It's no secret that the sport of basketball is a great sport. It has a lot of things going in its favor. Buzzer-beaters, slam dunks, alley-oops, and it's not soccer. You can play it anywhere in the world, so long as you have a ball, a hoop, and a dream. It's easy to understand and if you're good at it you don't even have to go to classes in college. Big people can thrive. Little people can thrive. Medium people can hang out on the bench. Rec leagues. Rec specs. Primetime. For some reason every rapper ever thinks they're a part of the sport.
Basketball really just seems to have it all.
However, nothing is ever what it seems.
Basketball doesn't have it all. If it had it all, it wouldn't have any problems. That would make it perfect, like dairy or slippers or when dogs become friends with each other. No, basketball is far from perfect. Not like soccer far, but far enough. How far?
Well not this far, this is just a picture of Michael Jordan's wingspan. It's a really cool picture though and it looks good here. It looks good everywhere. Michael Jordan is perfect.
But basketball isn't Michael Jordan anymore, so it isn't perfect.
So how do we fix it? How do we fix bball? How do we save basketball? Is basketball in that bad of shape where it needs to be full-blown saved? Is this just going to be a list of things that should be changed in basketball? Is the word "save" used just because the title is already written and it's too much work to scroll up and change it? Why is soccer such a joke of a sport? Do you think Larry Bird would be fun to go fishing with? I heard Randy Moss has his own fishing show now.
Wow, these are all questions. Except for the Randy Moss sentence.
Here's how it's done. Here's how to save the sport of basketball:
1. If you're buddies with someone on another team and you two are at all friendly with each other either publicly or over social media, you have to either sit out one quarter of a game or play the game without shoes on.
There's too much inter-team friendliness in the NBA. This is sports. Sports is competition. Competition is war without killing. And that's just if you're not a good competitor, honestly. True competitors are killers. They shoot to kill. That makes every shot on the court a kill-shot, if you're good at it. Notice how lots of people in the league suck at shooting? That's because they're not killers because they're friends with opposing players. If you're friends with an opposing player, you aren't a winner. You're a loser. Losers pay the consequences by either sitting out a quarter or playing with no shoes.
2. Speaking of shoes, if you're not an MVP candidate, you're not allowed to have your own custom shoes. There are roughly 68,000 basketball players with custom shoes right now. Roughly meaning it's a rough situation, because if you're not Jordan, it's pretty rough to have the audacity to think you've earned your own shoes. Notice the use of the word "earned." Shoes are like respect: you have to earn it. How does one earn respect in basketball? They make themselves an MVP candidate.
That means every year, people are either getting or losing shoe deals. It's not just good for basketball itself because it'll increase how hard players try, it's also good for business, because of distribution, redistribution, new deals, and money.
3. Every dad knows that no one in the NBA plays defense. Basketball players that play poor defense or don't play defense at all have to join the military. You're not going to defend the court? That's fine, you lousy jerk. Go learn a little bit about what defense truly is. You bet your boots you'll serve your team once you've served your country.
4. "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." We've all heard that from some teacher who has no idea what's going on but is trying to connect with kids 60 years younger than them. Here's the truth: not only do you miss 100% of the shots you don't take, but you should make 100% of the shots you're forced to take. That's right, we're talking about free throws.
You have to wear a dunce cap if you miss free throws. Look, yes it's a hard rule, but it's only fair. Free throws should be guaranteed makes. We're talking about a free throw. It's not even a shot. Shots are hard to make sometimes. Throws are super easy always. That's why both slow pitch softball and gunning for the first pick in the NFL draft are easy, because it's simply throwing. Only a dunce can't make a throw, so therefore missed free throws makes you a dunce. Dunces wear dunce caps.
5. One of the most exciting and flashy parts of basketball is the dunk. It's a display of human excellence and athletic dominance. You're flying through the air, taking the ball, and putting it directly into the rim with your big hands. It's simply awesome. It cause awe. Have you ever seen someone's face when they've been dunked on? Their brain has been temporarily ruined. It's in awe.
But missing dunks is embarrassing. It changes "awe" to "aw" as in "aw crap." Missing dunks is pure garbage. If you're up there in the sky about to hammer it in and for whatever reason you can't place the orange ball through an orange rim that's larger than the ball itself, you should be ashamed. You should be shamed of the garbage you've just made. If you miss a dunk, you have to sit in a garbage can the next time you go to the bench. It only makes sense. If you're going to make garbage like that, you have to learn how to put it away. Garbage belongs in a garbage can.
6. Basketball is hard, but it shouldn't be just brutal difficulty. Players should be allowed to eat Snickers on the bench. Snickers aren't just healthy, they're fun and delicious! Everyone loves Snickers! No disgusting granola bar or hippie health snack will ever be Snickers. Basketball isn't a hippie sport. Basketball players have earned the right to eat Snickers on the bench. Also, this way anyone with a silly peanut allergy won't have to waste anyone else's time by being on the court. Snickers are fun, but we're not talking about excuses here. Peanut allergies are nothing but an excuse. Get the Snickers in and get the excuses out.
7. Basketball is electrifying because it's often unpredictable. You never know when you're going to have a blowout or a close game, a low-scoring defensive battle (assuming the military rule has been put into effect already) or a high-scoring shootout (shootout because they're shooting because they're competitors trying to kill). But what's the most unpredictable thing? Knowing when you're about to fall into a pool.
Put a pool under every basketball court and at some point in the game open the court so people fall in the pool. Not only will it keep the game extra exciting and the players on their toes, but it'll force good fundamentals. Do you know how hard basketball in the pool gets after a while? Have you ever been to one of Ethan's birthday parties? The only way to slog through the water is with good fundamentals. If players have to play basketball for a little bit in the pool, it'll do nothing but bring about the best possible play. Also, this way players will be able to easily cool down, which will eliminate the need for all of this ridiculous compression clothing people are wearing. Come on, everyone. Take it easy with the compression clothing. It's just plain dumb.
8. Stealing is illegal and looked down upon in society. That's why people are penalized for stealing. But stealing is legal and pretty fricken' sweet in basketball. It therefore not only should still not be penalized, but rather it should be rewarded. Players should get one point for stealing the ball and another extra point for scoring a basket off a steal. This is a great rule. Not only will it make the game that much more competitive and promote good defense, but it will serve as an equalizer because if you're going for steals, you're also going to get more fouls. That's how we get the bench active. Also, it'll help eliminate the utterly nonsense situation of players stealing the ball, running down the court, then pulling back to set up the rest of the offense. No one likes to see that. That situation has been on zero highlight reels ever.
9. Nothing hurts more than losing. At least, not until now. When a team loses a game, all the players have to call their significant others and tell them that they love them in front of the entire press. It's always uncomfortable to have to tell someone you love them over the phone in front of someone else. It's pretty uncomfortable to watch, too. People seem like they've gotten a little comfortable with losing in basketball nowadays. That's gotta be the case otherwise the Bulls wouldn't have done what they did this season. We've gotta make losing even more uncomfortable by setting this rule and getting things back on track.
10. Finally, every team has to retire their own version of whoever their franchise's best player's jersey is but as a sweet Houston Astros throwback jersey with Japanese font on it and then hang that jersey from their rafters. It's fun, confusing, and doesn't make any sense. That's chaos. Chaos is entropy. Entropy leads to trying to restore order. Trying to restore order leads to restoring order. Restoring order leads to order. Order leads to good basketball. Good basketball leads to great basketball. Great basketball leads to saving basketball. Saving basketball leads to basketball being saved.
Basketball can be saved. It's not too late. All we have to do is make these 10 simple rules and also overhaul the NCAA.