What NBA rules would you change?

Eagle3

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I love the new rule where you cant use "abnormal non basketball moves" to draw fouls when shooting. Hopefully they enforce it.

If you had the authority to make it happen, what other NBA rule(s) would you change?

I would eliminate the euro-step. I guarantee when the "2 steps are allowed when attempting a layup" rule was created it was not intended to allow you to alter your path to get around defenders. I realize there is a grey area, but the blatant change of direction, sometimes twice, has gotten way out of control and way beyond the purpose of the rule.

I would also move the 3 point line back to a distance where the shooting %s drop back down to where 30-35% is the exception rather than the norm. Probably have to eliminate the corner 3 to make it happen, and would have to do some research to figure out the exact distances, but at least 25' min on the wings, 26' straight on.
 

snowmanny

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Three minute overtime. Maybe two. The game just went down to a coin-flip last second play. Why do we need to rewind to five minutes left?
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I would happily eliminate replay on 50/50 OOB calls and go back to the days of the gentleman’s agreement where the refs would give the ball to whomever had inside position and would swallow the whistle on obvious blocks in the back by the player with outside position. Where this is not possible, just make it a jump ball. It’s plainly ridiculous that they can review a play to determine whose fingernail touched the ball last but in the same review cannot make obvious foul calls when the outside player’s contact has forced the inside player to knock it OOB.

Another easy one is eliminating the ability to move the ball to halfcourt with a timeout. In no other sport does one have the ability to advance the ball for no reason without earning it in some way.

I think I might eliminate the defensive three seconds rule as well. This was created for a transcendent, historically dominant interior player but is mostly irrelevant in today’s game. It’s often called not when someone has parked the bus in front of the rim but rather when someone on the edge of the paint neglected to step their foot out. I think this has mostly exceeded its usefulness, and doesn’t prevent truly dominant centers like Gobert or Embiid from eliminating interior offense.

This is a little more nebulous but I would also allow for more handchecking. Anything to decrease ticky tack whistles that slow the game down.
 

Eagle3

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Another easy one is eliminating the ability to move the ball to halfcourt with a timeout. In no other sport does one have the ability to advance the ball for no reason without earning it in some way.
I dont know how I left this one off my list. This is the first one I would change
 

Eddie Jurak

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Another easy one is eliminating the ability to move the ball to halfcourt with a timeout. In no other sport does one have the ability to advance the ball for no reason without earning it in some way.
Advancing the ball via timeout seems obviously there to amp up the competitiveness of late game situations. I think I'm OK with it.

Here are mine:
  • No immediate stoppage after a 24 second violation.
Often, knowing the shot clock is about to expire, the offensive player with the ball will heave up an airball easily recovered by the defensive team. There's no need for a stoppage and it often kills a fast bereak opportunity. The rule should be that play stays live until/unless the offensive team gains possession, at which point the play is whistled dead. If the defensive team is the first one to gain possession, play just stays live. Teams and officials already have some experience playing through the shot clock buzzer: sometimes an offensive player shoots, the buzser sounds with the shot in the air, the hsot hits the rim, and the teams play on.​
  • Narrow the lane a bit, or increase the time a player can stay in the lane (change the 3-second violation to a 4- or 5-second one).
Low post offense has all but disappeared from the game because a game based on 3-point shooting is more efficient. Maybe making it eaiser for post players to score could offset some of that and bring back post offense.​
  • Get rid of the break in the 3-point line.
Corner 3's are too short to be 3-point shots. Have the 3-point line extend all the way to the edge of the court so that corner shots are inside the line and only count for 2.​

 

worm0082

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Treat obvious flopping as technical fouls against the flopper. Kind of like how pass interference is at the refs discretion in NFL.

Also like OP said, move back the 3pt line or maybe even eliminate it to try to bring back some semblance of fundamental basketball. Literally All they do now is launch threes.
 
Eliminate all mandatory timeouts.
Good luck slipping that rule past the TV overlords.
The obvious alternative would be to do it like in college, where there are timeouts at the first stoppage after every four minutes of game time. (Personally, I like it better when coaches have to decide whether to try to hang on to the TV timeout stoppage or burn a timeout of their own.)
 

Eddie Jurak

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The obvious alternative would be to do it like in college, where there are timeouts at the first stoppage after every four minutes of game time. (Personally, I like it better when coaches have to decide whether to try to hang on to the TV timeout stoppage or burn a timeout of their own.)
I think the mandatory timeout is better than the alternative of scheduled TV timeouts.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Narrow the lane a bit, or increase the time a player can stay in the lane (change the 3-second violation to a 4- or 5-second one).
Fully agree with this one---helps space a little bit as well as a narrower lane will pull some players closer to the basket and leave room in the intermediate area.

I believe an intentional flop is already a technical--changed a couple years ago.

The other one HRB and I have talked about in the past is lengthening or widening the court. I get the idea why, but don't know that I would do it because i'm not sure how much teams will defend more space. That said, as range for guys like Curry, Dame and even lesser guys like PP-types starts to extend well out towards midcourt it begins to matter a bit.
 

Just a bit outside

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I agree with many of above and would also add the FIBA rule on fast break fouls. It is insane that the NBA allows these fouls with little penalty and stops fans from seeing fast breaks.
 

Imbricus

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Get rid of the coach's challenge. It just drags the game out. The cynical side of me says it was introduced just to provide another revenue-generating commercial break.

But give the refs a chance to sometimes do a quick review of film (as they do now). Keep it within the building though (no need to reach out to arbiters in New York), and make it like a 30-second review.
 

Jimbodandy

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I agree with many of above and would also add the FIBA rule on fast break fouls. It is insane that the NBA allows these fouls with little penalty and stops fans from seeing fast breaks.
This is awesome. More penalty for robbing the fans of transition. Let's do it.

I'm onboard with eliminating that horrible stoppage when the shot clock expires too. It's absurd. Let it play out a couple of seconds, and don't blow that whistle.

And widen the court.
 

Kliq

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FIBA rules for offensive goal tending, it's an archaic rule from like, when Wilt and Russell were the only people who could reach the rim.
 

Eddie Jurak

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The other one HRB and I have talked about in the past is lengthening or widening the court. I get the idea why, but don't know that I would do it because i'm not sure how much teams will defend more space. That said, as range for guys like Curry, Dame and even lesser guys like PP-types starts to extend well out towards midcourt it begins to matter a bit.
If the corner 3 is going to be kept, the court should be widened enough that it is as long as a regular 3. I don't think owners would appreciate having to remove seats though.

I'm not sure what lengthening the court gets you. More space for long distance shooters to work in?
 

OurF'ingCity

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If they aren’t going to adopt the Elam ending, I at least would like to see them (1) make a rule that teams can only use, say, 1 timeout in each of the final two minutes and (2) make a rule that intentional fouls in the final two minutes automatically gives the other team two shots and the ball.

I guess there is some risk that that lets the refs decide what is “intentional,” but the intent of the rule would be just eliminate the purely tactical fouling of a player as soon as the ball is inbounded.
 

Ale Xander

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5 fouls and you're out.

Move back 3 pt line at the corners and top a foot (don't really have space for it at the baseline)

Add 4 point shot at around 32 feet

Reduce timeouts by 1 in each half.

Add a fourth ref.

FIBA goaltending rules.

Cut active roster back to 12.

Use NHL rules for salary cap.

Contract the Twolves and move the Lakers back to MN.
 

Phil Plantier

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Add 4 point shot at around 32 feet
Can we call this The 'Toine Rule?

(1) make a rule that teams can only use, say, 1 timeout in each of the final two minutes and (2) make a rule that intentional fouls in the final two minutes automatically gives the other team two shots and the ball
I would love to see a league try a "no time outs in the last 2 minutes" rule. I think it would lead to a lot more end-of-game excitement (although a lot less ad revenue at the peak time...)
 

lexrageorge

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Move back the 3 point line, eliminating the corner 3 in the process. Like the adjustments already mentioned to the offensive and defensive 3-second violations. Getting rid of the half court entry after a late game timeout will help somewhat in reducing the timeout delays late in the game. Eliminate coaches challenge; it's a gimmick. I would keep video review at the officials judgment.

Agree with the OP about the euro-step nonsense. Make players put the ball on the floor when they want to take steps towards the hoop.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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As others have said, get rid of the corner 3 and move the line back.

I'm sure in the vast minority on this one, but I'd also like palming/carrying to be enforced. Obviously would take away some of the individual aesthetics but to me it's kind of more how basketball was meant to be played.


Oh and GET OFF MY LAWN!
 

Jimbodandy

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That it is a shorter, easier shot than an above the break 3.
Exactly. I don't want to take it away though. Widen the court by 2 feet. Gives these elite athletes more room to operate also. Guys are faster and stronger now. I think that it would open up transition. Plus all the 3pt shots should really be the same distance.
 

JakeRae

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I’d worry about unintended consequences in removing the corner three. I get the idea and the appeal. But if you get rid of it, that basically creates offensive dead zones in each corner that defenses don’t need to contest because a corner two is a terrible shot and the position wouldn’t even carry a risk of stepping back into a three. That would dramatically alter the way the game is played because defenses would need to cover substantially less total space. I’m not able to opine on what the game would look like once the dust settled, but I’m pretty sure it would be very very different and I’m not sure we’d like the result.

Note: widening the court is a far more reasonable solution to the corner three problem from a basketball standpoint but creates obvious logistical and revenue issues.
 

Tony C

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no offensive goaltending .

what's most interesting to me is that with both MLB and the NFL I'd change a ton of rules. Not so much with the NBA,
 

HomeRunBaker

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I think the mandatory timeout is better than the alternative of scheduled TV timeouts.
I’m not privy but I’d guess that the leagues are contractually obligated to these rules as part of the contract negotiation process.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Exactly. I don't want to take it away though. Widen the court by 2 feet. Gives these elite athletes more room to operate also. Guys are faster and stronger now. I think that it would open up transition. Plus all the 3pt shots should really be the same distance.
Hey stay away from my thing. 94x50 to 100x54 would provide an incredible platform for these athletes who have outgrown Naismith-era dimensions. Over 100 years we have increased the maximum floor space from 90x50 to 94x50…….we are not keeping pace with today’s athletes.
 

sezwho

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Hey stay away from my thing. 94x50 to 100x54 would provide an incredible platform for these athletes who have outgrown Naismith-era dimensions. Over 100 years we have increased the maximum floor space from 90x50 to 94x50…….we are not keeping pace with today’s athletes.
#1 - Yes, widen the court.

Also, unlimited fouls. This seems counter intuitive, but I believe in practice the refereeing of a game gets most contorted by foul apportioning to save stars. Why do I need you gone at 5 or 6, isn’t the fouling cost inherently deterrent enough?
 

amlothi

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Give defenders the right to occupy a space, even if they aren't totally stationary. If a defender beats you to the spot, they have every right to be there. Player with the ball can't step/jump into them. No swinging the ball through a defender to draw a foul.
 

jon abbey

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#1 - Yes, widen the court.

Also, unlimited fouls. This seems counter intuitive, but I believe in practice the refereeing of a game gets most contorted by foul apportioning to save stars. Why do I need you gone at 5 or 6, isn’t the fouling cost inherently deterrent enough?
Yes, no fouling out, maybe two shots plus the ball on any foul after #5 from someone but ‘foul trouble’ is innately dumb.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Not really a rule change per se, but I want the conversations that occur between the on-court referees and the centralized league officials during a replay review to be televised. It would be good for transparency, and it would be good for educating the fans about the exact standards and the review process. If there’s a call that gets overturned or upheld for seemingly inexplicable reasons, it would be great to hear what the thought process was. It would certainly be more enlightening that hearing the TV crew muddle through essentially the same conversation. Get a sponsor and call it the Official Pepsi Replay Review Conversation, or some such.
 

Eagle3

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Yes, no fouling out, maybe two shots plus the ball on any foul after #5 from someone but ‘foul trouble’ is innately dumb.
I like the idea of letting guys stay in the game, but I think the foul shots plus the ball is too much. How about just 1extra free throw. 3 if was a 2 shot foul, 4 if it was a 3, 2 if it was a 1. That gives coaches decisions to make based on how good the player is versus giving up extra points.

I also like the idea of making the court wider and making the corner 3 longer, instead of my original proposal of getting rid of the corner 3 altogether. But, as someone mentioned, I doubt owners will give up a row of lower level seats.
 

Tony C

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one other change I'd consider is making shooting free throws optional. The intentional fouls at the end of the game are really boring, and could be easily done away with if a team had the option to just take the ball out again, but with a new 24 second clock.

Yes, no fouling out, maybe two shots plus the ball on any foul after #5 from someone but ‘foul trouble’ is innately dumb.
Respectively disagree. Guys like Dwight Howard already just beat up on guys in their 15-20 minutes a game. If there were no penalty for that, games would just be brutal wrestling matches.

I do wonder about more differentiation between fouls, per the NFL. Any way to make ticky-tack hand-check fouls, for example, a "lesser foul?" Yes, those should be called so we don't go back to 80s NBA defensive slugfests, but if there was an "incidental foul" call for really minor transgressions, that might be more fair -- but to be honest I don't quite see what the more minor penalty would be.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I would actually add one foul to the number needed for disqualification each even numbered OT. So, 6 through the first OT but then it becomes 7 once the second OT begins.

I would try to write the rule on out of bounds replays so that close calls go in favor of the offense when it is in possession of the ball and the ball may have been off the hand of the dribbler on a steal attempt. So, mere contact last on a defensive tip on the dribbler’s hand is deemed off the defender if it is near simultaneous even if not exactly simultaneous. Would not apply to loose balls and rebounding action or any body part other than the offensive player’s hand.

Jump balls after overrules are also often punitive. If the team that was wrongly thought to have been fouled was likely to retain possession in the replay official’s judgment they get it side out but no foul. They should not be punished because of the bad call either.

As others have mentioned, moving up to half court is indefensible. It isn’t actually even half court. It is three quarter court almost.
 

Eddie Jurak

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They should bring back the "3 to make 2" when teams are in the bonus. In fact, they should have done that as soon as "hack a" became a common strategy.
 

Ale Xander

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I hate watching free throws with the fire of a thousand suns, so I would go the other way, sort of.

On the say, 7th, foul per quarter, and 4th foul per OT, every foul automatically gives the other team 2 points (and 3 on a 3).
 

sezwho

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I hate watching free throws with the fire of a thousand suns, so I would go the other way, sort of.

On the say, 7th, foul per quarter, and 4th foul per OT, every foul automatically gives the other team 2 points (and 3 on a 3).
I thought I was the only one that reacted that way: I like the solution
 

Jimbodandy

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I think that giving people 3 to make 2 will actually cut down on free throws. Fouling becomes damn close to just giving 2 points at that point.
 

benhogan

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1. the defender grabbing/fouling on a breakaway should be more punitive

2. a 4th ref, off the court, using video replay to quickly overturn obvious mistakes. (Add more camera angles)

3. Never have an on-court ref look at a tv monitor again
 

reggiecleveland

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I’d worry about unintended consequences in removing the corner three. I get the idea and the appeal. But if you get rid of it, that basically creates offensive dead zones in each corner that defenses don’t need to contest because a corner two is a terrible shot and the position wouldn’t even carry a risk of stepping back into a three. That would dramatically alter the way the game is played because defenses would need to cover substantially less total space. I’m not able to opine on what the game would look like once the dust settled, but I’m pretty sure it would be very very different and I’m not sure we’d like the result.

Note: widening the court is a far more reasonable solution to the corner three problem from a basketball standpoint but creates obvious logistical and revenue issues.
There was a game before the 3 existed. Teh game today has eliminated some of the most exciting athletic plays. There is no competition on the boards, and rarely do players attack the rim in transition, and risk a shot block, when a three is available. Forget the excitement of Dr J and Ice flying, snaking to the rim in transition, Vince Carter's highlight reel looks out of date.

Players would have to learn to score in a greater variety of ways rather than the boring cookie-cutter play of today. One thing I really hate about the corner 3 is the exciting plays we used to see in transition where the greatest athletes in the world attacked the rim. Now we see the player ahead of the pack sprint to the corner. The wide open corner three is the ultimate goal of NBA offenses and it is boring as hell.

It also leads to another of the worst parts of the NBA today the uncontested defensive rebound, because getting back to stop the 3 is all that matters. Westbrook can average a triple-double because many/most defensive rebounds are as exciting as Verdugo and Kike' deciding who is gong to catch a lazy fly between them. Removing two 3 point spots would allow coahes, eventually, to send players to the offensive glass, and players operating inside and closer to the hoop on the baseline would lead to some more exciting athletic rebound battles. The biggest battles I see the Celtics have on the boards so far this year is Horford and Tatum, with Tatum frowning that Al doesn't know he gets the stat padding rebounds.

When teams get killed on the boards, like the Celtics did vs the Raptors it is effort chasing down the rebounds, or defensive breakdowns. It is never a team physically dominates with size. Coahes are rarely faced with the dilemma, play my rebounder or my shooter, because rebounding is just part of defence, and as long as teams take the shots you want, there is really no rebounding.

Maybe only allow corner threes on offensive rebounds.