Keith Woods Mrs. Corbett Senior Project Evolution of Basketball “Time waits for no man.” This saying could not be closer to the truth. Timecontinues on and on, no matter what anyone wants to happen. Because of the passage oftime, things grow and evolve. Time seems to change everything, which contributes to thewonderment of those who happen to stumble upon a situation unchanged by the passingof time, such as the Amish. Basketball shows this rule to be true. Since its inception,basketball has continued to evolve and change, moving from a little know sport born inthe nothingness of Midwest America, to a worldwide sport played by all manners ofpeople and groups. Basketball today has become a sport that cannot be confined by the borders ofAmerica from whence it began. It has grown exponentially and is now loved by kidsfrom Spain to China. However, to truly appreciate the manner in which the game ofbasketball ball has spread, one must trace it all the way back to its humble beginnings.Basketball was created by an individual named James Naismith at a YMCA located inSpringfield, Massachusetts. Naismith had not been looking his whole life for some geniusgame to invent, but rather was simply trying to invent a game to occupy students duringthe colder months when it was too cold for outside sports. No primary “inventor” can beobserved for sports such as soccer or football, for these two sports evolved from other
games. However, Naismith can truly be credited for the invention of basketball since itwas created almost entirely by him (“Naismith”). While some things stayed the samebetween the game Naismith originally created and the game that we observe around theworld today, one would be hard pressed to recognize the original game of basketball thatdid not include dribbling, or dunks, both additions that would come later (“Basketball”).The sport grew greatly and was soon being played across the country. Many colleges anduniversities started to sponsor basketball teams and ever since then, the game ofbasketball has become ingrained in the American conscience (“Naismith”). Nowbasketball has become a lucrative business venture and as any venture involving largesums of money, has become analyzed in-depth and the ways of reviewing basketballperformance have evolved. The past decade has been one ripe in basketball innovation. Today there are newways of viewing the game popping up all over the world. No longer are simply the sameold statistics used in order to examine the game of basketball (“Basketball”).Mathematics are useful in the world of analytics. Many individuals are going to usenumbers in order to quantify everything that they possibly can, no matter what this mightbe. Sometime in the future we might be using numbers to quantify something asseemingly unimportant as the average number of breaths a basketball player takes whilehe plays during a span of five minutes. However, since there is so much to analyze thatactually involves the game of basketball, we will leave that arbitrary quantification upfuture generations. Today’s statistics are starting to become more in-depth by the minute,each new statistic that comes out is seemingly more useful than the previous, not tomention the formula is much longer and complicated. Per game statistics have become
over shadowed by the importance of per minute statistics. This is the main part of thestatistical revolution. By realizing the importance of per minute statistics over theimportance of per game statistics, basketball analysts have noticed that people wouldhave to shift their way of thinking if they were going to be able to keep up during thistremendous output of basketball knowledge. Now statistics are available to quantify therate at which someone produces shots for their teammates and not just for themselves.John Hollinger created an overall statistic called the Player Efficiency Rating that iswidely thought to be the most accurate measure of any player that plays in the NBA. Itdoes its best to incorporate every aspect of the game in its evaluation of players.However, it cannot achieve this because it does not incorporate a way to judge a player’sdefensive capabilities. The Hall of Fame guard Bruce Bowen consistently ended up witha Player Efficiency Rating below league average. A large part of the statistical revolution, to come up with a statistic that tellssomeone exactly how good a certain player is. Everyone is interested in looking atstatistics that tells us exactly how a player affects the game of basketball when he takesthe court. Maybe one day there will be one end all statistic that perfectly quantifies thetrue worth of any one player. However, until then, the basketball community has morethan enough to sit back and ponder, while continuing their further innovation in puttingtogether the worlds of sports and mathematics.
Works Cited "Basketball."Student Resource Center. Detroit: Gale, 2009. DiscoveringCollection. Gale. Creekview High School. 16 Apr. 2012<http://find.galegroup.com/srcx/infomark.do?&source=gale&srcprod=DISC&userGroupName=cant48040&prodId=DC&tabID=T001&docId=EJ2181500002&type=retrieve&contentSet=GSRC&version=1.0>. “Naismith, James (1861-1939)." Encyclopedia of World Biography.Ed. JenniferMossman.Vol. 21. 2nd ed. Detroit: Gale Group, 2001. Discovering Collection. Gale.Creekview High School. 16 Apr. 2012<http://find.galegroup.com/srcx/infomark.do?&source=gale&srcprod=DISC&userGroupName=cant48040&prodId=DC&tabID=T001&docId=EK1631007799&type=retrieve&contentSet=GBRC&version=1.0>.