Thursday, May 30, 2013

Reforming Sports (Part 4 of Many)

In the course of writing about the WNBA, I remembered that I have not recently updated my plans for fixing all the problems in the world of sport when (soon) the revolution takes place, and I rule on behalf of The People as your Commissar of Sport.

I’ve dealt thus far with baseball, with soccer and hockey, and made a brief digression into golf and tennis.

And now I’ll get busy with fixing basketball. One of basketball’s problems is that it is probably the worst, next to soccer, about flopping. We will fix the flopping problem pretty much as we did with soccer:
Flopping will draw a yellow card, with egregious examples drawing a straight red. If that doesn’t work, we’ll have a portable stake on the sidelines, which will be rolled out to the mid-field line, a bonfire built, and the flopper burned at the stake, It shouldn’t take more than a few such examples for the practice to cease.
Basketball doesn’t have yellow and red cards, so we’ll just call a combo personal foul and technical foul for flopping, with expulsion from the game (i.e., a red card) for the worst cases. As with soccer, we’ll try to avoid having to execute floppers at center court, but if it becomes necessary, we will do so.

But flopping isn’t basketball’s biggest problem. The big problem is that, in any sport, the ending of the game ought to be the most exciting part, but in basketball the endings consist of nothing but one timeout after another. The only ‘action’ interrupting the timeouts is the team that’s behind fouling the other team, and then we get to watch both teams walk down the court to take some free throws. When free throws are the most exciting thing going on, you have a sport with serious problems.

But don’t worry, my beloved People, your commissar has the solutions.

Regarding timeouts, we’ll simply forbid the calling of a timeout unless at least one minute has run off the clock since the last timeout. Requiring players to actually play for one minute does not seem unreasonable, does it? The stalwart Worker, on whose behalf we rule, doesn’t have a workday consisting of one coffee break after another, does he? No! And when he pays his money to watch a basketball game, he has the right to see the players play the game instead of standing around.

We’ll fix the foul/free-throw problem by bringing back the ‘three to make two’ rule*. This was abolished in the eighties, but will be reinstated in the last three minutes of the game in order to lessen the incentive to foul. We may also award possession to the team that is fouled.

We considered requiring uniforms that are less baggy, but we’ll let that go for now.

* The player gets three tries to sink two shots (i.e., if you miss one, you get a do-over).

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