Blueprint For a Better NBA
While we're waiting for the NBA Finals to continue, I'd like to make a few suggestions that would make the game more entertaining, and would awaken all the dormant ABA fans who aren't into "tame" basketball.
Here are my seven suggestions.
7. Bring back the draft lottery drama.
I did a whole piece on this last year, so I won't re-write it, but the main point would be to somehow reveal the lottery winner live, in front of the TV audience.
6. Special balls.
This one is just a little bit of fun. Let's get rid of the orange balls and have each team use a ball in team colors. Purple and gold for the Lakers, blue, silver and black for the Magic, and of course, orange and blue for my Knicks.
5. The endless buzzer shot.
Simple, yet exciting. If a player misses a shot at the buzzer, his teammates have a chance to tip it in. The ball is live until it hits the floor, or until a player is touching the ball and the floor at the same time. Or until there's an offensive foul.
4. The four-point shot.
This could cut down on some of the late-game fouling. If you're down four in the last minute, just sink one from the backcourt. Makes would be rare, but then the defense would have more space to cover, and the offense would have move chances for passes to an open shooter.
3. Three points for a dunk.
Let's be real: fans like to see dunks, even better if someone gets posterized. Increasing the value of a dunk will increase the number of slams.
2. New foul rules.
This one has to come if the 3-point dunk becomes a reality. Two free throws. If it's a missed shot, one plus the ball. If it's a made shot, the basket counts, plus two free throws.
Agent Steve Mountain shared with Parade an idea about assessing technical fouls on the sixth and seventh violations and fouling out a player on his eighth.
His reasoning is that such rules would keep stars in the game longer. That works for me.
My reasoning is that fouls slow the game down, and that's a recipe for boredom.
1. One-year contracts for everybody.
That's right. You know how certain players play their tails off in the last year of a contract, then secure a big new deal? Multiply that by 300. Every year.
I'd put in a hard cap, and wipe the slate clean each year. Maybe rookies could sign three- or five-year deals, but otherwise everyone's a free agent.
One by-product of this approach would be the end of maneuvering and salary dumping to try to sign a Great Hope free agent. No more accusations of tampering, at least until the offseason.
Any player could be traded for any other player, but the team the player started with would pay his salary.
If a team needs an injury replacement, then that player gets the minimum, prorated.
If David Stern follows these rules it'll be the league of our dreams, or at least the league of MY dreams.