It's that time again! Time to turn another professional league on its ear as I do what I think is necessary to make it "better". Today I'm taking a run at the NBA. I preface this buy saying that I'm not into basketball enough to be so bold as to suggest subtle tweaks to the game itself. With that said, I do think I have some ideas to help the NBA out. So let's get to it!
My changes to the NBA:
- Move the season: In my new and improved NBA the season starts on New Years Day and the Finals end in mid-August. I'm convinced this would help the NBA for a number of reasons. A big one is that the NBA gets away from the NFL as much as possible. It also puts the league in more direct competition with the MLB, a battle I think the NBA can actually win. Especially with young people. Baseball is pretty boring, give people an alternative during the summer months. This also creates the opportunity for NBA day games, another way to bring in a younger audience (and maybe some moms too).
- Move the draft: With the season moving, the draft will obviously need to be moved as well. The NBA draft will now take place on the last Friday in September. This provides a decent break after the end of the playoffs but still leaves a buffer before the start of the NCAA season. More on this below...
- Draft eligibility rules changed: Any player that will be 21 years old on the day of the draft is eligible to be drafted. I don't want kids in my NBA. Granted a 21 year old isn't much of an upgrade from a 19 year old, but I'll take what I can get here.
- Options for drafted players: A drafted player can still opt to return to their college team if they do not sign a contract. The team that drafted them will still retain their rights for two years. Also, players who choose to return to school will be able to sign and join their NBA team one week after the completion of the NCAA tournament. This will generate some great mid-season buzz as college stars are able to jump right to the NBA after their season ends. Imagine if Carmelo Anthony had been able to join the Nuggets one week after leading Syracuse to the NCAA title (I know he would not have been eligible under my age rules, it's just a hypothetical.)
- All free throws are 1-and-1: I know this will lead to a drop in scoring, but free throws should really be that free should they? Besides, if a professional basketball player can't make a shot called a free throw on one try, why do they deserve another? This rule is not in effect for the final minute of each half.
- Start West Coast playoff games earlier: The NBA games on the West Coast simply start way too late. There's no reason why people with playoff tickets can't get to a 6 o'clock Pacific time start. Plus you could even have day playoff games thanks to the fact that the playoffs would be starting in late June. Bottom line, playoff games should not be starting after most of the East Coast is already asleep. It's just common sense right?