September 29, 2013

What Happened To Exploding Backboards?

It used to be that exploding backboards were a common sight at NBA games. You would get a spectacular slam dunk or alley-oop, and the next thing you knew there was glass all over the place. It may not have made the bloopers reel, but it sure made the highlights. Of course, the game would go into hibernation until the board was replaced and the man ran out with the broom, but somehow the sheer spectacle made up for all the delay.

All of that ended in 1983, when the NBA decided to put an end to the carnage and let backboards live to a ripe old age. The breakaway rim – which bends when a player slams against it and then snaps back – is just one of the innovations that have changed the game of basketball. Let’s take a look at some others.

First on the list is the three-point line. When this first came in, many thought that it was a gimmick, but it actually had a long history. A three-point rule was first tried out at an Ohio high school back in 1933, and was tested again in an NCAA game in 1945. The American Basketball Association then adopted it in 1961, followed by the Eastern Professional Basketball League in 1963 and the American Basketball Association in 1967. However, it wasn’t until 1979 that the NBA started using the three-point line – but as soon as they did, it fundamentally changed the game. Seeing a player drain a long shot is truly spectacular.

Speaking of the NBA taking a long time to adopt innovations, they are still playing on hardwood courts. However, new high-performance basketball courts from companies such as VersaCourt have the potential to revolutionize the professional game, and are already in wide use outside of the NBA. These court surfaces give a better grip, and also reduce player fatigue because they are suspended and have more spring to them. It only has to be a matter of time before the NBA starts using these courts. To find out more, check out

To understand why these surfaces may be adopted in the long run in the NBA, you only have to look at another innovation that put a spring in players’ steps. If you remember all the way back to the 1970s, professional basketball players wore canvas sneakers with rubber soles – mostly Converse’s Chuck Taylor All-Stars. No one had even heard of Nike – which is not surprising, since they were called Blue Ribbon Sports until 1978. Then in 1982 Nike brought out their Air Force 1, which were the first kicks to have pump-up soles. By 1985, Nike had enlisted Michael Jordan to endorse its shoes, even though they weren’t legal in NBA games. Jordan wore the shoes every game, the NBA fined him $5000 every game, Nike paid the fines with a big wide smile every game – and the rest is history. The public went wild for the shoes, the NBA ended up relaxing the rules, and now you won’t see a pair of Chuck Taylors anywhere near an NBA court.

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World Sport Bloopers was created following the frustration of using video sites. Many offered videos that were filed under 'funny' or 'humor' but were not specific to sport. It required a lot of searching to find what we wanted. Even when you found the video, it was often edited poorly or inserted in a news segment so it had less impact.

World Sport Bloopers is inspired by UK shows like Fantasy Football (hosted by comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner), the eccentric Frenchman Remi Gaillard and US shows like Jackass. We aim to bring you the best bloopers, fails and WTF moments. We hope you enjoy the site!!