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James Naismith's Rules Of Basketball Purchased By Booth Family, Coming Back To Kansas

David Booth, a Lawrence High and Kansas University graduate, purchased James Naismith's original 13 rules of basketball from a Sotheby's auction on Friday and indicated they would be brought back and displayed somehow in Lawrence, Kan. at the University. Via

"We’re very excited about it," David Booth said from his office in Austin, Texas. "I think they need to figure out an appropriate venue for them. I don’t know what that is. Maybe in a (new) museum. Maybe with the statue of Naismith looking back at Phog (Allen). I think it’s a little bigger than the Booth Family Hall of Athletics. This is serious stuff."

The final cost -- $4,338,500, a sports memorabilia record, according to the auction house. Booth says it was "getting close" if he could go any higher.

The 13 original rules of basketball were written by Naismith on Dec. 21, 1891 and they were signed by Naismith 40 years later. Booth says he worked with Naismith's grandson on some research for authenticity and explained his motivation for bringing the rules back to Lawrence.

Booth’s motivation for bringing the rules back to where the game’s founder is buried was that "they’re incredibly important and they should be at the University of Kansas. Naismith was there 40 years. He invented basketball and Phog Allen was one of the key figures in making it so popular. Nobody else was going to do it (buy the rules to bring them to KU)."

(Um, maybe that's because nobody else had $4.3 million to spend on it.)

Booth says he talked with Bill Self who, like he does with his recruits, fired Booth up.

"He looks forward to creating the right venue for them and we’ll work with them. He’s fabulous. He was a factor in us doing this, just his enthusiasm and the way he’s made me feel over the years. He’s amazing how he can make people feel great."

So the rules of basketball will be coming home. Considering the basketball we've seen out of Kansas over the years, that's very appropriate.