Stupid Idea or the Next Big Thing: 4-Point Line, Bigger Court in the NBA

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NBA: Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets
NBA: Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets Reuters

In a recent interview with Rod Thorn, the National Basketball Association (NBA) president of basketball operations, and Kiki Vandeweghe, the vice-president, ideas of a “four-point shot” and an expanded court could be considered down the horizon.

“Some of the players we have can shoot the ball from I assume it would be 30 feet? 28-30 feet. Somewhere in there. Some of the guys we have can shoot that as easily as a 23-24-foot shot,” said Thorn to TrueHoop TV. “I remember when we had Vince Carter in New Jersey. Well, he could shoot the ball from the seats and make half of ‘em.”

“It would be unbelievable. But you know coaches would go crazy because now you’ve got another line out there. That’s crazy.”

The NBA has used a 94-foot-by-50-foot court since the league began in the 1940s. Vandeweghe confirmed that the “growing size and ever-increasing athleticism of players” have prompted discussions of a bigger court.

"Making the court bigger -- it's an interesting idea and we've actually looked at it," Vandeweghe said. "We keep a list of ideas on what we should do and how we can make the game better, of course. But arenas are obviously built in a certain way and that would take a lot of adjusting to actually make the court bigger. But does it mean we shouldn't look at it? No, of course not. We're looking at all sorts of things."

Reactions were varied as basketball fans were divided on the issue. Some were for the exploration of the possibility of a four-point line while most were hesitant about the new idea suggesting that it will affect integrity of the game.

The three-pointer was first tested in 1945 in a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) game. It was used in the NBA in the 1979-80 season when it was viewed by many as just a "gimmick" to compete with the American Basketball Association (ABA), another successful basketball pro league then.

Basketball’ international governing body, FIBA, introduced the three-point line in 1984, at a distance of 20.5 feet.

Similarly, most view the 4-point suggestion as mere gimmick and that it will be bad for the league. Then again, it’s practically the same reaction when the three point shot was introduced to the NBA in the late 70s.

Could there indeed be a possibility that the league takes the suggestion seriously?

NBA spokesman Tim Frank denied on Tuesday that the league has even given it a thought.

"No one at the NBA, nor the competition committee, has had any serious conversations about increasing the size of the floor or adding a 4-point line. Rod Thorn and Kiki Vandeweghe were entertaining a line of questioning about out-of-the-box ideas and chose to make a story that doesn't exist.” Frank said in an official NBA statement.

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