Portal:Basketball

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Basketball is a competitive sport invented as a men's game in 1891 by James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts but now played on every inhabited continent and by men and women, most often contested by two teams, each comprising five participating players, for whom substitutions may be made. For some teams the substitutions may only consist of a few players and for others they may have anywhere from 7 to 8 subs. The team attempts to advance a spherical ball through a cast-iron basket with attached net and backboard, elevated such that the basket rim is–in most professional leagues–ten feet (3.048 meters) from the surface of the rectangular basketball court, for indoor games usually made of hardwood and for outdoor games usually made of asphalt, on which the sport is played.

Offensively, a player advances the ball either by bouncing it himself while stationary or moving (dribbling) or by throwing it (passing) it to a teammate, such that a player, within the time permitted by a shot clock, eventually propels (shoots) the ball toward the basket; should the ball pass through the basket, one (free throw), two (field goal), or three (three-point field goal) points, depending on the distance from which the shot is taken, are awarded; the player, in most cases, to have tendered the ball to the scoring player is credited with an assist. Several strategies are employed by a team toward the end of generating uncontested shots for players, who most often begin a given play play in distinct areas—the center and power forward proximate to the basket (top of the key); the small forward and shooting guard proximate to the three-point arc; and the point guard passim. The team to have scored more points upon the expiration of the time alloted for the game, usually between 40 and 60 minutes and divided into four equal quarters or two equal halves, is the winner, and ties are most often settled during overtime periods.

A defense attempts to prevent an offensive team from scoring and to garner the ball for itself, employing various strategies to force an opposing player to surrender (turnover) the basketball, by dispossessing (steal) a player or successfully contesting his shot (block) or, upon an opponent's making an unsuccessful shot, overcoming an opponent to win the loose ball (rebound).

Certain disruptive contact, especially that by which an advantage is gained, is penalized (as a personal foul), as is unsportsmanlike conduct (as a technical foul), with disqualification often imposed on players who accumulate a pre-arranged number of fouls in one game. Certain means of ballhandling, such as one's running with the ball while not dribbling (travelling) or one's catching the ball between dribbles (double dribbling) are proscribed and, when committed by a given team, result in the awarding of possession to the opposing team.

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In basketball, a double is the accumulation of a double-digit number total in one of five statistical categories—points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocked shots—in a game. Multiple players usually score double-digit points in any given basketball game; the double nomenclature is usually reserved for when a player has double-digit totals in more than one category. A double-double is the accumulation of a double-digit number total in two of the five categories in a game. The most common double-double combination is points-rebounds, followed by points-assists. Since the 1985–86 season, Karl Malone leads the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the points-rebounds combination with 811 and John Stockton leads the points-assists combination with 709. A triple-double is the accumulation of a double-digit number total in three of the five categories in a game. The most common way to notch triple-double is through points, rebounds, and assists. Oscar Robertson leads the all-time NBA list with 181. Until his retirement in 2013, Jason Kidd led the list among active players with 107. A quadruple-double is the accumulation of a double-digit number total in four of the five categories in a game. This has occurred four times in the NBA. A quintuple-double is the accumulation of a double-digit number total in all five categories in a game. Two quintuple-doubles have been recorded by high school girls, but none have occurred in college or professional games. A similar accomplishment is the five-by-five, which is the accumulation of at least five points, five rebounds, five assists, five steals, and five blocks in a game. In the NBA, only Hakeem Olajuwon and Andrei Kirilenko have accumulated multiple five-by-fives since the 1985–86 season.

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Bill Russell

Bill Russell (born 1934) is an American retired professional basketball player, widely considered one of the best in National Basketball Association (NBA) history. Playing center for the Boston Celtics, he was the centerpiece of their dynasty and his shot-blocking and man-to-man defense were major reasons for the team's success. A five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a twelve-time All-Star, he won 11 NBA championships during his 13-year career, and jointly holds the record for the most championships won by an athlete in a North American sports league. He led the NBA in rebounds four times, and remains second all-time in both total rebounds and rebounds per game. Russell was the first African American player to achieve superstar status in the NBA and the first African American NBA coach. For his accomplishments in the Civil Rights Movement on and off the court, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. Russell is a member of three basketball Halls of Fame (Naismith Memorial, National Collegiate, and FIBA) and the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award is named in his honor. He also won a 1956 Olympics gold medal as captain of the U.S. national basketball team.

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