The Four-Point Line and 10 Other Changes to NBA Game That Will Never Happen

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The Four-Point Line and 10 Other NBA Ideas That Won't Happen

The Four-Point Line and 10 Other NBA Ideas That Won't Happen
Casey Sapio - USA Today Sports Images

One of the jovial, trendy discussions around the NBA right now is the addition of a four-point line. Tom Haberstroh brought it up in a recent ESPN article, even citing how league’s president of basketball operations Rod Thorn was asked about the idea. Haberstroh noted that Thorn didn’t shoot down the idea, though Thorn did add that it “would be unbelievable” but would drive coaches “crazy.”

The basis of the argument for a four-point line is based on the fact that the three-point shot has become such a prevalent weapon utilized by so many teams and the fact that there are so many dead-eye shooters with seemingly unlimited range, a la Stephen Curry, that should be rewarded for the 30-footers that they can knock down with relative ease.

In his piece Haberstroh, discusses the fact that the three-point shot once also drove coaches crazy and was largely considered a gimmick. Now, we see how the three-point shot has revolutionized the game and essentially how it’s what has spurred on this talk about the four-point shot. That’s a valid point, but the four-point shot just doesn’t seem likely.

The addition of a four-point shot would be fun, don’t get me wrong. Guys pulling up a few steps across mid-court would be fun to watch. However, I just don’t see it happening. The addition of a four-point shot feels like something that you’d see in Harlem Globetrotters game rather than an NBA game. While the Globetrotters are entertaining, a gimmick like that would take away from the seriousness, for lack of a better word, that separates the NBA from games like that.

Perhaps one day it will happen, but I’m of the belief that it won’t. If we’re going to be discussing a four-point line, though, why stop there? Why not discuss some other seemingly crazy and fun changes to the NBA game? I see no reason why not. Here are 10 other changes that will likely never happen in the NBA, but it might be fun if they did.

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Running Substitutions

Running Substitutions
Brad Penner - USA Today Sports Images

One of the biggest complaints that we’ve heard recently about the league is how stoppages in play slow the game down and make it sometimes difficult to watch. Why not speed things up by having hockey-style substitutions where players can sub in freely without having to wait for a foul or violation? Okay, I see why you wouldn’t want that, but it would add an interesting wrinkle to the action and would keep the action at a faster pace. It, at the very least, would be interesting to see how players and coaches would handle such a change.

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All-Star Weekend H-O-R-S-E Contest

All-Star Weekend H-O-R-S-E Contest
Bob Donnan - USA Today Sports Images

Wouldn’t it be great if the greatest basketball players in the world were putting up the most ridiculous shot attempts in a boyhood game of H-O-R-S-E with a trophy on the line? You’re right; it would be amazing. I’m actually not sure why this isn’t a thing right now while the Shooting Stars and Skills Challenge events exist, but it should. This is probably the most likely to happen change on this list, but I’m still not sure if it’s going to happen.

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Not Fining Players for the “Sam Cassell Celebration”

Not Fining Players for the “Sam Cassell Celebration”
Ned Dishman - Getty Images

In case you weren’t aware, the “Sam Cassell Celebration” is when a player hits a big, timely shot and runs back down the floor showing that he has big “kahunas” with his hand gestures. The league has recently cracked down on it, fining players for celebrating in that manner and ruining all of the fun. The “Sam Cassell Celebration” is everything that is pure and good in basketball. Give it back to us.

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The Joey Crawford Cam

The Joey Crawford Cam
Kirby Lee - USA Today Sports Images

Referee Joey Crawford is known for making questionable calls and pretty much trying to make every game that he’s officiating star him. Why not give the man what he wants? Let’s give him the “Joey Crawford Cam” that follows him throughout every game that he’s a part of. If nothing else, hopefully it would bring a multitude of moments like this one.

Dance, Joey. Dance.

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NBA One-on-One Tournament

NBA One-on-One Tournament
Richard Mackson - USA Today Sports Images

I don’t know when there’s the time to pull it off, but it certainly seems like every NBA fan would want to see who the best one-on-one player in the NBA is. It’d be a ton of fun to see how shifty guards would far against powerful big men and how enigmatic players like the Lance Stephensons of the league would fare despite being role players. Have it at All-Star Weekend, have it over the course of the season, have it in the summer, but just have a one-on-one tournament, NBA.

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Mascots Game

Mascots Game
Joe Camporeale - USA Today Sports Images

My original thought was to have mascots play in live NBA action, but that’s just ludicrous. Instead, let’s just have a game at All-Star Weekend or some other juncture in the season that involves the mascots throughout the league. We know these various team representatives can dunk off of trampolines and things of that sort, but can any of them actually throw down on the hardwood? I want to find out, even if I’m alone in my plight.

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No Out of Bounds

No Out of Bounds
Joe Camporeale - USA Today Sports Images

Once again coming back to the public’s disdain for stoppages in play during NBA games, what if the league eliminated that by having no out of bounds lines? I have no idea how you’d pull this off while not putting up a hockey-style barrier, which would essentially devalue courtside-seating. This is pretty much as impossible as it gets when it comes to changes to the Association, but the free-flowing action that would ensue would certainly be entertaining.

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“NBA Jam” Style On-Fire Indicator

“NBA Jam” Style On-Fire Indicator
Craig Mitchelldyer - USA Today Sports Images

This is an idea J.E. Skeets of NBA TV’s The Starters has been pitching forever and I’m fully on-board. In the classic “NBA Jam” video game, whenever a guy hits several shots consecutively, the ball catches fire whenever he touches it and he basically can’t miss. Skeets talked about somehow having a player’s shoes light up whenever he’s on-fire, whatever you consider that to be. That seems like a good enough solution. Anything of the sort will work, though, as long as it happens. (It won’t.)

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In-Game Commercials/Promos

In-Game Commercials/Promos
Stephen R. Sylvanie - USA Today Sports Images

I know there are already commercials that come on during the game; that’s not what I mean. Tell me you wouldn’t get a hearty laugh out of Blake Griffin dunking on someone viciously, turning to the camera and saying something like, “He should have had All-State Insurance to be better protected from Mayhem, like me.” Now you’re getting more revenue for advertising and we’re getting hilarious promos. Win-win.

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Player Gimmick Games

Player Gimmick Games
Nathaniel S. Butler - Getty Images

In older video games for systems like the original Playstation, you could find cheat codes that were virtually useless, but amusing nonetheless. You could make all of the players have big heads or be seven feet tall and everyone would have a good time. While you can’t genetically alter NBA players, why not have a game where every player has to wear Horace Grant style goggles? Why not have a game where every player is tied to a teammate at the ankle like in a three-legged race? The possibilities are pointless and endless.

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