|Naismith's Original Rules of Basketball|
NEW YORK -- A historic document that details the original rules of basketball, written 119 years ago as a winter sport for boys of a Massachusetts YMCA, was sold for more than $4 million on Friday to raise money for charity.
James Naismith wrote the 13 rules while a physical education instructor at the Christian association.
"Basketball is a pure invention," said Selby Kiffer, senior specialist in American history documents at Sotheby's, where the rules were being sold by the Naismith International Basketball Foundation.
"It's really the genesis, the birth certificate of one of the world's most popular sports," he said in October when the sale was announced. "It's a sport that has had an impact on everything from fashion, such as sneakers, to culture that in a way transcends sports."
The sale price of $4.3 million includes a buyer's premium. The proceeds will benefit the Naismith foundation, which promotes sportsmanship and provides services to underprivileged children around the world.
It was purchased by David and Suzanne Booth, who hope to bring the rules to the University of Kansas. He is an alumnus.
Ian Naismith, the foundation's founder and grandson of James Naismith, told The Associated Press in an interview in October that it was a family decision to put the rules on the auction block and give the money to the Naismith charity.
"It's what Dr. Naismith wanted," he said.
James Naismith penned the 13 rules on Dec. 21, 1891, for the YMCA training school in Springfield. His boss had given him two weeks to come up with a new indoor activity for his gym class, and he wrote down the rules on the eve of that deadline.
He gave the list to his secretary, who typed them up on two pages that Naismith pinned on a bulletin board outside the gym. He moved to Lawrence, Kan., in 1898 and became the first basketball coach at the University of Kansas. He coached for nine seasons before assuming other academic duties and serving as athletic director.
One of his players was Forrest "Phog" Allen, who went on to become popularly known as the "father of basketball coaches."
The two are memorialized on the Kansas campus, where the basketball court at Allen Fieldhouse is named James Naismith Court. Naismith died in 1939, three years after his new game became an official sport at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.
Now, with that kind of money at stake and a lifetime of experience and an insider's view of the sport of basketball from my years at the NBA, I am hereby penning the 2010 Rules of Basketball.
TL's Rules of Basketball
1. Thou Shall Not play Zone Defense. Play Man-to-Man or You Shall Ruin Naismith's Game.2. The Three-point field goal Shall be removed from the game.3. The Harlem Globetrotters Shall have their charter bus revoked for introducing a Four-Point field goal.4. There Shall be a reduction in Time Outs allowed. Each team shall have four timeouts. Each team must take one timeout in the first half. (Screw TV time outs; TV execs will have to figure it out.)5. All logos and advertisements Shall be removed from the playing surface.6. Public Address announcers who "SCREEEEEAAAAM" player names after made FGs Shall be Banned and teams Shall Not play "Sweet Caroline" or "Gary Glitter Songs" at anytime.7. Unless TV cameras can be mounted to cover ever possible angle in every gym/arena, like pro tennis, Instant Replay Shall be Banished for all calls except whether a basket is made in time. (4th quarter or overtime(s).8. The NCAA Tournament Shall be reduced to 64 teams. The NIT Shall have 16 teams. Everyone else Shall hit the books because no other post-season tournaments are allowed.9. The NBA Playoffs Shall have eight teams, conference winners and the next six best teams regardless of conference. Divisions Shall be disbanded and standings Shall be listed by Conference and by full league.10. The NBA season must start in early October and the playoffs must end by May 15th (Contraction and shorter playoffs Shall do the trick, eh?).11. All coaches at all levels Shall remain seated at all times, except to join huddle at a time-out.12. All assistant coaches Shall remain seated and silent at all times, except in their huddles during timeouts.13. Thou Shall Not have a Possession Arrow. College Refs Shall learn to toss jump balls or else.14. There Shall Not be more than four non-players on the bench (Coach, Asst Coach, Trainer, one other). Everyone else Shall be in second row or seated in stands.15. No non-player shall ever step on the court/playing surface at anytime (2 hours prior to game and throughout the game). (Exceptions are: Ballboys, Refs).16. Bill Simmons Shall Not ever do color commentary again.17. Craig Sager Shall dress in Navy Blue jacket, white shirt, dark tie, gray slacks, & black wing tips.
18. There Shall be one official ball for NBA, FIBA, Colleges and HS. It Shall be 100% brown leather. No synthetics, so the NBA must subsidize the leather industry and THE ROCK Shall be No longer. The WNBA ball and women's ball shall be slightly smaller in size. The Globetrotters can play with the ABA ball.
19. R. William Jones Shall be removed from the Hall of Fame.20. The colleges and FIBA will hereby adopt all NBA rules, with exceptions noted here.
These new rules should net at least $5 million at auction. Any bidders?