We’ve all seen guys like Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Jamal Crawford launch three pointers from several feet beyond the arc and knock them down with enough regularity that defenses have to respect the shot.
What if those guys shooting from out there were rewarded with a four-point basket?
Henry Abbott (ESPN.com’s just promoted NBA editor best known as TrueHoop’s founder) and the guys at that site’s Hoop Ideas project have thrown the four-point idea out there — another line at the 28 foot mark from which beyond four points are awarded for a made shot.
Turns out, Thorn didn’t think the advent of a 4-pointer would be outlandish at all. Rather than reflexively squash the radical idea like you might expect from a 72-year-old NBA lifer who has worn just about every hat in the league, Thorn seemed genuinely intrigued at the notion and revealed that the 4-pointer has “come up” in league discussions.
“Oh man,” Thorn told Abbott, “Some of the players we have can shoot the ball 30 feet as easily as they can shoot 23, 24 feet.”
Another idea floated in that session was increasing the size of the court — that will be much, much harder to pull off because you are then cutting into the most expensive seats in he house and the owners will likely never sign off on that.
Those ideas are great talking points but we are nowhere near either of these ideas becoming a reality. The NBA emphasized that in a statement released by league spokesman Tim Frank.
“No one at the NBA,nor the competition committee, has had any serious conversations about increasing the size of the floor or adding a 4-point line. Rod Thorn and Kiki VanDeWeghe were entertaining a line of questioning about out of the box ideas and ESPN.com chose to make a story that doesn’t exist.”
Is the four-point line really a good idea? Haberstroh (whose opinion I very much respect) lays out the case for it — first and foremost it is exciting, but also it would space out the floor giving more room for players to attack off the dribble and for post up players, and some guys would be good at it. He also notes coaches would hate it. It throws a new variable in their schemes, and coaches are not fans of variables they can’t control.
My thought? This is exactly why the D-League exists.
The NBA has run other rules experiments at the level to see how they impact the game, this can be another one. We have no idea how it would play out, what the unintended consequences would be, so test it out in the D-League lab.
If it works there, then all you have to do is convince the owners that more change is good. Which is to say we are a long, long way away from reality here. But trying things is rarely a bad idea.