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Dr. James Naismith invented basketball in 1891. The first official game of basketball was played that same year in Springfield, Massachusetts at a local YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association). The reason behind this invention was to give something for the young men to do in order to keep the physical education class in order. It quickly caught on because it could be played both indoors and outdoors, making it a desirable sport. More than 250 million people around the world play this famous sport today. The first professional basketball league was formed in the 1898 and players were paid a small sum of $2.50 for home games and $1.25 for road games. Juwan Howard, a star player on the Washington Bullets (which is now known as the Washington Wizards), had competing offers of more than $100 million dollars over seven seasons from the Bullets and the Miami Heat. A far cry from when basketball first started.