I would be willing to bet that every single one of y'all has formed SOME sort of opinion on David Stern. It's nearly impossible, even for the most casual fan, to avoid judgement of the man who has ruled over the NBA for the last three decades. I would also be willing to bet that if we all combed through the comments on this very site, you'd see quite a few "THE NBA IS RIGGED" and "FIRE STERN" exclamations.
Well as you may have noticed, SBNation NBA is starting up Theme Posts again for this off-season, and our very first league-wide topic is "Commish for a Day", which invites us, as fans, to step into the (likely expensive) shoes of an NBA Commissioner. What would you do to change the league? The game itself?
The staff here at Mavs Moneyball threw in our two cents:
Andrew Tobolowsky: The way charges are called. Some people might get geeked when a game is won because someone sacrifices their body to take a hard charge, but not normal people. A charge should be called if a person trying to play LEGITIMATE DEFENSE gets run into in a charge like way, and nothing else. As good as the spectacle of a 7-footer flying backwards after an impact with J.J. Barea is for the league...
Kirk Henderson: I think they have to make a pitch to change the offensive goaltending rule. The way it's called in international ball is fantastic and it gives some guys, like Brandan Wright, even more value if you can knock the ball off the rim.
Alan Smithee: I'd like to see the D-League expanded into a true minor league system. There are currently 16 teams. Expanding that number, and reducing the active roster limit for the NBA, would mean there'd be less young players buried on the bench. After all, do the fans really want to see the Jeremy Lamb's of the world get a whopping 147 minutes?
The overall quality of the D-League would improve, making it both more entertaining and a more accurate tool for projecting players to the next level. It would also provide more opportunities for aspiring coaches, trainers, refs, etc.
Josh Bowe: I would add two more referees to each crew, that always stay at each basket. I think refs have a hard enough time seeing the action moving at the pace of the players. Adding two refs that are stationed at each basket only helps. And hopefully gets rid of those foul calls from refs 57 feet from the action.
LJ Rotter: I would try and find a way to keep the pace of the game in the waning seconds and prevent the "hack-a" phenomenon. Games are already insanely stressful when they're close, so the use of fouls as a kind of ‘chess match' becomes agonizing. Maybe give the fouls higher stakes- if a player commits a foul in the final, oh, 20 seconds (pick a number, really) he is automatically fouled out, regardless of how many fouls he has previously. Perhaps that would keep the clock moving.
Jonathan Tjarks: I'd eliminate the draft and give teams a set amount of money, depending on their record, to bid on players. Basically, the process MLB uses to sign Dominican players.
Rebecca Lawson: I'd change the one and done rule. Either abolish it completely and let players come straight from high school, or I actually lean toward the NFL rule where you have to be either a certain age or three years in school to be eligible. That way your talent base is far more prepared to play and it helps out the NCAA at the same time. This 'one and done' has completely destroyed the college game.
Hal Brown: If I were the commissioner, I'd expand the league to Seattle. They really need a team, and getting the game to thousands of more fans is probably more valuable than "schedule conflicts." I'm sure the Warriors, etc. would be perfectly fine playing a couple more games against a new division opponent, and a couple less against someone else. I'm sure there's also more closed-door, business issues with that, but whatever, that's not my job to know or worry about that as a relatively uninformed fan.
I'd also Start up a Mascot-all-stars game to be played during all star weekend. GIVE ME ALL OF THE DUNKS, BY ALL OF THE ANIMALS.
Tim Cato: Players don't take the All-Star game seriously enough, so how about the winning conference determines home court advantage during the NBA Fin -- I'M KIDDING.
Actually, my change would be simple -- add a 20 second time limit to all replays. Part of the reason games are dragging on so long is the officials are taking a full minute to look at the video. Twenty seconds is plenty of time to see the angles and decide. Too close to see? Stick with the original call. Eventually, as replay is expanded, I'd want a dedicated replay official to save even more time, but let's start small.
So there you have it. That's how Mavs Moneyball would change the league. What would you do? Tell us in the comments.