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A synonym for 'basketball player' is 'cager'. What is the origin of that meaning?

Question #148173. Asked by ozzz2002.
Last updated Dec 01 2020.
Originally posted Dec 01 2020 4:01 PM.

Walneto star
Answer has 5 votes
Currently Best Answer
Walneto star
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Answer has 5 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
Because games came to be played in cages to prevent, among other reasons, the fans from throwing things at the players.
?In its early days, basketball was not a sport for the faint of heart. Fights were commonplace, fans lobbed produce onto the court, and sometimes, much like in baseball, kept the Spalding as a souvenir when it bounded into the crowd. In those days, when the rules still stated that the player who got to an out-of-bounds ball first would retain possession, the ensuing result was lots of diving into the spectators and other slowdowns in play.

Hence, a solution was necessary. Enter: a cage.

The first instance of a caged basketball game occurred in Trenton, N.J. in 1896, In the following decades, cages would become ubiquitous, and the term "cagers" synonymous with basketball players. The rough-and-tumble era of cagers, in which professionals often returned home to their wives and girlfriends with serious rope burns, endeared basketball in the hearts and minds of many Americans.


Dec 01 2020, 8:34 PM
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