A little piece of basketball history was made yesterday. The original
rulebook for basketball was sold at an auction for $4.3 million. This
is a record for any kind of sports memorabilia or history. The historic
document outlined the rules of basketball in 1891. It was written by
Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian. He drew up the sport’s first 13 rules
on two pages and signed them both. The buyers were David and Suzanne
Booth, two avid basketball fans from Kansas, USA. The document was sold
by Ian Naismith, 71, the grandson of Dr. James Naismith. He told
reporters: “After expenses, about $3.8 million will go into the
Naismith International Basketball Foundation.” He was clearly very
proud of what his grandfather achieved, saying: “We gave the game to
James Naismith originally wrote the rules to create a new winter sport
for boys at a school in Massachusetts, where he was a physical
education teacher. He had a two-week deadline to think of a new sport.
He was more than a little surprised at how quickly his sport took off.
He lived to see it introduced at the 1936 Olympics. His grandson
expressed how jaded he had become at the game’s commercialization. He
told reporters: “I’m tired of all the lying…The game is about
integrity, sportsmanship…The game now is being hurt by money. Nobody
ever has enough.” He frowned on current salaries in the sport,
particularly with “coaches making $5 million a year”. The previous
record for sports memorabilia was $3 million for the baseball hit by
Mark McGwire when he broke the single-season home run record in 1998.