You’ve probably already seen the trailer for Bill Simmons’ new eponymous HBO show, Any Given Wednesday, which included in it many hot takes, as we’ve described in detail on this site and Awful Announcing.
One of them was, of course, the four-point line, and Mr. Simmons’ steadfast belief in it. Some of the NBA’s legendary sharp-shooters have now had their say, and guess what: they don’t much like it.
Among the vocal opponents is Reggie Miller, who said of the four-point line, “It’s comical.”
“The league will be a laughingstock, and I will be in front of the line laughing the loudest. Why are we always trying to change and adjust the game?” he told The New Yorker (of all places).
Larry Bird also chimed in about the history of the three-pointer and what, if any, comparisons could be made to a new four-point line.
“We didn’t gravitate to the three at first,” Bird said. “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.”
Today, with the advent of analytics, the NBA has gone three-point crazy, with the average amount of three-pointers taken today hitting 24 per game, highest in league history.
“It’s funny how the game has changed,” Bird continued. “And my thinking about it. I was really worried — back sixteen, seventeen years ago — that the little guy didn’t have a spot in the NBA anymore: it was just going to be the big guards like Magic Johnson. But then players started shooting more threes and spacing the court, and everyone wants small guards now. Watching these kids play now, I’m like everybody else: Wow, man. They can really shoot! They have more freedom to get to the basket. The ball moves a little better. These kids are shooting from farther, with more accuracy. Now some teams shoot up around thirty threes a game. My era, you always think that’s the greatest era. But I’m not so sure anymore.”
While Larry Bird seems to enjoy the way the NBA is trending, one of the NBA’s most lethal shooters in the past 30 years doesn’t, oddly enough.
“Kids aren’t working on that ten-footer anymore,” Miller said. “Or that fifteen-footer, eighteen-footer. Everything is either a lay-up in the paint, a free throw, or a three. Where is the mid-range game? It’s gone.”
The four-point line may be coming soon, just like ads on jerseys, and the ardent supporters of the game the way it is might have to come around.
Although, in the list of Simmons hot takes from his show’s new trailer, the four-point line is comparatively cool compared to such gems as, “I believe the defending NBA champs should wear championship belts to every game,” and “I believe the Tug-O-War should be an Olympic sport,” which it is already.