For several years now the NBA has been entertaining the idea of a 4-point line. Fans of Steph Curry and the evolving game are thrilled at this prospect, but is this really the best move for the league to make? As a new season gets under way and fans watch players such as Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and most of the Los Angeles Lakers, they can’t help but wonder what a 3-point-less NBA would be like, because, let’s face it, the 3-point shot just isn’t cool anymore.
The 3-point line was introduced into the NBA in 1979 and Chris Ford of the Boston Celtics is largely credited with the first-ever made 3-point field goal. Since then it has only grown, reaching its peak in today’s NBA with players like Steph Curry and his Golden State Warriors.
Basketball has shifted from above the rim and strong post play dominated by the likes of Julius “Dr. J” Erving and Shaquille O’Neal to a game that takes place another 20 or so feet away from the basket: the 3-point game.
As players like Curry have reached the point where fans are more surprised when he misses than when he makes it, these same fans have become hungry for something more, another challenge. This challenge, in the eyes of many, is the 4-point line. But instead, we are being shown that this is not what the NBA needs. The NBA needs guys slashing to the basket, finishing slick layups, cleaning the boards, and posterizing opponents on the way to a dunk.
Ben Simmons, who many believe to be one of the better players in the NBA, has attempted 11 3-pointers in his career, consisting mostly of unimportant buzzer-beater heaves, and has made 0 of them. Yet he dominates the game with his athleticism, finishing ability, size, and court vision.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, an MVP favorite for many, averages less than two attempted 3-pointers per game and makes a career 28 percent of them. But he, like Simmons, dominates the game with his size and athleticism, as well as ability to dunk over or go by opponents at the rim. The Los Angeles Lakers, one of the most exciting teams in the NBA, rank 29th in 3-point field goals made and 30th in 3-point percentage through their first two games. These stats will likely not change much with the likes of Lonzo Ball and Rajon Rondo on the floor. While they do possess shooters, such as Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart, if Lonzo Ball is ever your leading 3-point shooter, then you are not a strong team from beyond the arc.
Simply put, the 3-pointer is not fun anymore. Until Steph finds a way to make them more interesting, LeBron dropping a beautiful pass downlow or Giannis leaping over an opponent and dunking will simply be more fun to watch. This is the future of the NBA, and it certainly is an exciting one.