AL HAMNIK: NBA discussion of a 4-point shot a real stretch

2014-03-03T18:30:00Z 2014-09-09T19:38:03Z AL HAMNIK: NBA discussion of a 4-point shot a real stretchAl Hamnik Times Columnist
March 03, 2014 6:30 pm  • 

Golden State's Stephen Curry told me his range is 30 feet, even if the defender is so close, you feel his sweat.

I know what you're thinking. The NBA is all dunks and bombs. It's playground ball with a salary cap.

It's enough to make Bob Knight throw a chair.

Now comes talk that a 4-point shot has "come up" in league discussions. Nothing is certain, no committees have been formed to study the feasibility of adding such a shot. No architects have been contacted.

But NBA President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn, a league lifer at 72, is intrigued by the idea.

He may be in the minority.

"We already have a great game," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "When they changed the rules in the '90s to open the offense up more, that was good.

"The game keeps evolving. It might be difficult changing the layout at arenas but I like the game that we have right now. You don't want to have a closed mind. If something makes sense, we should take a look at it."

This isn't a Bulls team that shoots from the exit signs, connecting on 34 percent of its 3-pointers heading into Monday's game at Brooklyn.

D.J. Augustin (.403) and Mike Dunleavy (.384) are the only real threats.

It was suggested to Thibodeau that if the league did adopt a 4-point shot and re-designed its courts, at least the media would be seated farther away.

"That one I like, a lot," he chuckled.

Hall of Famer Larry Bird, the Indiana Pacers' team president, shot lights out while leading the Boston Celtics to three world championships in the 1980s.

Though 6-foot-9, Bird was a three-time 3-point shootout champion at the NBA All-Star Game but gives a quick thumbs down to any thoughts of extending the shot.

"I never liked the 3-point shot," he said. "If they put a 4-pointer in there, I think they should put a 5-pointer in there also. Let's just keep going on down the court.

"Where does it stop?"

The topic first came up weeks ago during an ESPN interview with Thorn, who noted: "Some of the players we have can shoot the ball from 30 feet ... as easily as they shoot a 23-, 24-foot shot."

So what?

Bird says enough is enough. Used to be, players were coached -- Thibodeau and the Spurs' Gregg Popovich still do -- but for the most part, it's a collection of world class athletes sprinting down the floor, jacking up shots.

"They've already changed the rules so much that stats don't mean anything, anymore," Bird added. "One year, they brought the 3-point line in, didn't like it, now they're thinking of putting a 4-point shot in?

"It's ridiculous to me but, hey, if that's what they got to do, that's what they got to do."

Here's an idea for new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. If you are serious about adding long-range cannon shots down the road, first try it in the summer league and a few preseason games.

When all the laughter and ridicule stops, you'll get the message and pull the plug on this wackiness.

But do keep the half-court shot for fans during timeouts.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at

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