NBA / Aug 18, 2011 / 11:00 am

Hot Spots: NBA Rules That Could Change The Game

If you’re Leon Washington, Brad Smith, Devin Hester or any other NFL kick returner, you’ve probably been fuming for a while. Moving the kickoff line forward five yards to the 35-yard line will change the game. Drastically. And it’ll probably lose some of these return guys money. Will it work out? Well the thinking is it’ll protect the players. How much it changes one of the most exciting plays in the game is secondary in the league’s eyes.

Obviously, the NFL has greater concerns with player safety than the NBA does. Concussions, paralysis and daily impacts with the force of a rolling bus are rarely seen in the NBA (if at all). But what if basketball and David Stern starting changing smaller rules as the NFL did with their kickoffs? We’ve heard rumblings for the past five or 10 years that the league has contemplated incorporating more FIBA-style rules into the NBA. Could any of them work out or would they all be deemed massive failures?

Let’s run down a list of a few rules the league has talked about or could talk about in the future…with the ability to impact the game as the NFL’s new kickoff rules has:

Some buffoon is always bringing this up, saying athletes are getting too big and too strong, and that we need to move the rim to 11 or 12 feet to save us from these Monstars out here destroying the very fundamental purpose of the game. Look at Dwight Howard! He can dunk on 12 feet, they say. Except who wants to see the rim go up that high? We would completely lose the “little guy over big guy” dunks that are probably one of the most exciting plays in all of sports. Granted, this would be more than just changing the kickoff line. This is like shortening the football field to 50 yards.

The league already tried moving the line up from 1994-’97 and it came with mixed results. I don’t believe moving the line six inches one way or eight inches another way is going to make a big difference. It could, but probably not. For example, the new college three-point line was infused gradually, starting a few years ago. Did it really affect me whenever I played? Not really. Maybe I shot .05 percent less. For NBA players, I doubt it would mean much more than watching the edges of their sneakers. They’re pros. They can adjust by six inches.

But what if the NBA put in hot spots straight out of NBA Jam? Six points to hit from 30 feet here. 10 points if you bang this midcourt shot. Guys like Nick Young and Michael Beasley would be going for the eight pointers on the regular. Damn, why didn’t they have this when J-Will was around? He’d be shooting 50-footers every time down. On second thought, never mind.

Would it be a good thing to go back to making the goliaths virtually unstoppable on the block? We always complain about seven footers playing outside or that no one comes of age anymore as a traditional big man. Could this bring them back?

Granted, I hate this rule. It bothers me whenever I’m watching an international game, and someone takes a shot, the balls right on the rim, about to go in…and then someone tips it right out. I know if I was playing, that would have me flipping out. With the athletes they have in the NBA, dudes like JaVale McGee or DeAndre Jordan would instantly become more valuable.

We could get really crazy with rules too. We could weight free throws depending on how good a shooter is. We could limit the numbers of passes before someone has to shoot. We could do a whole lot. That’s all kind of just twisted fantasy that will never happen, but it’s funny to think about.

Rules are always changing. 50 years from now, who knows what the game will look like?

Which rule would you want changed/created?

Follow Sean on Twitter at @SEANesweeney.

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  • jzsmoove

    stupid article. pointless and led to nowhere.

  • Darius

    I know its not an on the court rule but I would like to see the dress code abolished

  • control

    Only rule they need to get rid of is charging. The game is complete bullshit when guys try to take charges instead of actually play defense.

  • Sean Sweeney

    @control Agree w/ you on that 100%. The charge is just a stupid rule. No way around it. I always say if you took that rule out, would the game be worse or better off? Better off without a doubt. Ironically, it actually causes more injuries than it prevents.

  • TL

    Haha Sweeney, always good for a J-Will reference. I hear in the new NBA 2k12 that you can play as as 2001 Kings team with him in it? That better be true. No one wants to play as boring ass 2002 Bibby.

  • bks_sizzle

    I´m from argentina. This year, FIBA changes the 3 point line and the key, and I don´t see several changes in the game. I love that NBA rule who allows a player ask for a timeout when he´s playing. Here, only the coach can call it. Just wanna show another vision. Great page!

  • Karlk14

    I completely disagree with bks_sizzle. I’m from Europe where they play the FIBA rule. I think a player being able to call a timeout on the floor is a terrible rule. Players should be rewarded for playing great defense. Instead, you have a rule where a defensive player can hound someone into picking up their dribble/fumbling the ball/ about to step out of bounds and all of a sudden they get bailed out with a timeout. It’s a bad rule. It discourages good basketball, and penalizes good “basketball skill” with poor “basketball rules”.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    Kinda agree w/ control and Sweeney. The offensive charge rule ain’t going nowhere… but they can tweak it. I think they should edit the language in the rulebook to say that the defender must be plant for 1 second in the referee’s mind for an offensive foul to be called. No more stepping in front of an offensive player as he’s taking his 2 steps for a layup. You gotta be fuckin planted… completely still for 1 FULL second.

    Another change they gotta make is to allow for true zone defences. Basically, removed the 3-second rule on defense. The NBA removed illegal defense to allow for zone’s…. well if that’s the case it’s time to let the men play zone. Let the big men sit in the fuckin key for 24 seconds if needed.