LeBron James and Dwyane Wade

Have you ever been in one of those brainstorming sessions where they tell you there’s no such thing as a bad suggestion and then somebody says something so mind-bogglingly stupid that you want to reply, “Except for that?” Chicago Sun-Times columnist Rick Telander is that guy.

In a jaw-droppingly asinine missive from June 3, Telander wrote that the NBA should raise its rims because the height and athleticism of its current players have resulted in a game that no longer resembles what the game’s founder, James Naismith, had in mind. Aside from his apparent desire to completely screw up this beautiful sport, he claims his inspiration for this idea came from the fact that Derrick Rose had such a difficult time scoring inside against the Heat:

I started to think seriously about rim-raising after 6-3 Bulls guard Derrick Rose repeatedly was unable to shoot close to the basket against the Miami Heat because there simply was not enough glass above the rim to angle in a shot above supreme athletes such as Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. It came to a head when I saw the Dallas Mavericks’ 6-2 Jason Terry dunk on the massive, 6-8 James in the first game of the NBA Finals. The ball went through, but Terry was nearly killed by the arrogant collision with James. The point was clear: You do not score from inside on a rim above which I can raise my eyebrows.

Now, you don’t need me to explain why this is a terrible idea, but I will anyway, because it’s fun.

Imagine you’ve spent your whole life practicing shooting on 10-foot rims. Suddenly, you’re forced to shoot on rims that have been moved up six inches. How do you think that’s going to affect your shooting accuracy? Every NBA player would have to “re-learn” how to shoot. It would be a freaking nightmare and scores would plummet.

Look, the reasons Derrick Rose had a hard time scoring on the Heat are that they did a really good job defending him and his shots simply weren’t falling. I’m going to bet you that Derrick himself would admit this and would agree with me that Telander was obviously wearing Bad Idea Jeans when he wrote this.

Anytime I read or hear somebody claim that the NBA was better in the old days, I’m reminded of Dana Carvey’s “Grumpy Old Man” character from Saturday Night Live. “In my day, we didn’t have great athletes who could slam dunk at will. We had a bunch of slow, unathletic white guys shooting jumpers in short shorts and we liked it. We loved it!”

Comments (11)

  1. They should consider making the court wider by a foot or two, to accommodate the fact that the players are just bigger now. But raise the rims? Blech.

  2. “I think that rather than raising the rims, they should lower the floors.”

  3. Didn’t Jason Terry miss that dunk he’s talking about? If I’m not mistaken JT hit the rim with the ball

  4. Correct Vin – He got rimstuffed, and it really wasn’t a foul. Maybe we should LOWER the rims so terry could finish the dunk lol.

  5. If they raise the rims, we won’t see any more of those Bargnani dunk attempts that get rim-stuffed (he won’t attempt anymore).

    Also for the glass issue, perhaps add to the top of the backboard than raise the rim?

  6. Telandere’s well’s been running dry since Jackson left the Bulls. Actually no… not really but I couldn’t resist and isn’t it better to read about old dogs and obscure references, anyway?


  7. Damn. This HAD to come from the dude that wrote “Heaven is a Playground”, a book that is tied with “Breaks of the Game” as my favorite basketball book ever.

  8. zoo – that really was a wonderful book. Year of the Bull was decent as well.

  9. I guess Tom Newell is also an idiot. http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2906707

    Shooters would adjust pretty quickly.

  10. Mr scott,
    That statement is not asinine. It is about time they increased the rim height! Now every tom, dick and harry can virtually dunk at will from standing position. Some can even put their hand inside the rimm and take the ball out!
    And what is this adjustment about shooting? Don’t you see players shooting from different angles and different range? Now that remarks is more asinine, rather I say stupid.

    The height of the rim is the crucial element in basketball. It was designed not for people to just stand below the post and put the basket inside the hoop by just raising the hand.

    Back in the days athletes were not this tall! Now it is ridiculous! With reach of players more than 10 feet by just raising their hand. They can just reach the hoop without any jump which is against the very purpose rim was kept at a height!

    It is not a sacrosanct height that cannot be reached. It has to be adjusted in accordance with times.
    With players like trees and dunk becoming run of the mill activity. It is time rim is at least 11 foot period.
    This should have been done long time ago, just before jordan era! Now it is worse!
    Lot of coaches agree with me and also paul pierce of celtics.

    It is high time nba did a change. Otherwise there will be plenty of empty seats to come.

  11. breached is the correction!

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