In a recent interview with Today’s Fastbreak, New York Knicks President and NBA championship ring collector Phil Jackson shared his thoughts on how to make the NBA game even better.
Unsurprisingly, the zen master presented a few outside of the box ideas while complimenting himself and pointing out the fact that his championship teams in Chicago never featured a great center. That is true, but that doesn’t mean the 90s Bulls embraced a fast-paced game or spearheaded any small ball revolution. The Bulls just had limited to average traditional centers but still played a slower, more physical game that revolved around Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
Enough of my tangent though, here is an excerpt from the interview where Jackson suggests a radical change the NBA should implement:
“Why not have a four-point line about 35 feet out? It wouldn’t be long before players will get reasonably comfortable shooting from out there. And having a four-point line would certainly serve to enable teams to catch up in what are now blowout games.”
A four point line is an intriguing idea and would probably make Steph Curry the greatest offense weapon the game of basketball has ever seen. It would also lead to an alarming amount of poor shots, a circus like look to an NBA court and make the big man even less of an offensive weapon bringing down shooting percentages in general.
Jackson had one more suggestion which seems counter-intuitive to the high-scoring fast paced game the majority of the league is trending toward:
“In addition, Jackson supports adding six seconds to the shot clock: “This would give offenses more time to get low-post players involved, make defenses work harder, and encourage more passing and player movement.” […]
The zen master then buffered that statement by saying that he is not against the small-ball trend or anything as a matter of fact.
Classic Phil, you have got to love it.
In all seriousness, the four-point line would do more harm than good. This is especially true for youth basketball as kids growing up already don’t develop a mid-range game and shoot too many threes, watching nine-year-olds with arm sleeves and mismatching socks trying to shoot 35-foot shots around the country would be a nightmare. Also, the NBA would never under any circumstances increase the shot clock to potentially slow the game down and return to a less aesthetic era of basketball.