It seems like every time you turn on a game, players are shooting further and further back. In this year’s NBA All-Star game, there was a stretch where players were exchanging baskets in the form of, basically, half court shots. The scary part is they were making them at a respectable percentage! With all of these long-range performances, there have been questions about the NBA adopting the 4 Point shot.
I personally do not believe so.
Even as a former player who definitely had games where I made more 3s than 2s, I do not think we need to add a 4 Point shot to the game.
Old School Range
Adding a 4 Point shot is different than adding or taking away a rule in the game. Examples of this in both NBA and NCAA history include taking away hand checking or adding defensive 3 seconds. Even the creation of the restricted area under the basket (sometimes referred to as the charge circle). There was a time period where dunking wasn’t allowed. Now we are seeing people argue if offensive players should be able to jump into a defender to create contact on jump shots.
True historians of the game will bring to light that there once was a time where there was no 3 point line and might say its time for a 4 point shot. While it is true that for some years every basket was worth two points many of the top scorers from that “no 3 point line” era were still hoisting shots within their respective offense from what would later be 3 point range.
Adding a 4 point shot from near the half court line would lead to players putting up shots from that range and taking the strategy, beauty and detail out of the game.
The aforementioned rule changes have definitely changed strategy, offensive and defensive tactics and the small nuanced details. But they haven’t changed the game completely all together. Adding a 4 Point shot would completely change the way the game is played. We are already watching a modern-day NBA where if you took away the height of the players it flows like a men’s league game at the YMCA; a lot of jump shots. People argue that AAU is ruining the art of the game and kids aren’t learning how to play. You could make the counter argument that they don’t need to know how to if they make it to the NBA. Just be able to shoot 3s and somewhat guard your position.
Raise the Rim
Furthermore, imagine late game situations. Typically, if a team is down more than 4 points, it is a two-possession ball game. In a league with this new rule change, teams can hoist up a 4 Point shot hoping it can go in. There have been similar arguments in the past regarding the height of the basket. Some people think that players are now more athletic than ever and are only going to continue to get more athletic. Debates have been started whether the basket should be raised from 10 feet to 10’6 or even 11 feet.
Once again, I don’t think this is a good idea.
If we want a 4 Point shot with a 11-foot hoop let’s start a new league. We have seen similar ideas successful in other leagues such as the BIG 3, but let’s not change something all-together because Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard and Trae Young can shoot from the parking lot. Are they changing the game, Yes, but let’s not change the foundational rules of the game because of it.
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Andrew has been around the game of basketball his entire life as a player, coach, consultant and trainer. He was a two sport athlete in Basketball and Track & Field at Emmanuel College and spent 3 years in China working for the NBA and playing in various leagues throughout the country. He currently lives in Oakland, CA where he runs his own training company, Andrew Heath Basketball.