Now that the Imperial City of DC is in the process of remaking America into the fairest, progressive country on Earth, sports must be carefully reworked to fit the new regime. Bread and circuses can be important in maintaining a happy populace. Bread already is taken care of with dozens of distribution programs and more on the way. Basketball is an obvious circus candidate.
First, some suggestions are offered about how to make basketball more interesting to hold the attention of the masses. Presently, basketball is a bit boring. Everybody can dunk and at the higher levels most can run the court in a few steps. Dunk from the top of the key in the NBA on a dinky ten-foot high school goal? Big deal! So let’s consider reviving the sport and, then, weigh that against making it fairer for players who have been discriminated against.
College players and almost all NBA players can touch the ten-foot rim with almost no effort. Not much of a challenge. Junior high players can dunk. So let’s raise the goal to eleven feet at the high school level and twelve feet at the college and NBA level. Wilt Chamberlain could dunk on a twelve-foot goal, but not many others could then or now. By raising the goal, you would highlight the premier dunkers. Even the best would reconsider dunking so much given the fall from twelve feet. Secondly, the ball is too small and light for today’s super, athletic players. It needs to be larger and heavier at each level to account for the enormous increase in the strength, size, speed and jumping ability of current players. Make these changes and strategy and player types would become much more interesting. We could forget about the three second rule. The three-point shot would be more difficult or could simply be eliminated.
Presently, basketball fundaments are seldom emphasized. Former coach Ernie Woods says, “All we do is play games.” Famous coaches and prominent players have suggested that raising the rim would improve the game substantially. Several experimental games have been played with eleven foot goals. The result was that fundamentals were much more important as the rush to dunk was pushed back. Strategy changed and the variety of shots increased. (see - Drew Davison, Raise the rim: Would boosting the basket increase fundamentals? Fort Worth Star Telegram, March, 23, 2015). Quite likely if the rim were raised enough, the shorter player with excellent basketball fundamentals would make a comeback. As more and more experience was gained with higher goals over time, plays would likely be refined and a whole new game with much more in the way of nuances, specialization and possibilities for a more complex game would emerge.
On the other hand, the Imperial City of DC cannot solely focus on making basketball majestic again without considering the imminent question of addressing basketball’s glaring bias. Applying the same standard of fairness used in other work places, it is clear that basketball discriminates against those who cannot jump. How can we remedy this obvious prejudice? Quite easily! Every team could be required to have diverse heights and jumpers. Even better would be to put weights on the best jumpers; similar to handicapping in horse racing. At some level of handicapping, women and men could be on the same team. Even the blind (sight challenged) could play if we instituted a rule that required foul shots to be their domain. You laugh, but foul shooting is just a matter of touch, practice and sound (swish). Sight-challenged shooters would do just fine; probably better than some sighted NBA players.
Would these revisions be worth it? But that question misses the point. Fans could be trained to like this new type of game. What are re-education camps for anyway?
Christopher Garbacz, a Northisider, was professor of economics for 25 years. He played pick-up basketball and still is almost unbeatable at HORSE with his behind-the-back shot; but he cannot dunk.