Asking price for 1891 draft of hoops rules: $10 million

Updated: December 21, 2005, 7:12 PM ET
Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The original rules of basketball are for sale -- for about $10 million.

The rules drafted by Dr. James Naismith, the man who invented the game in 1891, are being sold by his family.

Ian Naismith, the grandson of the man who came up with the idea for the game while working at a YMCA in Springfield, Mass., says the asking price is $10 million, or less under the right circumstances.

The family's Naismith International Basketball Foundation owns the papers, but Ian Naismith has the contractual right to sell the list of rules, with proceeds going to the foundation.

The foundation had an original mission of spreading the word about sportsmanship, later expanded to include humanitarian efforts to help children.

Naismith hopes a corporation comes forward with a deal, which would include sponsorship of a two-year nationwide tour to display the rules in a 40-foot motor coach. Ultimately, Naismith hopes the rules will be put on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

"It's not an easy decision, but it's time," Naismith told The Kansas City Star. "They've been pretty much unseen for 110 years. There's no reason for them to be in a vault or anything like that for another 110 years."


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press