Once upon a time in NBA lore, Antoine Walker was asked why he shot so many three-pointers and replied, “There are no fours.” Now, the idea of a four-point shot is not only not outrageous but an actual possibility.
In an ESPN interview, NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn and VP of basketball operations Kiki Vandeweghe seemed open to the idea, even hinting that the league has discussed it at some level.
Thorn even pointed out that many of today’s shooters, such as Vince Carter, could effectively shoot from any distance. ”Some of the players we have can shoot the ball from I assume it would be 30 feet? 28-30 feet,” he said. “Somewhere in there. Some of the guys we have can shoot that as easily as a 23-, 24-foot shot.”
It’s not a huge stretch to imagine players like Stephen Curry and Jamal Crawford becoming deadly four-point shooters — not to mention the perverse fun of watching the likes of J.R. Smith and Nick Young pull up for four every time down the floor.
Of course, even if the NBA were to add a four-point shot, it wouldn’t be anytime soon. Courts would have to be redesigned and in some cases, arenas would have to be renovated to accommodate a different-sized floor. Like some new flopping rules and other innovations, it would likely have to be tested out in the D-League for several years before being implemented at the NBA level.
The NBA did not introduce the three-point line until the 1979-80 season, although it had been used in the American Basketball Association in previous decades. Once it was introduced to the NBA game, it became a mainstay.
If the NBA eventually introduces a four-point line, it could cause a similar shift in how the game is taught. It would also force fans to wonder what could have been if some of the all-time great three-point shooters, like Reggie Miller and Ray Allen, had had the option to take fours.
And Antoine Walker could come out of retirement, which is always a plus.
However, it does not appear it is likely to happen anytime soon. In response to the interview with Thorn and Vandeweghe, NBA spokesman Tim Frank released a statement:
“No one at the NBA,nor the competition committee, has had any serious conversations about increasing the size of the floor or adding a 4-point line. Rod Thorn and Kiki VanDeWeghe were entertaining a line of questioning about out of the box ideas and ESPN.com chose to make a story that doesn’t exist.”