North America

When I’m Commissioner of the NBA…

  1. Playoffs

Reward regular season success and increase fan excitement with an Opponent Draft: the 1-seed gets to pick its first-round opponent from any of the bottom-eight seeds among playoff teams (conferences will no longer matter in the playoffs), then the 2-seed picks from any of the remaining bottom seven, then the 3-seed picks, and so on.  So, for example, last season the playoff Opponent Draft would have begun with Milwaukee picking its first-round opponent from among the bottom-eight seeds (Clippers, Celtics, Spurs, Thunder, Pistons, Magic, Nets, Pacers) then the Raptors would pick, then Golden State, then Denver, then Portland, then Houston, then Philly. Utah (the 8seed) would then have played the last remaining bottom-8 team.

  1. All-Star Weekend
  • Make the All-Star Game Juniors vs Seniors: players under 30 years old vs players 30 years and older. Or perhaps instead: players who have been in the league for ten years (say) vs. players who have not
  • Replace the Rookie-Sophomore Game with an Offense-Defense Game: offensive specialists (Lou Williams, Brook Lopez, JJ Redick, etc.) vs. defensive specialists (Patrick Beverley, Rudy Gobert, Draymond Green, etc.). This would give credit to key players who usually don’t make all-star teams, and it would be very exciting, and it would address the age-old question ‘does good offense beat good defense’? Plus. the Rookie-Sophomore game is boring as hell
  • Replace Celebrity Game with Celebrity Bump Game. The celebrity game always sounds great but ends up being a let-down, in part because they are not able to entice enough real celebrities to play, and in part because they then have to unbalance the entire game by adding in retired players or female players who are a thousand times better than the celebrity players. With a Bump Game, shooting from the 3-point line, more celebs and more exciting celebs might participate. And Bump is a surprisingly intense and fun-to-watch game, especially when it gets to crunch time and lots of running back and forth to grab rebounds and then run back to the three-point line begins. Plus, fan involvement would take place: whenever a player bumps the ball into the stands, the fans in the stands would get to catch it and pass it back to the celeb.
  • For three-point contest, have two players compete at the same time as one another, on opposite ends of the court.
  • For slam-dunk contest, allow dunkers to have only one do-over (okay, maybe two) per round
  1. Overtime

    In regular season games, instead of having a 2nd OT period if the first ends in a tie, instead have a college-football-style Shootout. The home team gets decide if it wants to start with possession of the ball or not, and the game then ends when one team scores and the other team misses. It does not matter if it is a three-pointer, two-pointer, or free throw: as long as you score on your possession you are still alive. No roster substitutions allowed, unless there is an injury. This format would end regular season games earlier and create exciting must-make shots and game-winning walk-offs.

 

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