Knicks Pres. Phil Jackson Wants 4-Point Line Added & a 30-Second Shot Clock

Phil Jackson

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson has been critical of the 3-point line in the past, so his most recent comments on adding things to the NBA are quite surprising.

“Why not have a 4-point line about 35 feet out?” Jackson suggested to Charley Rosen of Today’s Fastbreak in an interview published Friday. “It wouldn’t be long before players will get reasonably comfortable shooting from out there. And having a 4-point line would certainly serve to enable teams to catch up in what are now blowout games.”

“The three-point shot has had a dramatic effect on the game,” Jackson says. “It began with the old American Basketball Association with their striped ball and emphasis on backcourt play. Nowadays, you have to come out and guard the long-range shooters, which now includes stretch 4s. What this does is open up driving lanes. So most offenses come down to high screen fades, drives and kick-out passes, and guys getting fouled when they attack the basket. Even so, the game is still about ball penetration.”

A 4-point line wouldn’t likely help his Knicks as they finished 20th in the league in 3-point percentage last season.

Jackson’s other suggestion for gameplay improvement seems more in line with his principles: He’d like to see six seconds added to the 24-second shot clock.

“This would give offenses more time to get low-post players involved, make defenses work harder, and encourage more passing and player movement,” he explained.

Jackson realizes that small-ball and the 3-point line is dominating the league today, but he says eventually it will fade out and big man bully type of b-ball will return.

“The pendulum will swing back,” he said, “when big men make a habit of crushing smaller defenders.”

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