed, and one resigned, with the Miami Heat, leading to a season that was heavily centered on their eventual success or failure at taking home the championship. The Heat, led by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, did in fact make the Finals against the Dallas Mavericks, in a rematch for the franchises of the 2006 Finals. The Mavericks, led by Dirk Nowitzki (the eventual NBA Finals MVP), took the series in six games. This was the Mavericks' first title. Veterans Shawn Marion, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, and Peja Stojaković celebrated their first NBA championship. July 1, 2011, at 12:01 am, the NBA announced another lockout. After the first few weeks of the season were canceled, the players and owners ratified a new collective bargaining agreement on December 8, 2011, setting up a shortened 66-game season. Following the shortened season, the Miami Heat made a return to the Finals with the trio of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh against Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. The Heat went on to defeat the Thunder in five games, capturing their second NBA title in six years. Their success would continue into the following season, which concluded with their victory over the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 NBA Finals. The two teams would meet for a rematch in the following year's Finals, where the Spurs defeated the Heat in five games. Following that series, LeBron James announced that he would return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. James led the Cavaliers to their second Finals appearance, where they fell to the Golden State Warriors in six games. Most recently, in a rematch, the 2016 NBA Finals concluded with the Cavaliers defeating the Warriors in seven games to win their first NBA Championship. Right, Lebron James is the greatest player in the NBA playing right now. He has taken the league into new heights and has shown philanthropy outside of the court too.

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Other Leagues

The American Basketball Association or the ABA was created as an alternative to the NBA in 1967. This was when the NBA had a lot of popularity. The ABA offered an alternative ethos and game style as well as some changes in the rules. Julius Erving was the leading player in the league, and helped launch a modern style of play that emphasizes leaping and play above the rim. His playing strength helped legitimize the American Basketball Association. The league emphasized excitement and liveliness, be it in the color of the ball (red, white and blue), the manner of play, wild promotions, or the three-point shot. National recognition and earnings were low, leading the league to look for a way out of its problems. That is why the ABA soon merged with the NBA. The ABA was merged with the NBA in the summer of 1976. Its four most  successful franchises (the New York Nets, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, and San Antonio Spurs) being incorporated into the older league.  The aggressive, loose style of play and the three-point shot were taken up by the NBA.

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Impact and International Power

The internationalization of basketball has increased over the years and decades. Since the advent of the 1992 Dream Team, many players from around the world has been inspired to play in international basketball leagues and in the NBA (of North America). We live in a new society. We live in a more technological, social, political, and economic integrated globe. About a quarter of the players in the NBA are international players. Ben Simmons from Australia, Dragan Bender from Croatia, and the Pelicans’ Buddy Hield from the Bahamas play in the NBA. Also, countries like France, Germany, Russia, Spain, Turkey, Nigeria, Angola, and other nations have their own basketball leagues and championships as well. Their institutions must be respected just like the NBA. Dirk Nowitzki, Drazen Petrovic, and Yao Ming made huge impacts in basketball and they weren’t born in America. Hakeem Olajuwon was born in Lagos, Nigeria. He is one of the greatest basketball players in history. He won 2 championships in the NBA and had 2 Finals MVPs. He has also paved the way for many international players to play in the NBA and other international leagues.

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Women's Basketball

Women’s basketball has existed for over 100 years in the world. It is very popular not only in America, but worldwide. Today, FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup features top national teams from continental championships. There is the Euro League Women that has teams from Russian Women’s Basketball Premier League. There is the NCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Championship. Also, there is the famous WNBA League. Women’s basketball started in the winter of 1892 in Smith College.  Senda Berenson, an instructor at Smith, taught basketball to her students, hoping the activity would improve their physical health. Basketball's early adherents were affiliated with YMCAs and colleges throughout the United States, and the game quickly spread throughout the country. Berenson modified some of the rules. These included a court divided into three areas and nine players per team. Three players were assigned to each area (guard, center, forward) and could not cross the line into another area. The ball was moved from section to section by passing or dribbling. Players were limited to three dribbles and could hold the ball for three seconds. No snatching or batting the ball away from a player was allowed. A center jump was required after each score. Peach baskets and the soccer ball were the equipment. Variations of Berenson’s rules spread across the country via YMCAs and college. The first intercollegiate women’s basketball game was played between teams from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, in 1896. Women’s basketball popularity increased. Women’s basketball became part of the Olympic Games in 1976. Funding for women’s basketball in America grew in funding in the college level. New laws forbid discrimination based upon sex. In America, Title IX was passed in 1972 as a way to end sexual discrimination and stereotyping in admission to colleges and in academic subjects.  Between 1971 and 2000, Title IX has proven to have had a huge impact on female collegiate sports. “Sports participation among college women has risen from 372 percent over that time, from 32,000 to more than 150,000 women (McDonagh, Pappano, 2008, 108). Also now 33.5% of female students participate in sports (McDonagh, Pappano, 2008).

The fight for gender equality continues. Professional leagues for are found globally. There we many attempts to create women’s professional leagues in America. The other attempts (like the Women’s Pro-Basketball League and the WBA) didn’t last over 10 years until the NBA founded the WNBA in 1996. The WNBA played its first game in June 21, 1997 and I remembered it like it was yesterday. The regular WNBA season is June to September (North American Spring and Summer). Most WNBA teams play at the same venue as their NBA counterparts. Most team names are also very similar to those of NBA teams in the same market, such as the Washington Wizards and Washington Mystics, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx. Rules for women's basketball are nearly the same as the rules for men's basketball. Probably the biggest difference is that the circumference of the women’s basketball is one inch smaller than the circumference of the size of the men's basketball. Also, in American professional basketball, the women’s three-point line is slightly closer to the basket than men’s. As for the Olympics, since 1996, the U.S. women’s basketball team has won gold. The FIBA Africa Women's Championship is the women's basketball continental championship of Africa, played biennially under the auspices of FIBA, the basketball sport governing body, and the African zone thereof. Women’s basketball is global and it will remain forevermore.

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Important Lessons

There are many lessons learned in basketball. It is a team game, therefore one person can’t win a team game alone. There must be teamwork in order to make one team the victor. Also, basketball is fun. It requires not only athleticism and physical skill. It requires practice and patience, because practice can make anyone a better basketball player. Anyone needs patience in order to concentrate and make a game more interesting. Also, basketball is more than a game. It has given opportunities to so many human beings from the poor to those who work in other fields too. We have issues too. Many big corporations want to exploit athletes for the sake of increasing their profits and growing their portfolios. Many athletes have been the victims of bad contracts and other complications. This should change. We also know about the legacy of many players displaying a social consciousness involving basketball. Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul Jabbar are well known human beings who have advocated for social justice and standing up for civil rights. They stood in support of Muhammad Ali in defending his right to oppose the unjust Vietnam War. Today, many athletes give much of their money to help the minorities and the poor. Also, some athletes are selfish and refuse to help the inner city, which is a shame.

The fundamental point is that we have work to do. We want resources to build up our communities excluding materialism and militarism. "Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete" is a book written by the sports expert William C. Rhoden. His book conclusively exposes the exploitation of athletes by the establishment in strong terms. Basketball is an international game that has helped so many people. Yet, basketball alone can never save us. Social activism, the development of our consciousness, and real work can help society in comprehensive ways. Basketball has sent joy into the lives of many. It has united societies and developed cultures. It is a game that is part of the expression of humanity. We love the game and we cherish it. Also, we have the responsibility to use basketball to teach us the lesson about making the world better.

By Timothy

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