Stephen Curry, Craig Sager

As the story goes, the first game of basketball was played on Dec. 21, 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts. James Naismith, a physical education instructor, invented the sport as an activity for his students at the Springfield YMCA. One thing led to another, and basketball became pretty popular.

Nowadays, we take a global game and multi-billion-dollar league for granted. But on basketball's 125-year anniversary, we at ThePostGame thank basketball with these 125 reasons we love the sport.

1. MJ's final shot with the Bulls

Michael Jordan

2. Stephen Curry's ridiculous 3-pointers

3. Craig Sager

Craig Sager

4. Dickie V

5. Wonderfully obnoxious student sections

6. One Shining Moment

7. Christmas Day games

8. LeBron's Block

9. Popovich's interviews 

10. The old NBA on NBC theme song

11. A perfectly executed pick and roll

12. Alley Oops

13. Old school "fieldhouses"

14. Spurs' role players

15. Charles Barkley being a dominant rebounder at 6'6"

16. Game 7s

17. Pick-up games with "Winners" ball

18. When a Walk-on gets his big moment

19. The Dream Team

20. Bird vs. Magic

21. Phil Jackson, The Zen Master

Phil Jackson

22. When Kobe passed the ball to Ron Artest

23. The Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki Pax Romana of power forwards

24. Throwback jerseys

25. NBA All-Star Weekend

26. Late night Inside the NBA


28. Rick Barry's free throw shooting

29. Relating NBA 2K to real life

30. Kevin Love carrying on the tradition of the Wes Unseld Outlet Pass

31. Bench reactions from the underdog during a tight March Madness game

32. Free-throw line dunks

33. Latrell Sprewell Spinners


34. A big man deciding he's going to shoot a 3-pointer because it looks fun

35. Really short players dunking

36. Boban

37. A perfect no-look pass

38. Threading the needle

39. Free throw routines

40. Kevin Harlan broadcasting ads

41. Russell Westbrook trying to break the rim

42. When players get on the Kiss Cam

43. Jason Williams' off-the-elbow passes

44. A shot block that gets stolen mid-air

45. An in-game off-the-backboard dunk

46. Kobe's stare

Kobe Bryant

47. Crying Michael Jordan memes

48. The Van Gundys

49. Mike Breen's "BANG!"

50. Gus Johnson getting excited

51. Bill Raftery's "ONIONS!"

52. Uncle Drew

53. J.R. Smith's bare chest

54. The texture of a new basketball

55. Spike Lee vs. Reggie Miller

56. Jack Nicholson at Staples Center

57. The old Big East

58. Hating Duke

59. The t-shirt launch

60. Legends of Pete Maravich

61. Bill Walton's love for everything

62. The Dream Shake

63. Geno Auriemma's dominance

64. Pat Summitt's legacy

65. Allen Iverson stepping over Tyronn Lue

66. The Fab Five

67. Space Jam

68. Rasheed Wallace technical fouls

69. Carmelo Anthony feeling old at the Olympics

70. And 1 gear

71. Air Jordans

72. NBA Twitter

73. Drake interacting with players

74. The Starters

75. Bill Russell's rings

76. Dwyane Wade's Euro step

77. NBA Draft Lottery magic

78. Lob City

79. Marv Albert's "YES!"

80. The floater

81. The sky hook

82. Phi Slama Jama

83. Buzzer Beaters

84. Shaq dominating

85. NBA Draft Suits

86. Posters

87. Full-court prayers

88. Players jumping over courtside seats

89. Distracting players at the free throw line

90. Backboard-shattering dunks

91. Allen Iverson crossovers

92. Pregame handshakes

93. Old school trash talk

94. When players ball in masks

95. JaVale McGee messing up

96. When players try to pad their stats to get triple-doubles

97. The shoes

98. When Klay Thompson gets hot

99. A rainbow three

100. WNBA Dunks

101. Chantel Osahor's jump shot

102. 24 hours of college basketball

103. 1965-66 Texas Western Championship Team

104. NBA fashion before the dress code


A photo posted by SLAM (@slamonline) on

105. 1990 Skybox basketball cards

106. The MJ fadeaway

107. Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game

108. When lay-up lines are for sick dunks

109. Unbelievable recruiting mixtape videos

110. When a ref actually calls a travel

111. Awesome pictures of basketball hoops

Definitely bought a basketball before we got here. #church

A photo posted by Pakayla Rae (@pakayla) on

112. Basketball art

113. Drake & Doris Burke

114. NBA players trying to rap

115. Stephen A. Smith's rant on Kwame Brown

116. Fantasy basketball

117. Selection Sunday

118. Cinderella Teams

119. Classic NBA commercials

120. The cornrows creativity

121. A long last name that can barely fit on the back of his jersey

122. The ABA

123. Harlem Globetrotters

124. H-O-R-S-E

125. Short shorts

A.C. Green

-- Follow Jeff Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband. Like Jeff Eisenband on Facebook.