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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. It is contested by two teams, each comprising five players, in a rectangular basketball court. 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 court.

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.

Several strategies are employed by a team toward the end of generating uncontested shots for players, who most often begin a given 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 allotted for the game 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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Chris Bosh.jpg

The Toronto Raptors are a professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They are part of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association. The team was established in 1995, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies, as part of the NBA's expansion into Canada. When the Grizzlies relocated to Memphis, Tennessee in 2001, the Raptors became the only Canadian team in the NBA. Like most expansion teams, the Raptors struggled in their early years; but after the acquisition of Vince Carter through a draft day trade in 1998, the team set league attendance records and made the NBA Playoffs in 2000, 2001, and 2002. After Carter left, Chris Bosh emerged as the team leader. With the appointment of Bryan Colangelo as General Manager and a revamp of the roster for the 2006–07 season, they qualified for their first playoff berth in five years and captured their first division title. In the following season, they advanced to the playoffs again. In a bid to persuade Bosh to stay beyond the final year of his contract, the team had a roster overhaul in the 2009–10 season. However, the attempt to make the playoffs was unsuccessful and Bosh signed with the Miami Heat in July 2010, ushering in a new era for the franchise.

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Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson (born 1959) is a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA Draft by the Lakers. He won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in his rookie season, and won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s. Johnson retired in 1991 after announcing that he had HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award. He retired again for four years, but returned in 1996 to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time. Johnson's career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Star games, and ten All-NBA nominations. He led the league in regular-season assists four times, and is the NBA's all-time leader in assists per game. Johnson was a member of the "Dream Team", the U.S. basketball team that won the Olympic gold medal in 1992. He was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996, and enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.



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