October 25th marks the beginning of the 71st NBA regular season – a quintessential “American” game that was invented by a Canadian gym teacher in order to keep his unruly students occupied during the long, dreary New England winters. I doubt the father of basketball -- James Naismith -- would even recognize his invention today, which began in 1891 with two peach baskets (their bottoms hollowed out) and a no-dribble rule! Nor would he believe that his game is played in practically every gymnasium in the United States (not to mention around the entire globe), and played by very large people who can sky way above the rim.

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