If they decertify, and we have a brand new league, two4larue said we should just throw out the record books, because it won't be the NBA... which got me thinking…
OK, what could we do to make the NBA more entertaining?
Immediately, the following came to mind: Change the court, stop shooting foul shots, expand (by 2 teams), realign leagues to the NFL (8 divisions of 4 teams each, with byes and a wildcard weekend), copy things that work (NFL style plus "Final Four" tourneys every weekend...)
Read on for the visionary thoughts of a radical reconstructionist rabble rouser...
1) Hoops to 11'... Make a dunk more special again... OK, maybe 11'5"...
2) Courts 10' wider, to have more open play, more space underneath... encourage cutting and passing.
3) 3' circle where it is, 4 point circle Wa-y--y out there, arcing to center court from the (new, 5' wider baselines...)
4) Create two special bonus circles on the floor past half court where you can go for the exciting 5 point shot...
5) You get 7 fouls a game. We want to see the players play. (The Greg Oden rule)
6) But, to speed up the game, no foul shots are taken as fouls are incurred. (Please...)
Many other possibilties exist than a momentum killing 2 minutes at the foul line... .For example, instead, you count up the difference in team fouls at the end of each quarter. (Let's say Blazers with 3 fouls, Phoenix with 5.), and the team with more fouls picks one opponent from the other team (on the court at the end of the quarter) to shoot that many foul shots. (Phoenix picks Greg, and he nails two.)
6) Play a lot fewer games per season. Start right after football ends, and end in June... 5 months. There should be two games on national TV, every single night, that everybody can see...
7) Create more divisions, like football, and have fewer playoff partcipants, races that mean something, but a couple of wild card slots for hot teams. If you create 8 divisions, create that bye week for the top two finshers, and have two wildcards play the other two division winners... why not steal from the best..
8) Expand. Add two franchises. More players under contract makes the players union happy. And, it makes for easy…
9) Re-alignment: To take this to a concrete idea, we have 30 teams now., let's add 2 more: Seattle, (obviously) and somebody in the middle/mountain part of the country, Expansion two... That gives us 32 teams, 8 divisions with 4 teams each.
10) Follow the NFL model, with 4 divisional champs, 2 getting byes, 2 wildcards each conference.
PNW: Portland, Utah, Denver, Expansion (Seattle)
CALI: Golden State, LA Clips, LAL, and Sacramento
NoTex: San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans
ROW (Rest of West)/Phoenix, Minnesota, OKC, Expansion
NE: Boston, New York, New Jersey, Washington
Steel: Detroit, Milwaukee, Indiana, Chicago
South: Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, Memphis
ROE: Charlotte, Cleveland, Philly, Toronto
With a 32 team league, you have much simpler scheduling. Every (9 game) "week" you pit one conference against another. 4 game homestands one time, followed by 4 game road trips: so each trip is 9 days.
So 7 (other divisions) *9 (days) = 63 days to play (7*4 =) 28 games..,
For the divisional opponents, how about something even more radical: copy (and beat) the March Madness... Every other weekend, the divisional opponents go to one city... It’s a Final Four, every other weekend! You play one game against one divisional opponent, and if you win, you play the other winner, otherwise, you play the other loser. (Later in the year, you change first round opponents, to balance the schedule.)
For these special tournaments, you get points. 8 if you win, 4 if you are second, 2 if you are 3rd and 1 if you lost both games. These points determine the division winner. Each team hosts two weekends, so you get 4*2=8 weekends, = 2g vs. division rivals= 16 more games.
So, the schedule is: “Final Four” in the divisions (Thurs/Sat, or Fri/Sun), 9 day other division trip (Mon-Tues)… “Final Four”, 9 day other division… Every two weeks, one 4 game 'tourney' against another division, one 'final four' with your divisional opponents.
Each month, 4 games in the div, 8 against others… Now we have played 44 games, and have played everybody once, and our 3 division rivals a total of 16 times… Takes 3/1.2 months. Feb/Mar/Apr/into Mid May.
Then, we have our 8 division winners. The top four overall records get (10 day long) byes. The other 4 division winners in each conference play the 4 wildcard teams (2 each conference). Just like football.
The four wildcards and divisional winners each have a 5 game series in 10 days. (end May) (travel/game/idle/game/travel/game/idle/game/travel/game)
Day 11 is an off day, but Day 12 is the four teams with byes hosting those 4 wildcard winners…. 10 days later, those four 5 game series are over. (early June)
Now you’re down to four teams. Hold one more 10 day battle to determine the conference champ. (mide June). Then, have a 5 game series between the two best to determine the champ.
So, starting in January, ending in late June, we play a 44 game regular season, playing every team once, and our location rivals 5 or so times... A full 12 team playoff (mercifully down from 16). Each team can create a buzz by hosting a "Divisional Final Four" once every two months, and those games can get yo in the tourney, even if you struggle outside it, with that point system... Games are always on TV... You play during the dead time after football, and before baseball matters...
I know, this is long... but I hoped to demonstrate that a brand new NBA may not be a bad thing,,,
Please feel free to add your crazy ideas for the new and improved NBA!