Just a little bit ago, I heard about Rajon Rondo skipping a game to attend his 28th birthday party. I honestly thought that’d be the most ridiculous thing I’d hear all day. Not five minutes later, I got a text alert from my ESPN SportsCenter app on my phone: “Rod Thorn, Kiki Vandeweghe tell ESPN.com NBA has weighed expanding court dimensions, adding four-point shot.”
For those of you who are unaware, Thorn and Vandeweghe are the NBA’s President and VP of Basketball Operations, respectively.
So yeah, I’m as shocked as you are. Why a four-point line? I’m just confused, befuddled, discombobulated, bedevilled, perplexed — OK, I’ll stop.
But seriously, this is just plain moronic. Are we really going to see a 30-foot line out there for guys to jack up left and right? It won’t even be basketball anymore. Having to guard players all the way out to half-court on every possession, setting screens near the opponent’s three-point line as they bring the ball up the floor. Defenses will have to play a constant full-court press just not to give up the wide-open 32-footer.
And what are the odds that a decent number of players can actually hit shots like this on any consistent basis? “Oh, I’m a four-point specialist. I shoot 13 percent from distance.” Yeah, glad we’re considering implementing this. Can you imagine what this would mean for players such as J.R. Smith or Brandon Jennings? Do we really want their shooting percentages to be even lower because of what they think is a good shot attempt?
But why stop there? Half-court could be the five-point line. Hitting a shot behind the opponents’ four-point line can be worth seven. And if you’re feeling really gutsy, 10 points from the opponent’s baseline. If they have to expand the court dimensions to make it work, so what? Let’s just play 7-on-7 instead. Let’s play with a football too — I really loved foosketball in gym class, and the NFL is America’s favorite sport anyway. I bet Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers would be awesome at it and love to play during the offseason. Maybe Brett Favre will come back since it’s non-contact…
Do I seem crazy yet?
Anyway, my point is that this plan is ridiculous, and really just plain stupid. Adding a shot worth more than three in an area where shots are rarely converted is essentially pointless. The last-second garbage heave from half-court that no one defends at the end of the first quarter shouldn’t be worth extra points. Making players focus on shooting from 30-feet out during practice is a waste and we could potentially start to lose important things like a low-post game.
Now I hate a person who uses the “slippery slope” phrase and I don’t really want to be him, but someone has to be. A four-point shot is a trashy shot to add to the game, and basketball not only doesn’t need it, but shouldn’t want it as well. After all, we don’t want to be thinking even more progressively in 20 years once we’re used to a four-point bucket and have someone bring up that five-point shot — or worse, 10-pointer.
For now, thank God it’s only “come up” in league discussions. Hopefully it won’t get any further than that.