If the NBA decided to add a four-point line in the next couple of years, it seems it already has a supporter in Indiana Pacers’ President Larry Bird.
In an article by The New Yorker, Bird and Pacers’ legend Reggie Miller gave their opinions on the idea of a four-point shot in the NBA. Miller found the idea “comical” while Bird was much more open to the idea.
"“When I played, I never did practice three-point shots. But these kids here, that’s all they do. The game has changed, no question about it. Every ten, twelve, fifteen years, there’s something new coming in. You put that four-point line in there and people will start practicing. And once they start practicing, they get better at it. Maybe five or ten years down the road, fours are what everybody will be shooting. The game evolves.”"
While there is no official proposal to add a four-point line in the NBA, the league has been lightly discussing it behind closed doors. In 2014, ESPN’s Marc Stein found that league executives had “informal” talks about adopting a four-point line.
It is interesting to hear Larry Bird have this opinion about a potential four-point shot. Usually, most former players, like Reggie Miller, have detested this idea. However, Bird thinks that the four-point shot can be successfully integrated into the NBA.
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"“We didn’t gravitate to the three at first. We weren’t like, ‘oh boy, here it is!’ No, it takes time. When they first put it in, some team took five three-pointers a game and that was a lot.”"
Bird is certainly used to change in the NBA. His rookie season with the Boston Celtics was in 1979, which was also the first season of the three-point line in the NBA. Bird seems to believe new NBA wrinkles and rules can work, but it will take time for players and teams to adjust.
37 years after its introduction to the league, almost every NBA team relies on the three-point shot. In fact, the Golden State Warriors used it as their most lethal weapon in route to NBA championship last season. While it seems like a longshot, the four-point line could potentially be a mainstay in the NBA.
Bird could have some personal interest in seeing the NBA adopt a four-point line eventually. He currently has a player who can shoot long shots at an effective rate.
Hypothetically, the Pacers would do well with a four-point shot in the NBA. They have Paul George, who has plenty of shooting range. George could make a good percent of these long four-point shots.
For those that have their doubts, watch these two examples of George’s range in action. Where he ends up shooting is the ideal area for a potential four-point line.
Obviously, George would never be fully reliant on shots like these. However, it is fun to think about how well he would should behind a hypothetical four-point shot.
What are people’s opinions on a four-point line in the NBA? Are you siding with Reggie Miller or do you agree with Larry Bird? Again, there are no formal proposals to add it, but it is an interesting discussion to have.