Monday, June 18, 2007

Please stop the 11 foot rim nonsense

They played an exhibition game on 11 foot rims in Seattle this past Saturday, apparently with the goal of "restoring" fundamentals to basketball. Every time I hear about this type of exhibition, I just want to scream.

To see why I think raising the rims is a silly idea, you just need to think about the goals that raising the rim will purportedly accomplish:
  • Was there more passing and spacing? Was teamwork at more of a premium and less of a focus on individual play?
Can anyone explain to me how raising the rim by a foot is meant to accomplish any of these goals? Raising the rims will accomplish two things: (1) decrease a shooter's effective range, and (2) eliminate most dunking.

Decreasing the shooter's range: Higher rims means that it takes more strength to reach the hoop on a jump shot, so people won't be able to shoot from as far away. If the goal is to increase passing and spacing, this result is the last possible thing you should be aiming for. Decreasing a shooter's range means that defenses can sag into the lane more, creating more congestion and fewer passing angles in the painted area. One of the main reasons behind moving the 3-point line back to its old length was to create more space in the lane; increasing the height of the rims effectively negates this change.

Eliminating dunks: Um...Exactly why is this considered such a good idea? Instead of dunks, people will be shooting a two foot lay-up. How does that change anything about how the game is played? In the short run, people will get a little discombobulated because the angles for scoring from in close will be different, but once they adjust their positioning the higher rims aren't going to change interior play much at all. And I certainly don't understand how replacing dunks with short lay-ups is supposed to place a higher premium on teamwork.

Until someone can come up with a good explanation for how raising the rims is supposed to accomplish its stated goals of increased passing, spacing, and teamwork, I have a bit of advice: Please, just stop with this nonsense already.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It seems to me the interest in increasing passing, spacing, and teamwork is a response to the U.S.’s recent failures in international play. The teams that beat our All-Star heavy squad did it with passing, spacing, and teamwork…similar to the way that the Spurs beat the Cavaliers.

The other countries have players that can dunk and they still manage to play team basketball. The key is the coaching. A few more years of Spurs and Suns excellence, with their use of multiple weapons and wide spacing, may be enough to push the US game in that direction.