Any game is constantly changing and evolving. There is perhaps nothing in this world that stays the same. However, certain fundamental aspects have to remain. Basketball has not been immune to changes. The addition of the three-point line, the 3-second rule, and the decision to stop hand-checking, are all changes that have occurred over time and have served to take the game to where it is today.
However, people and fans are often resistant to change as well. It does take time to get used to new rules, after all. And there is a human tendency to believe that something new is unnecessary or even harming the game. For every change that has been implemented in the league, there have been ideas that have been dismissed for various reasons.
The game’s greatest minds are always looking for ways to improve it, though, and Phil Jackson certainly belongs in that category. Jackson is widely considered the greatest coach in the history of the league, having won 11 championships in that role. And in 2016, he suggested some ideas that would make a difference in how teams play the game of basketball on offense in drastic ways.
Phil Jackson had some brilliant ideas during his time, it’s what made him so successful. The man got Michael Jordan to take fewer shots and was instrumental in making the Chicago Bulls achieve team success. So with a history of good ideas, it’s interesting that a few years ago, he lobbied for some league-wide rule changes (via Basketball Network):
“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.”
In addition to a 4-point line, Jackson also suggested increasing the shot-clock by 6 seconds more than the current 24, and he had a well-thought-out reason for it.
“This would give offenses more time to get low-post players involved, make defenses work harder, and encourage more passing and player movement.”
These rule changes likely sound weird to fans, it’s hard to see exactly how the game would function if this were done. But considering the revolution by the likes of Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard in terms of shooting from deep, it’s evident that the game has been headed in that direction. A longer shot-clock might also be good for team offense, as Jackson suggested, but it doesn’t seem like the league is in any hurry to make such big changes to the game.
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