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Professional Basketball History

The first official basketball history would be at YMCA in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1896. It was the fallout of a dispute between members of the YMCA team and a YMCA official, resulting in a professional team, playing for money. 2 years later, the National Basketball League was founded. In the 2oth century, the top professional teams were the Buffalo Germans and the Original Celtics.

The first major national professional league was the American Basketball League. In the 30s, the most successful teams were the New York Renaissance and Harlem Globetrotters. Both of these teams consisted of all-black players.

In the 40s, the game was monopolized by the Minneapolis Lakers, led by George Mikan and coached by John Kundla. This team won 5 NBA championships in the decade. Come the 50s, guard Bob Cousy and forward Bob Pettit were celebrated players.

From 1957 to 1969, The Celtics won 11 NBA titles, 6 of them led by Bill Russell. From 1963 to 1975, the UCLA team won ten national championships. Star players during this period were center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, center Bill Walton, guard Gail Goodrich, forward Jamaal Wilkes, and forward Marques Johnson. Abdul-Jabbar made history by becoming the leading scorer with 38,387 points in his career. In the 80s, basketball was dominated by the Detroit Pistons with Isiah Thomas and Dennis Rodman.

And most recently, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls are the highlights of the 90s, with the Bulls winning 6 NBA titles. Star players in this period were Hakeem Olajuwon, Scottie Pippen, Charles Barkley, David Robinson, Karl Malone, John Stockton, and Shaquille O'Neal. And the women star players were Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes, Teresa Edwards, Lisa Leslie, and Jennifer Azzi. Women basketball has also undergone some changes throughout the years. In 1966, dribbling was legalized in play. 3 years later, a 5-player full court format was introduced.

In 1984, women officials (coaches, players) were admitted in the basketball hall-of-fame. Some of these famous women who obtained recognition for their skills and expertise were Ann Meyers, Carol Blazejowski, Cheryl Miller; Anne Donovan and Nancy Lieberman-Cline. The NBA's rival was the American Basketball Association (ABA) and its trademark red, white, and blue basketballs. The best player for ABA was Julius Erving.

ABA was dissolved in 1976. The passing of years have seen the rise and fall of many teams and players. Without a doubt, all the players strive to do their best to be immortalized as the champions of the decade.

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