How to Improve the NBA

Yes congratulations to new NBA World Champions, The Los Ang.. [choke, gasp] The Los Angele [gu-huk!].. to Kobe Bry[bleearargggh!] I can’t do it. Stupid Lakers!

How is the NBA as a whole doing? Well, the NHL is catching up. Here are two things the NBA could do to that would improve the experience.

  • Enforce the time rules. Free throw shots are supposed to take 10 seconds. They take slightly less than one TiVo fast-forward of 30 seconds. With the amount of free throws thrown every game this adds up. Simply enforcing the rules to chop a few seconds off each free throw would go a long way. 20 second timeouts aren’t 20 seconds. They are well over a minute. Enforce the rule! And reduce the number of timeouts. Games should not end with a timeout after every possession. Even more than the free throws the timeouts kill the flow of the game. Especially in the first half.
  • Never start weekend games past 7:00. Especially for the playoffs!An NBA games take over 3 hours to play. You should never have to stay up late to watch the ending. If two teams in the same time zone play each other, the game should not start past 7:00 local time. This can be relaxed a little in the post-season, since more games are of national interest. 8:00 is allowable in that case. Maybe even 8:30 since West Coast viewers have to get to a set. But no later than that. And never on weekends! Why on earth would you schedule a weekend game at an hour that ensures most people won’t watch the end of it? It’s insane! I love the NBA, but I wasn’t going to stay up to nearly midnight to watch the free-throw and timeout contest that is the last 5 minutes of an NBA game. I went to bed. In the morning I’d watch the last few minutes and see who won.

When you’re losing my interest, you as a league have done something wrong. What are your ideas?

6 thoughts on “How to Improve the NBA”

  1. I actually didn’t even know about this 10 second rule on free throws. But 10 seconds from what point? From the time the player is given the ball by the ref? The problem with the start time, of course, is the time zone factor. Is your suggestion to start games no later than 7 eastern, 4 pacific (3 Alaska!)?

  2. It’s amazing how smart the NFL is compared to the other sports. The start times of games are key — it would be unthinkable to start the Super Bowl at 8:30 or 9pm so that most of America were asleep by halftime. Even other NFL playoff games are during the day or early evening. But the late start time is exactly what MLB and the NBA do for their finals. My son is a budding NBA fan — he’s 9, plays basketball every day in the driveway, and owns a Lebron jersey. But when it comes to playoff basketball, he either a) asks me to tape the 4th quarter so he can watch it on DVR the next morning, or b) watches Sportscenter to find out the result. Hardly cementing his love for the game…

    Here’s a rule for the NBA — stop with all of the music and crap going on during the game. It’s one thing to have some audio blasting to lead cheers or play music during timeouts or breaks in the action. But during the run of play? Did Walt Frazier have to set up his offense over incessant blasting of a drum beat and some deep synthesized voice yelling out “Defense”? Does the Final Four or the NFL need this crap? No. Let’s let the excitement of the game and the passion of the crowd determine the atmosphere, not a DJ.

  3. Teamwork. Old Celts, Lakers of 80’s had stars, yes, but we’re the penultimate collection of unselfish players that passed and actually run plays.

    for past 10-15 years, it’s clearout for Kobe/Lebron/Michael(fill in star player)…either shoot, or drive and shoot, or drive get doubled then pass back – it’s a clear out on every other play. BORING for most part.

    I love basketball, but I can barely watch a full game. It’s not about when the games start.

    Here’s my suggestion: Get rid of 5 teams (Clippers, Warriors, Grizz, Timberwolves, etc) – the expansion diluted the talent pool too much.

    The NFL product is the best.

  4. Sid: Yes, from the time the player is given the ball. For timezones, I am supposing that games played between teams within one timezone be played according to that timezone. And no weekend games later than 7pm EST.

    Freddy: You got it right. Baseball killed itself with World Series games that went past midnight. Just killed themselves.

    Lights and stuff: Red Aurebach always said there would be Celtics cheerleaders over his dead body. Well, he died and one year later the Celtics “Dance Team” came on board. Disgusting. I know when the team needs to play defense, you don’t need to tell me! It’s one thing for a loser team with no fans to be goading them on, but the Lakers or Celtics don’t need that stuff, they have the fan base who will make noise anyhow. I think I said it best here.

    Ole: Good point about expansion. I’m not sure what you can do about the clear out plays. How would you rewrite the rules to encourage more passing and such?

  5. Raise minimum age. Kids need some time to develop personally, physically, and professionally in college for a few years.

  6. How about this- a player can’t have the ball for more than 5 seconds above the free throw line?

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