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History of Basketball
Nowadays, basketball is played with five players on the court per team, but back in the day, the number of players would vary depending on the size of the court or playing area. In a playing area less than 167 square metres, teams began with five players on each side. But, the number of players per team rose to seven or nine if the playing area exceeded 334 square metres.
For a little bit of a backstory, the actual game of basketball was invented in the late 1800s when a Canadian-American teacher, James Naismith, was asked to come up with a new indoor sport at the college he taught at. Basketball is one of the only sports with solely American origins. Naismith himself, as well as five of his original players, were all at the Springfield YMCA College in Massachusetts. Unsurprisingly, basketball was a raging success, and by 1893, it had reached European soil after being introduced to France. It then travelled to England in 1894 and Australia, India, Japan and China shortly after.
By 1898, the first professional basketball league was established as the National Basketball League (NBL). But, in 1946, the sport gained major league status when the Basketball Association of America (BAA) was founded. These two associations later merged in 1949, birthing the most successful basketball association in the world, the National Basketball Association (NBA).
The number of NBA fans rose throughout the 80s as it gained more television recognition while also breaking multiple attendance records. With the NBA receiving such success, many other countries hopped onto the bandwagon to form their own associations, so it wasn’t long before basketball went global. Sportsbooks at online casinos also picked up on this as basketball has become quite the worldwide phenomenon.
One of the many stepping stones to becoming a star basketball bettor is knowing what basketball matches and tournaments there are. After all, how can you begin betting without knowing what match to bet on? Being a global phenomenon and all, basketball does not fall short on adrenaline-charged championships. Here are a couple of leagues you can check out to help get you started:
The National Basketball Association is a top tier, professional North American basketball league and is one of the four major professional leagues in the United States and Canada. It was founded in 1946 and consists of 30 teams, 29 from the US and one in Canada. The season runs from October to April, with each team playing 82 games. It is so incredibly popular that it has become the men’s premier professional basketball league in the world.
The EuroLeague is another elite professional basketball competition, sponsored by Turkish Airlines. It was founded by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) in 1958, but since 2000, it has been organised by the Euroleague Basketball association. It has become one of the most popular indoor sports leagues in the world and during the 2017/18 season, the EuroLeague saw an average attendance of over 8,000 people. The only league it places second to is the National Basketball Association (NBA).
The National Basketball League is a men’s professional basketball championship that takes place in Oceania. It was founded in 1979 and is a top professional basketball league in Australia and New Zealand. This is not to be confused with the National Basketball League that merged with the BAA in the early 1940s. This league is composed of nine teams, eight in Australia and one in New Zealand, with the season running from early October to mid-February. Each team is required to play 28 games, 14 at home and 14 away. Only the top four teams will advance to the finals.
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) is the governing body of international basketball, also known as the Fédération Internationale de Basketball. This association organises the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament as well as the Summer Olympics Basketball Tournament that is sanctioned by the IOC.
Basketball Star Players
Basketball players have come and gone, but the sport has truly birthed some legendary players. Here are a few former and current players that have graced the court with their phenomenal skills:
- Michael Jordan — Also known by his initials, MJ, Michael Jeffrey Jordan is a former professional basketball player and the current owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association. In his time in the NBA he played 15 seasons, winning six championships with the Chicago Bulls. His legendary performances have cemented his place as arguably the greatest player of all time.
- LeBron James — LeBron James is an American professional basketball player. Many fans consider him to be one of the best players the NBA has produced as James is frequently compared to Michael Jordan in debates over the greatest player ever. He is the only player to have ever won NBA championships with three franchises — the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Miami Heat and the Lakers. From 2011-2018, James has competed in 10 NBA finals, eight of which consecutively with the Cavaliers and Heat.
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a former professional player who played in the NBA for 20 seasons for the Milwaukee Bucks and the LA Lakers. Abdul-Jabbar has many successes up his sleeve having been voted the NBA Most Valuable Player six times throughout his career, is a 19-time NBA all-star, a 15-time All-NBA selection and an 11-time NBA All-Defensive team member.
- Magic Johnson — Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson was a former player and a former president of the LA Lakers basketball operations. Many consider Johnson to be the best point guard of all time as he played for the Lakers for 13 seasons and was honoured as one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history in 1996.
- Kobe Bryant — Kobe Bryant was one of the most famous professional basketball players of all time. He spent his 20-year career playing for the LA Lakers in the NBA as a shooting guard. Bryant easily earned a spot on this list having won five NBA championships, was a 15-time member of the All-NBA team, a 12-time member of the All-Defensive team, an 18-time All-Star, a two-time NBA Finals MVP and voted the most valuable player in 2008.
Basketball Betting Options
The next phase in your quest to conquer basketball online betting is to become familiar with your betting options. Knowing what choices you’ll have and how to place them is crucial to becoming a great punter. You’ll find that not all sportsbooks offer the same set of choices, but many wagers resemble those offered in baseball, football or beach volleyball tournaments, so you shouldn’t find much trouble picking them up.
It is recommended that beginners start off with a moneyline/match winner bet, or better yet, a half-time score — although, this wager isn’t too common. The moneyline bet offers a great amount of fun and entertainment while also being very easy and straightforward to understand, making it a great choice for newbies and seasoned punters alike. Future bets are also fairly similar, however sit much higher on the risk scale considering you’re wagering on a whole tournament rather than a singular game. Bets like these also require much more market knowledge but also offer better payouts, so it is up to you to decide whether you want to take that risk.
As your journey progresses, you will become more acquainted with the sport and begin to dabble in more complicated betting options. Point spreads and parlay bets, for instance, may offer that rush you seek. For a little added fun, many sportsbooks also offer prop bets which allow you to bet on many different aspects of the game.
Before getting into high-risk bets, though, it is recommended to do a little bit of research about the tournament, participating teams and even individual players. The more knowledge you have, the better your betting choices will be as it’ll allow you to make more informed decisions. Bear in mind that this would not guarantee a win.
One thing you must do before any match is to make sure you have a good bankroll management strategy in place to help safeguard your funds. It is easy to get lost in all the fun and excitement basketball matches bring, so being in control of your funds ensures this won’t happen. If you need, you can always utilise our Responsible Gambling tools for some additional help.
Basketball Betting at LV BET
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If you like, you could also check out some action-packed tournaments in cycling, MMA, ice hockey, Australian football — and so much more! How can one keep up with so many epic matches? Well, that’s where our Sportsbook mobile app comes in handy. Download the app and have everything organised and ready to go, while also benefiting from prematch betting and Live Match Tracking. At LV BET, we guarantee you’ll have a champion Sportsbook betting experience.