TrueHoop: Five for Friday

Five for Friday

June, 8, 2012
6/08/12
4:01
PM ET
The referees are always a touchy subject, especially in the playoffs when little moments can have huge implications. As the games become more and more intense, officials are put in an especially tough position when players are actively trying to trick them on nearly every play, and all fans want is more basketball and fewer whistles.

This week's Five for Friday includes some HoopIdeas that would produce just that: fewer whistles and more awesome playoff basketball.

CURB FOULING BY CALLING MORE FLAGRANT FOULS

If someone -- let’s call him “LeBron” -- is chugging along on the fast break and a defender grabs him around the waist, that should rise to the level of a flagrant foul: “unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent.” In that case, LeBron’s team would get two free throws and retain possession. To avoid that fate, defenders would have to make a legitimate play on the ball, which doesn’t seem like too much to ask. If such a rule were enforced, the pace of play would increase and teams in defensive retreat couldn’t use fouls as a get-out-of-jail-free card. -- Josh Levine on Slate

GET RID OF THE RESTRICTED AREA

Jeff Van Gundy suggests the league move the half circle further out. Or maybe it would be best to do away with the half circle all together, forcing the refs to concentrate not on the feet but the position. -- Buck Harvey on San Antonio Express-News

NO TECHS FOR TAUNTING DISTRACTING BENCHES

If the players and coaches on an opposing team’s bench scream, yell, clap or stomp their feet to distract a nearby shooter, that shooter should be able to make any verbal taunt and/or staring gesture he would like upon making the shot. -- SI's Zach Lowe on The Point Forward

NEW PENALTY FOR SIXTH FOUL

It's simple -- add a free throw. After five fouls, every time that player commits a foul, the fouled player gets an extra shot at the stripe. You won't see a ton of extra free throws since guys rarely foul out, but it will really impact how often coaches have to bench their stars early in the game and will ensure that the star can play in a late game situation (though he may want to hide on defense). -- Greg Srolestar

NO MORE FREE THROWS

How about awarding points for fouls, instead of making a team "earn it" at the free throw line. Maybe a point and the ball for a non-shooting foul, two/three points and the ball for a shooting foul? On the one hand, free throws with the game on the line can be an exciting moment, but imagine the possible swings with a system like this -- if you're up four and commit an offensive foul, suddenly the other team is down just one possession with the ball. -- John Adams

Check out previous Five for Fridays: June 1 |May 25 |May 18 | May 11 | May 4 | April 27 | April 20 | April 13 | April 6 | March 30| March 23 | March 16 | March 9

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

You can give us your ideas and talk with us and other fans in the following places:
And for the truly ambitious: Shoot a short video of yourself explaining your HoopIdea, upload it to YouTube and share the link with us on Twitter or Google+.

Five for Friday

June, 1, 2012
6/01/12
3:55
PM ET
Mason By Beckley Mason
ESPN.com
Archive
Bill Simmons leads off our Five for Friday with a sentiment that we at HoopIdea strongly endorse.

This edition also includes HoopIdeas from an NBA player and the Wall Street Journal, as well as a new mobile phone app that allows viewers to call out floppers then ranks teams and players by how often they flop -- enjoy!

EMBRACE CHANGE

Here's a good rule in general for all professional sports: If something sucks, you need to make the appropriate rule change so it doesn't suck anymore. This isn't rocket science. -- Bill Simmons on Grantland

WANT TO STOP THE FLOP? THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT!

Flopbuzz is a completely free mobile app, where you can 'slap' a virtual buzzer on your mobile phone, everytime an NBA player 'flops', 'fakes' or 'cheats'. The Flopbuzz app accumulates all the users' buzzes (votes) to elect 'democratically' the most egregious flopper of the month, the season or the Playoffs. -- FlopBuzz.com

COUNT TECHNICAL FOULS AS PERSONALS

If a tech was also counted as a personal foul, might have less techs. -- Cleveland Cavaliers forward Anthony Parker (@_AnthonyPaker) via Twitter)

NO MORE “BEAR HUG” FOULS

A suggestion to curtail fouls the where the defender wraps up an offensive player without really going for the ball: “How about calling these type of 'bear hugging' fouls (when you wrap your arms around a player) for a foul with two free throws and the ball on the side for the attacking player, regardless of what play he was going to make (most probably dunk the ball).” -- Arash Kordi on NBA on My Mind

DO AWAY WITH THE DRAFT

It's not clear that killing the draft would change the distribution of players that much: It's likely that the same struggling teams would be more willing to pay top dollar for rookies. Jerry Hausman, an M.I.T. economics professor who studied Michael Jordan's impact on the NBA, said that even if there was no draft and players entered the league only through free agency, the salary cap (and the finite number of shots a team can take in a game) would still prevent teams from "stacking" superstars and creating dynasties.

Putting these rookies on the open market might also create cost pressure that would force teams to get better at scouting. If this season taught us anything, it's that NBA scouts are often blind to talent. Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks, who caught fire this season, went undrafted out of Harvard. -- Kevin Clark in The Wall Street Journal

Check out previous Five for Fridays: May 18 |May 25 | May 11 | May 4 | April 27 | April 20 | April 13 | April 6 | March 30| March 23 | March 16 | March 9

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

You can give us your ideas and talk with us and other fans in the following places:
And for the truly ambitious: Shoot a short video of yourself explaining your HoopIdea, upload it to YouTube and share the link with us on Twitter or Google+.

Five for Friday

May, 25, 2012
5/25/12
4:17
PM ET
Mason By Beckley Mason
ESPN.com
Archive
We have a diverse set of HoopIdeas in this week's Five for Friday, including a gem mined from a March 1958 issue of Sports Illustrated. But though the topics vary, all the HoopIdeas featured this week have a common goal: to speed the game up and make it more free-flowing.

Be sure to send us your own HoopIdeas using the ways detailed below!

TWEAK INTENTIONAL FOUL RULES
Intentional off-the-ball bonus fouls are penalized by two free throws to be shot by a player chosen by the shooting team that is on the floor at the time of the foul. Any player with the ball in his hands is at risk to be fouled and sent to the free throw line. But hugging a bad free throw shooter at half court is bush league and should be dealt with by the rulebook. -- Andrew M. Grimsrud

1958 HOOPIDEA: BASKETBALL PENALTY BOX
Seeking to curb what he called "a long parade back and forth between one free-throw line and the other," Colorado State University AD Fritz Brennecke convinced CSU's head coach, John Bunn, to try playing with a penalty box instead. Read the full story at Sports Illustrated (via Ron Bronson)

OVERTIME PERIOD IS FIRST TO 11
Turn off the game clock, but leave on the 24-second shot clock. Each team gets two timeouts. On all non-shooting fouls, the team that is fouled gets the option of shooting free throws or inbounding the ball (to prevent hack-a-thons).

With this format, the object of overtime is to maximize each possession, as either team can win in as little as four trips up the court. Imagine the tension every posession, as a bevy of strategic questions come into play.

Do you go for three early in O.T. to build momentum? With no clock, when does it make sense to use your timeouts? Imagine if you are a point guard bringing the ball up with your team down 10-8. Do you play it safe and go for two or pull up for a game-winning 3? -- Tolu Thomas on Google +

STRICTER DELAY OF GAME RULES
New Rule: after a team scores they can't touch the ball. No throwing it to a ref or kicking it to stop the other teams transition. -- Asad (@AsadVIDEO) via Twitter

NO CHARGES WITHOUT THE BALL
A player can only take a charge if the attacking player has not yet released the ball (on a shot or pass). These tweaks would promote more active defenses rather than mastering a technique that attempts to cheaply take advantage of a rule that is in place for safety. A defender should not be rewarded for placing himself under an attacking player in the air who is pulling up for a floater to avoid contact. The defender does not impact the shot while at the same time creates an unsafe and avoidable scenario. -- Mark Bernard Reis

Check out previous Five for Fridays: May 18 | May 11 | May 4 | April 27 | April 20 | April 13 | April 6 | March 30| March 23 | March 16 | March 9

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

You can give us your ideas and talk with us and other fans in the following places:
And for the truly ambitious: Shoot a short video of yourself explaining your HoopIdea, upload it to YouTube and share the link with us on Twitter or Google+.

Five for Friday

May, 18, 2012
5/18/12
4:34
PM ET
Mason By Beckley Mason
ESPN.com
Archive
From HoopIdea to Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel to NBA commissioner David Stern, flopping has been a topic of conversation during the NBA playoffs.

So this week, Five for Friday spotlights HoopIdeas from Twitter, ESPN comments, Grantland and Google+ that detail how the league can address flopping, and how anti-flopping rules would be enforced.

DO AWAY WITH THE BLOCK/CHARGE CALL

We need to start thinking about block-charge calls in an entirely different way. We need to realign the incentives for players on the court. We need to discourage any play that forces the referee to make a call. We need to urge players to play the game as if the officials weren't there, and not require such taxing use of their imaginations to do so. We need to do as much as possible to restore basketball to its purer, less whistle-prone, origins. We need to let the game breathe. -- Eamonn Brennan on ESPN’s College Basketball Nation Blog

BUILD A FLOP COMMITTEE

How about the NBA creates the proposed Flop Committee? If you accrue flops during the season, you start the next game with an automatic foul. And that keeps going every two flops after the first six. — Sam, New Orleans

Simmons: I'd go even further — once you get to 10 flops for the season, after every ensuing flop, you start the next game with TWO automatic fouls. -- From the April 20, 2012 Bill Simmons Mailbag on Grantland

PENALTY FOR "EMBELLISHMENT"

Whenever a player exaggerates the contact between he and another player, the referee can call a foul on the player who exaggerated the contact regardless of who committed the actual foul. This would surely discourage excessive flopping. Also, it would have an immediate impact on the game the exaggerated contact occurred, as opposed to a review process which would produce a punishment at a later date. -- Chris Nichols (A similar rule is already in place in the NHL)

ENFORCE FLOPS AS TEAM VIOLATIONS

Treat flops like 3 second violations. Offensive flop -- turnover. Defensive flop -- 1 free throw and the ball. -- Adam Schleman from the TrueHoop Comments

PENALIZE FLOPS LIKE ILLEGAL DEFENSE

They should [penalize flopping] like the illegal defense, except shoot free throws on the first flop. -- Keith Schoultz via Twitter.

Check out previous Five for Fridays: May 11 | May 4 | April 27 | April 20 | April 13 | April 6 | March 30| March 23 | March 16 | March 9

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

You can give us your ideas and talk with us and other fans in the following places:
And for the truly ambitious: Shoot a short video of yourself explaining your HoopIdea, upload it to YouTube and share the link with us on Twitter or Google+.

Five for Friday

May, 11, 2012
5/11/12
3:38
PM ET
Mason By Beckley Mason
ESPN.com
Archive
Welcome to Five for Friday, where every week we post some of the best HoopIdeas we get from readers through comments, e-mail and Twitter. In honor the recently departed regular season, some ideas that call for its restructuring.

I particularly like the seed planted by this first HoopIdea: What if we broke up the season into multiple parts, each ending in a single-elimination tournament, then used the results of those seasons for a traditional NBA playoffs to crown an overall champion?

THREE TOURNAMENT SEASONS AND THEN THE PLAYOFFS

Divide the regular season into three tournaments: Fall, Winter and Spring. Each tournament consists of two phases, home and away games to determine seeding, then a single elimination tournament ending in a final four. The results of the tournament give each team a certain number of points. After all three tournaments, the team with the most points gets the No. 1 seed for the end of season playoffs, and so on. After each tournament all standings are reset and trade period is in effect. We get three final fours and three trade period per season AND playoffs! -- Louis from Switzerland

CHANGE KICK BALL RULES

A kick ball should be treated the same way as handball for soccer. Dead ball foul free set shot from spot of violation. #HoopIdea -- Steven Lepre (@NashtySteve) via Twitter

TECHNICAL FOULS ACCUMULATE MORE QUICKLY

Technical fouls should be like yellow cards in soccer. You get one in two consecutive games you miss the 3rd game. -- WM Kootenay (@k00tenay) via Twitter

END BACK-TO-BACK TIMEOUTS

A pet peeve of mine is when teams call a time out because they can't get the ball in bounds. I don't mind that they can burn a time out to save the possession, but it makes everyone sit through another timeout. Instead, make it so that if a team calls timeout after the player's been handed the ball to inbound, they simply hand the ball to the ref and the ref hands it back to reset the 5-second timer. Let 'em improvise a little. -- Nathan Sitaraman

DO AWAY WITH DIVISIONS

The NBA should just be one league and each team should play everyone twice. That would be 58 games. Then you match up the best teams in the playoffs, regardless of location. With everyone having chartered planes the travel isn’t bad anymore. Back when the East was so terrible the Finals would have been the Lakers and Kings or Spurs and Lakers a couple of years and the ratings would have been much better. -- Rick P. Macke

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

You can give us your ideas and talk with us and other fans in the following places:
And for the truly ambitious: Shoot a short video of yourself explaining your HoopIdea, upload it to YouTube and share the link with us on Twitter or Google+.

Five for Friday

May, 4, 2012
5/04/12
5:12
PM ET
No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in the playoffs (sorry, Dallas fans). So why do we force them to play out the string when one team wins the first three games? One response: I bet the playoff teams being guaranteed only one game of playoff ticket revenue instead of two wouldn't be so popular with NBA franchises.

That, and some much cheerier HoopIdeas in this week's Five for Friday:

PLAYOFF SERIES MERCY RULE

Here's a @HoopIdea: Going up 3-0 = Sweep. Makes Game 3 a dramatic elimination game & we waste less time. -- Ethan Sherwood Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) via Twitter

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER IDEA

#HoopIdea Because development is such a big part of the NBA, hand out MIP awards like Gold Gloves. -- Matt Moore (@HPBasketball) via Twitter

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR AS POSITION-BASED AWARD

How about DPOY as Gold Gloves? One per position so little guys get some love. -- Derrick Prose (@WorldwideJames) via Twitter

NBA COACHING BOOTHS

One or two assistant coaches from each team NBA team should sit in a booth during the game. Like their NFL counterparts, these coaches would be able to watch the game unfold live at the same angle they review the game on tape. Why should they receive their game day information at a different angle than the one at which they review and teach the game? -- Matt Scribbins on Magic Basketball

ASK FANS TO SUPPORT TANKING

What we are worried about in the context of tanking is that the game will get less interesting. We have a pretty good method for telling whether the games are interesting -- attendance. It is really hard to get people to show up to games when stars aren't playing and the outcome is certain. What if the league required teams to meet certain attendance figures in order to get lottery balls/draft spots? If attendance fell below 10K a game, you lose X number of lottery balls and fall in draft order (you'd have to control for market size and ensure that they weren't giving away tickets, but that doesn't seem too hard). This way bad teams have an incentive to put a good product on the court. Or even more interestingly, they can tank, but only if their fans are in on it. This would also goose attendance and revenue. -- David Schleicher on PrawsBlawg

You can give us your ideas and talk with us and other fans in the following places:
And for the truly ambitious: Shoot a short video of yourself explaining your HoopIdea, upload it to YouTube and share the link with us on Twitter or Google+.

Five for Friday

April, 27, 2012
4/27/12
5:52
PM ET
Mason By Beckley Mason
ESPN.com
Archive
It's our last Five for Friday of the regular season, and this week's suggestions fittingly focus on the tough-to-watch last month of the season when many teams have "shut it down" in preparation for the playoffs or in hopes of finding a better draft pick.

Seriously, look at these two starting lineups.

Here are four ideas on how the league can encourage teams to finish the regular season in style, and one on how video game technology can help catch floppers:

THREE WAYS TO IMPROVE THE LAST MONTH OF THE NBA SEASON

First, give everybody three days off before the playoffs start. Second, and more obviously, eliminate mid-lottery protections on draft picks like the one Golden State owes to Utah, which saw the Warriors go into full-on tanking mode at the end of this season in an attempt to keep it. Limit protection on picks to the top three or earlier, or top 14 or later. Remember, what Golden State is doing doesn't just ruin it for Golden State fans; it also kills things for their opponents' fans and, by the way, it toys with the competitive balance of the schedule, too. Finally, and most importantly, incentivize winning late-season games for playoff and lottery teams alike. This is simply the only way to offset the huge incentive teams now have to either rest their best players (if a playoff team) or lose intentionally (if not). -- John Hollinger on ESPN.com (Insider)

ENCOURAGE THE LEAGUE'S WORST TEAMS TO KEEP FIGHTING (Suggestion 1)

One thing I'd do to change the lottery bottom three teams can't get top three selection. Top three non playoff teams get slightly more lotto balls. --Haralabos Voulgaris (@Haralabob) via Twitter

ENCOURAGE THE LEAGUE'S WORST TEAMS TO KEEP FIGHTING (Suggestion 2)

Give the worst team in the NBA two lottery picks including one in the top five, but neither of them can be in the top two. Every other team goes in an unweighted lottery for the rest of the top three. The remainder of the draft goes by record. For instance, the Wizards (owner of the second-worst record) have an equal chance of landing in the top three as anyone, but won't fall beyond six. -- Devin Kharpertian of Nets Are Scorching

WHY AN UNWEIGHTED LOTTERY ALONE WON'T STOP TANKING

Minnesota has zero incentive to lose, yet players like Kevin Love and Luke Ridnour have been shelved from injuries they otherwise might have returned from anyway. Why? Because playing basketball is inherently dangerous. Every time players take the court, there is a chance they might suffer or aggravate a serious injury that imperils their long-term future. This is being melodramatic, obviously, but one reason stars sit out down the stretch -- both for lottery teams and playoff-bound teams that are locked into their seeds and have no incentive to win -- is precisely to stay safe. -- Kevin Pelton on Basketball Prospectus

ACCELEROMETERS TO STOP FLOPPING

We attach microphones to certain players, why not attack an accelerometer to every player's waist and/or chest? Every player has their weight officially measured to start the season. When a charge is taken, a fourth off-court ref quickly looks to see if mass times velocity (momemtum) is actually transfered to the player taking a charge. The amount of momemtum from the offensive player should be nearly equal to the momentum imparted to the defensive player. If not, it's a flop. Accelerometers aren't big, every Nintendo Wii has one. -- Stephen Hwang via e-mail to hoopidea@gmail.com

You can give us your ideas and talk with us and other fans in the following places:
And for the truly ambitious: Shoot a short video of yourself explaining your HoopIdea, upload it to YouTube and share the link with us on Twitter or Google+.

Five for Friday

April, 20, 2012
4/20/12
5:56
PM ET
Mason By Beckley Mason
ESPN.com
Archive
Each week we receive hundreds of messages through e-mail, Twitter and Google+ containing HoopIdeas ranging from interesting to insane. On Fridays, we bring you five of our favorites. This week's batch includes some ideas to discourage tanking, and an interesting take on traditional statistics that might be of use to Fantasy Basketball players. Enjoy!

  1. Help fans embrace tanking. "First 1,000 fans in the arena get a team t-shirt ... for the opposing team. #FansCanLoveTanking" -- Jeremy Hornik (@JeremyHornik) via Twitter
  2. New stat for fantasy players. "I would like to see a supplementary stat to support average/ppg that leverages standard deviation. ... Take two players in the NBA that play roughly the same position, minutes, and average the same high amount points per game over the season and you'll find, for instance, that Dwyane Wade is a much more consistent scorer than Carmelo Anthony. Production per game is equal on paper, but you can bank on Wade to give you a consistent nightly production." -Marc Broad
  3. End "hack-a-___" tactics. #HoopIdea All off-ball fouls result in shots plus the ball. No more hack-a-whoever. -- Jared Dubin (@JADubin5) via Twitter
  4. Eliminate protected picks. "While we rip the Warriors ... it is no coincidence that the starkest tanking might be happening on behalf of a No. 7 pick, as opposed to say, a possible No.1 pick. This is because Golden State's draft selection is protected, meaning they lose it if their pick falls below seventh in lotto selection. And if the Warriors finish "better" than seventh worst, that loss is all but assured. As the seventh worst team, the Warriors have a 75 percent chance of keeping their pick. As the eighth worst team, they have a 90 percent chance of losing it. The top of the draft is more random than latter stages, which is another way of saying that the lottery gets more predictable as it winds down. The third worst team has a much better chance of drawing above the third pick (31.33 percent) than the eighth worst team has of drawing above the eighth pick (10 percent). So when picks are protected, especially in the late lottery, the impetus begs certain squads to tank. All of this makes me wonder: Why is pick protection even legal? Why not excise this practice?" -- Ethan Sherwood Strauss on Court Vision
  5. No lottery loiterers. Teams get a max of six or seven record-weighted lottery picks per decade. Ten slots per lottery. -- @TheGreatIgnarus via Twitter
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

You can give us your ideas and talk with us and other fans in the following places:

Five for Friday

April, 13, 2012
4/13/12
8:22
PM ET
Each Friday we're fricasseeing some fresh HoopIdeas and serving them up to you. The idea leading this five is one of my favorites, and came to us via Twitter. Which reminds me, why don't you follow us on Twitter and join the HoopIdea conversation?

Without further ado, here are five readers with fascinating HoopIdeas:
  1. Make flops a recorded statistic. Put flops in the box score and make players decide if they really want to be famous for it. #hoopidea -- Everett Barr-Hertel (@Barrec) via Twitter
  2. Instrument the heck out of the game. Transponders and locators on shoes, uniforms, the ball, the hoop, the backboard, the out-of-bounds lines, everything. I'd still have referees call the game, but maybe certain violations would be called automatically (like the cyclops in tennis). I want to be able to implement my "unifying statistics" idea. -- Brian Tung
  3. New statistic: Points Created. I just want to see a "points created" stat rather than the assist. Tells a better tale. "Possible points created" is the more advanced version, so it could read "23/45" when accounting for made and missed FGs and FTs -- David Thorpe (@coachthorpe) via Twitter
  4. Eliminate max contract restrictions. Why is there a maximum salary? If Cleveland wants to keep LeBron James, they can pay him $30 million a season. $40 million. $50 million. Isn't that what he's worth to that franchise? Miami couldn't have matched that, because they'd already be paying Dwyane Wade $35 million. With the salary cap in place, this would help prevent "super teams", it would help teams keep their marquee free agents, and would allow teams to pay superstar players more in line with what they're really worth. True, it would create a salary disparity between the superstar and the other players, and that may lead to superstars running the franchise. Doesn't that happen already? -- Jeff Fetzer
  5. Worst two teams pick third and fourth. If you want teams to stop tanking, you need a little punitive incentive not to tank. So keep the current system with every team in the lottery getting a chance based on their record to land a top three pick. However, you make one modification: The two worst records get no chance to move into the top 3 of the draft and pick fourth and fifth. Period. All other teams in the lottery get odds based on their record for the top 3 picks like today. Since most drafts only hold 1-2 sure things at the top of the draft, those bottom two teams would desperately try to win enough to get that third spot -- which makes the four teams above them try to win to stay ahead of them. which pushes the teams above them, etc. Ergo, the end of tanking. -- Ryan Schwan on Hornets 24/7
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

You can give us your ideas and talk with us and other fans in the following places:

Five for Friday

April, 6, 2012
4/06/12
5:46
PM ET
Mason By Beckley Mason
ESPN.com
Archive
Every Friday we're serving up five of our favorite HoopIdeas by readers, for readers. Here's this week's pipin' hot batch including the reason we should care as much about first quarter scorers than fourth quarter scorers, comes from Twitter, email, and the wild world of NBA blogging. Take a look, and keep the ideas flowing!

  1. An end to tanking for playoff seeding. Let higher seeded playoff teams choose their opponent for the playoffs. So for example, the team with the best record in the conference chooses whomever they want to be their first round match-up. The team with the next best record, provided the highest team didn't choose to face them, would go next, and so on. This would happen again in the second round, but obviously would not be possible in the Conference Finals or the NBA Finals.

    Teams get rewarded for playing hard until the end, and also don't get screwed by match-up problems. It also prevents teams tanking to get to a certain seed. -- Ash Sullivan
  2. The last five minutes don't matter. You know that you only need to watch the last five minutes of an NBA game, right? Well, I thought that was true until Sunday. In the 2011-2012 NBA season, no team in the league has a winning record when trailing at the half. Again, no team in the NBA has a winning record this season when they head into the locker room trailing their opponent.

    That is the most unbelievable NBA stat I have heard in a long time. Here is where it gets really crazy: even the Bobcats and Nets close out opponents when they have a lead heading into the fourth! The Bobcats are 6-2 in those situations and the Nets have put 16 of their 20 leads on ice. -- Matt Scribbins on Magic Basketball
  3. A 30-team weighted lottery. These numbers aren't exact but it would be something like a 15 percent chance for the worst team, .04 percent for the best team and move incrementally from point A to point B. Obviously with the 30 teams the difference between 30 and 29 is going to be pretty small and therefore not worth doing the damage to your franchise, players, and fanbase that comes with intentionally losing games (hard to quantify but there is a real cost to it.)

    At the same time it gives the worst teams a significant advantage over the best teams to get good players (which believe it or not is important to those of us who root for small market teams.) Those who feel that better teams should have a chance at good draft picks as well will be appeased as these teams now do have a legitimate chance and each year a team or two with low odds would pull a top five draft pick. How exciting would waiting to see the full draft order being unveiled be? I'll answer: very.

    I really think this is the type of idea the NBA should move toward. It keeps the draft, which let's be honest, most fans like. Gives small market teams their chance to acquire top talent, and eliminates 98% of the benefit of tanking which is about the best you can do without eliminating the draft or going to a full 30 team unweighted lottery. -- Kevin Byrne
  4. Get those photographers away from the baseline! #HoopIdea Photographers have zoom lenses. Get them away from the baseline. Enough is enough. -- Zach Harper (@talkhoops) via Twitter
  5. Hockey style penalties for flopping. Hockey has or used to have a two minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for players who took a dive while trying to draw a penalty for tripping. Basketball could award a free throw and possession of the ball if the offensive player didn't score on the move in which there was an obvious flop in an attempt to draw a charge and when a blocking foul wasn't appropriate. -- Shawn Wash
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

You can give us your ideas and talk with us and other fans in the following places:
And for the truly ambitious: Shoot a short video of yourself explaining your HoopIdea, upload it to YouTube and share the link with us on Twitter or Google+.

Five for Friday

March, 30, 2012
3/30/12
4:50
PM ET
Mason By Beckley Mason
ESPN.com
Archive
HoopIdea is taking on the problem of tanking by asking smart people around the basketball world to imagine an NBA in which there was no incentive -- such as the top pick in the draft -- to lose a ton of games. The response has been overwhelming (believe it or not, I read every word) -- not only on TrueHoop but in hundreds of emails, tweets and Google+ comments -- as fans give their thoughts about what can be done.

This Friday we highlight five of our favorite tanking solutions:
  • Determine draft position by guessing which (other) team will have the worst record. You can't eliminate tanking while teams have their own first-round draft pick and the draft order is (in part) determined by losses. A possible solution: instead of the lottery determining the draft order, it determines the order in which each team chooses another team's first-round draft pick for the following season.So if Charlotte finishes with the worst record this year, the reward is first dibs on guessing which team will have the worst record next year. There is far less incentive to tank as teams don't own their first-round pick, and tanking only gets them a choice of who they think will have the worst record the following year.It adds incentive to beat the team whose first-round pick you own, creating a short-term rivalry for the team and the fans. Fans don't have the dilemma of whether to root for their team to lose. -- Glen Thomson on Google+
  • Connect drafting position with revenue sharing. Continue to give the worst team the biggest chance of winning the first overall pick, but in exchange, give them the smallest slice of the revenue sharing pie. The better the record for each lottery team, the more money they receive from revenue sharing.Teams in full tank mode are shedding salary and assets while acquiring cheap, underpaid talent. It stands to reason that they would require less financial help to cover their lower operating costs. Furthermore, if the winning, big-market teams are forking over their money it makes sense that there should at least be some responsibility on the part of the receiving teams to work for it.This scenario would allow teams a two-to-three-year window for a true rebuilding period, but anything longer could be cost-prohibitive for an owner. If the lockout taught us anything it’s that NBA owners, especially on poorly run franchises, will squabble over every dollar.Putting a prohibitive cost on tanking will give those owners some incentive to make sure the front office overseeing that tanking has a plan in place. At the very least it would give owners incentive to make sure the people that run their teams are showing up more than part-time hours. -- Jesse Blanchard, 48 Minutes of Hell
  • Upend the lottery. Equal number of balls for non-playoff teams + 1 supplemental pick after lottery for 5 lowest records. #StopTanking #HoopIdea -- @discipleKen on Twitter
  • Lottery tweak: Weight wins to remove incentive to lose. My idea sounds a little complicated, but I think could go a long way to curing tanking and it can easily be adjusted to provide the adequate incentives. It is a points-based system with the goal of rewarding teams for trying, while still trying to work towards competitive balance.Let's start with the most basic elements: A team gets points only when they win and the number of points earned is based on the number of losses that team has accrued to that point in the season. Therefore the ideal team (to get a high pick) would start slowly but develop and grow throughout the season, like the 2008-09 Thunder. A lottery system with the probability tied to the number of points accrued should help dissuade teams from tanking midway through the season. More weight can be given to games as the season progresses. -- Scott
  • Bidding system for draft picks. Make the draft like the amnesty system. Teams with cap space can bid on players. Highest bid wins the player. Most of the time, playoff teams have little/no cap space. An amnesty-type system for the draft naturally favors losing teams. -- @EJMaroun via Twitter
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

You can give us your ideas and talk with us and other fans in the following places:
And for the truly ambitious: Shoot a short video of yourself explaining your HoopIdea, upload it to YouTube and share the link with us on Twitter or Google+.

Five for Friday

March, 23, 2012
3/23/12
3:30
PM ET
Mason By Beckley Mason
ESPN.com
Archive
We've seen some great ideas since launching HoopIdea last month, but I'm not sure anyone has truly captured the spirit of HoopIdea like Twitter's @ilikecookies, who this week tweeted: "#HoopIdea Let dogs play in the NBA. Blatant dog-ism should be left in the past. Free Airbud!"

Free Airbud indeed.

All right, on to our five ideas to ponder this Friday. This week's set comes from Twitter (follow us at @HoopIdea!), email, and blogs, and includes a revolutionary take on the jump ball. Enjoy!
  • Spike the jump ball! In Aussie Rules Football there's a situation where the teams have to fight for possession -- much like an NBA jump ball. In fact, the players lined up with two opponents facing off in the center, similar to what you might see for a basketball jump ball.But then, the most amazing thing happens ... the ref runs between two players and SPIKES the ball, into the ground, as hard as he could. The players watch the ball go way, way, waaaay up in the air, time their leaps, and have a fair battle for the ball from there.Seeing this my immediate thought was ... can we please have this in the NBA? Jump balls right now are a disaster on multiple levels. First of all, there isn't a ref in the league who can throw the ball up straight. Second, even if there was, the two jumpers often crowd the ref into such a position that it's barely possible for him to throw a fair toss.So how about this, instead: The ref walks into the circle, SPIKES the ball, excuses himself from the circle while waiting for the ball to come down, and then watches further merriment ensue. Sure, it's a minor problem compared to some of the other ones in the league, but it's the type of change that, once they started doing it, everybody would look back and wonder why it was ever done a different way. -- John Hollinger
  • Passes that lead to free throws should be assists. Let’s say Andrew Bynum receives the ball on the low block and spots a streaking Matt Barnes as the double-team comes, whom he then dumps off to. Barnes, ahead of his man, finishes the play at the rim. Bynum is rewarded with an assist. But what if the beat defenders aren’t happy about it, deciding they’d rather burn a foul than let Barnes and Bynum pad the stat box? Well, then Barnes is still rewarded for his part with a trip to the free throw line. Bynum, however, is not rewarded for making an unselfish play instead of forcing up an awkward attempt. Just one of dozens of possible scenarios, give the assist-man some love here by rewarding him with 0.5 assists per made free throw. Isn’t that, after all, “a pass that directly leads to a basket,” the very definition of a basketball assist? -- Clint Peterson, Hardwood Paroxysm
  • Add a personal foul for overtime. Even if the NBA doesn't raise the foul limit to 7+, as Jeff Van Gundy suggested, they should absolutely add an extra foul for games that go into overtime. Players who have already fouled out would remain fouled out. Players who survive to overtime receive a seventh foul to give. -- David Katz (Beckley says: This one makes sense to me, teams get extra team fouls and timeouts. Why not personal fouls?)
  • Abolish illegal defense. NBA teams should be able to defend the half court however they please without the threat of a defensive three-seconds call. #HoopIdea -- @kevinarnovitz via Twitter
  • Play the advantage on shot clock violations. From Jeff Van Gundy a while back: Get rid of the shot clock violation when possession changes. It kills the break. -- @bigbabay via Twitter.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

You can give us your ideas and talk with us and other fans in the following places:
And for the truly ambitious: Shoot a short video of yourself explaining your HoopIdea, upload it to YouTube and share the link with us on Twitter or Google+.

Five for Friday

March, 16, 2012
3/16/12
3:01
PM ET
Mason By Beckley Mason
ESPN.com
Archive
Since we launched HoopIdea on February 8, we’ve received thousands of ideas, from brilliant to bonkers. Each Friday, we’ll publish five we find especially interesting. This week's set incudes HoopIdeas from Twitter (follow us at @HoopIdea!), Jeff Van Gundy and an excerpt from a blog post more than worth your time:
  1. Increase the number of allowed fouls. “I would give an additional foul, at least (before you foul out). I just don’t understand, we want don’t want our better players to play more? I don’t understand, no other sport has that.” -- Jeff Van Gundy.
  2. Change delay of game rule after made baskets. “NBA's gotta change the rule on players grabbing ball after a made basket and throwing to ref. Stops several fastbreaks.” -- @BrandonBombay, via Twitter.
  3. Techs for floppers. “Make a 'flop' like the defensive three-second rule. One warning, then a technical free throw. After the same player gets three, it becomes a personal foul and is played like a personal foul. Just like defensive three-seconds detracts from the game, so does flopping. Something must be done to stem the tide of this soccer infestation.”-- Joseph Boemer
  4. Get rid of charges on passes. NBA, please, please, please get rid of the pass-away charge. The ball is gone. You're rewarding flopping and sloppy defense. Please stop. -- Rob Peterson (@ShotDrJr) via Twitter.
  5. Encourage shots at the end of quarters. “Players are more interested in protecting their field goal percentage than adding three points to the scoreboard. Since field goal percentage and 3-point percentage come into play in contract negotiations, one could argue that players are making a smart business decision when they refuse to toss a low percentage shot at the rim ... I believe the NBA should just change the way these plays are scored. The league shouldn’t penalize players for shooting beyond half court right before the buzzer. NBA box scores could have a line at the bottom that counts 'team shots.' This would take away a few made three-point shots from players every year, but it would also take away many misses that negatively impact their field goal percentage." -- Matt Scribbins on Magic Basketball.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

You can give us your ideas and talk with us and other fans in the following places:
And for the truly ambitious: Shoot a short video of yourself explaining your HoopIdea, upload it to YouTube and share the link with us on Twitter or Google+.

Five for Friday

March, 9, 2012
3/09/12
4:47
PM ET
Mason By Beckley Mason
ESPN.com
Archive
Since we launched HoopIdea on February 8, we’ve received thousands of ideas, from brilliant to bonkers. Each Friday, we’ll publish five we found especially interesting. This week, we're highlighting some ideas with cross-sport appeal.
  1. In-season series for inter-division play. This is a baseball knock off. Here's how it would work: Team A, let's say the Spurs, plays Team B, let's say the Mavs, in five consecutive games (3 at home, 2 on the road; alternating home/away each season). Why? Hopefully, this would create an in-season playoff environment between inter-division rivals, reduce travel, and create an interesting scheduling dynamic. I also like the idea of the winner of the in-season series receiving a playoff seeding tiebreaker for their efforts.--Tim Varner, 48 Minutes of Hell
  2. Unique court dimensions. Every basketball court should have a unique distance for the 3-point line, similar to how baseball parks each have their own unique distances to the home-run fences. To take it a step further, maybe all dimensions of the court (excluding the 10-ft height of rim, diameter of basket, size of backboard, etc.) should be up to the builder to decide. This gives additional "home court advantage" to players who are used to the lines on their home court.--Jason Grusky
  3. Lengthen the court by 10 feet (5 feet behind the basket). This would mean players would be able to penetrate the lane from 360 degrees instead of 180 degrees so players would probe much more behind the basket and the movement of the ball would increase because the attack angles would increase.--Chip O'Connor
  4. Free throws from the spot of the foul. When fouled in the act of shooting, you get the option of one "free throw" attempt from the spot on the floor where the foul occurred, for the points equal to the shot. Fouled on a layup? Take an easy shot from the paint right under basket. Fouled on a 3-pointer? One shot from the spot for 3 points. Better think twice before fouling Dwight Howard under near the basket, because you'll probably end up watching an uncontested highlight dunk for two.--Mike Moll
  5. 3-point alley-oops. If the player throwing the ball is beyond the three point line, and it's caught and dunked in air, then it's three points. It must be a dunk. A fouled dunker will receive three free-throws. Think of the implications at the end of the game. No more stacking defenders outside the three point line to prevent a three point shot to win the game. The coaching potential is fascinating. How can we utilize our big men off screens and spread the floor to create an open lane for the passer?--David Grubman
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

You can give us your ideas and talk with us and other fans in the following places:
And for the truly ambitious: Shoot a short video of yourself explaining your HoopIdea, upload it to YouTube and share the link with us on Twitter or Google+.

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