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A four-point line in the NBA? Larger court? League not talking about it, just fans.

Feb 25, 2014, 5:50 PM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Golden State Warriors Getty Images

We’ve all seen guys like Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Jamal Crawford launch three pointers from several feet beyond the arc and knock them down with enough regularity that defenses have to respect the shot.

What if those guys shooting from out there were rewarded with a four-point basket?

Henry Abbott (’s just promoted NBA editor best known as TrueHoop’s founder) and the guys at that site’s Hoop Ideas project have thrown the four-point idea out there — another line at the 28 foot mark from which beyond four points are awarded for a made shot.

They brought it up to Rod Thorn, the NBA’s President of Basketball Operations, and his answer was a bit of a surprise, as noted by the Tom Haberstroh at ESPN ($$).

Turns out, Thorn didn’t think the advent of a 4-pointer would be outlandish at all. Rather than reflexively squash the radical idea like you might expect from a 72-year-old NBA lifer who has worn just about every hat in the league, Thorn seemed genuinely intrigued at the notion and revealed that the 4-pointer has “come up” in league discussions.

“Oh man,” Thorn told Abbott, “Some of the players we have can shoot the ball 30 feet as easily as they can shoot 23, 24 feet.”

Another idea floated in that session was increasing the size of the court — that will be much, much harder to pull off because you are then cutting into the most expensive seats in he house and the owners will likely never sign off on that.

Those ideas are great talking points but we are nowhere near either of these ideas becoming a reality. The NBA emphasized that in a statement released by league spokesman Tim Frank.

“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.”

Is the four-point line really a good idea? Haberstroh (whose opinion I very much respect) lays out the case for it — first and foremost it is exciting, but also it would space out the floor giving more room for players to attack off the dribble and for post up players, and some guys would be good at it. He also notes coaches would hate it. It throws a new variable in their schemes, and coaches are not fans of variables they can’t control.

My thought? This is exactly why the D-League exists.

The NBA has run other rules experiments at the level to see how they impact the game, this can be another one. We have no idea how it would play out, what the unintended consequences would be, so test it out in the D-League lab.

If it works there, then all you have to do is convince the owners that more change is good. Which is to say we are a long, long way away from reality here. But trying things is rarely a bad idea.

  1. RavenzGunnerz - Feb 25, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    I would just prefer if they’d make the ball have a fire glow when somebody hits two three pointers in a row…

    • therealhtj - Feb 25, 2014 at 6:04 PM

      “HE’S ON FIRE!”

      • j0esixpack - Feb 25, 2014 at 11:50 PM

        I’m thinking just the opposite – and maybe it’s just Olympic Hype getting to me – but isn’t it obvious?

        Basketball…. on ICE!

  2. davidly - Feb 25, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    Sure, some guys’d be good at it. Some guys’d be bad at it and still put up several a game just because they got stars in their eyes.

    Guys with Curry’s range already open up the floor. No need to make it worth four.

    • spursareold - Feb 25, 2014 at 6:24 PM

      Guys still double off Curry, and then try to get back. If it were 4 points, they literally couldn’t leave guys like Curry or Belinelli, EVER.

    • therealhtj - Feb 25, 2014 at 6:35 PM

      Josh Smith would lead the league in attempts.

      • irvfin3 - Feb 25, 2014 at 9:14 PM


    • asimonetti88 - Feb 25, 2014 at 6:42 PM

      Can you imagine JR Smith’s coach if they had a 4 point line? They would have a heart attack the first game.

  3. timb12 - Feb 25, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    There hasn’t been a discussion to bring in the one and one? I know JVG likes the idea.

  4. timb12 - Feb 25, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    Antione Walker would make a comeback. He once said he shoots so many 3’s because there are no 4 pointers.

  5. antistratfordian - Feb 25, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    I propose that any banked in 3 point shot counts as 2.

  6. longtallsam - Feb 25, 2014 at 9:38 PM

    I propose the every time a player hangs on the rim, which generally occurs several times each game, the basket doesn’t count and an additional point be deducted.

  7. abchome - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:00 AM

    Jamal Crawford 5 points play.

    • 00maltliquor - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:06 AM

      Could you imagine how hot under the collar a coach would get if his player fouled his man from the 4 point shot!!?? Even worse if that guy MADE it! LMAO

  8. tomtravis76 - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:30 AM

    A wider court might not be bad for the league. Might open up the lanes a tad more.

  9. 1heatedtoombrayduh - Feb 26, 2014 at 7:21 AM

    Playing devil’s advocate, I wouldnt respect the record books anymore..someone beats kareem’s all time scoring not going to take it seriously..

    on the flip side, i guess it may be a LITLLE exciting…

  10. shanelsweet - Feb 26, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    Bring the little men back into the game by making the basket 12 feet high.

    • dedalus13 - Feb 26, 2014 at 5:10 PM

      that was actually “tested” when Mikan and the lakers frontline dominated the boards and the league (on top of my head cant remember how high was the basket). It resulted to even more dominance, so i m not sure thats a good idea to bring that one back….

  11. unxpexted1 - Feb 26, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    i do think those shots launched from half court should be worth four. Making a shot from that far, no matter how lucky it is should account for more than what a 24 footer is worth, especially since the percentage is so much lower.

  12. ajsjr40 - Feb 26, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    There is little excitement in watching long range shooting. The game should do away with the three point shot and bring some old-school low post, cutting and movement back into the game. The current NBA is aesthetically brutal to watch.

    • psung26 - Feb 26, 2014 at 10:54 AM

      I think the consensus is the current NBA is MORE aesthetically pleasing to watch than the low scoring, hard nosed defense focused bball of the 90s

  13. imakcds - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    The 3 pt shot has destroyed the game, too many lazy prima donnas firing up from anywhere, and the truly successful teams still rely greatly on power down low.
    Live and die by the outside shot, I don’t care how good a shooter you are. If I need a bucket, I’m pounding the ball inside.
    I love Steph Curry, he’s maybe the best shooter I’ve ever seen, (and I started watching in the early 60’s), and he’s an awfully effective weapon to have, but teams NEED to defend the basket, and attack the basket.
    You can’t do anything but shoot if you are 30 ft away from the basket. And most players nowadays, will just sit, watch and admire themselves after taking that shot, never mind following your shot to rebound, never mind getting back on defense, never mind the long rebounds that result from the long shot, the ones that start fast breaks.
    Never mind basic winning basketball, I LOOK GOOD.

  14. ddpenny - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    This is how North Korea and Dennis Rodman influenced the game of basketball.

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