Accordingly, here are seven changes that I would make to the league.
1. Flopping needs to exterminated once and for all. In order to do this, the punishment has to be over the top. Players can’t whine about over the top punishments, because if they simply don’t flop, they won’t get fined anything. But here’s what I’m thinking: for every flop, a player is suspended three games and fined 5% of their salary. For every subsequent offense, the suspension and fines double, so for a second offense, the player would be suspended 6 games and lose 10% of their salary. So for Lebron James — whose salary is $20 million this year, a first offense of flopping would cost him $1 million.(Take this one as being semi-serious)
2. The draft lottery is far too sketchy. As reported here, we don’t see the actual lottery on prime time. That is just for show, while the real lottery takes place behind the scenes. I like the idea of a lottery – this will prevent teams from tanking. But a lottery has to be a true lottery, and the only way to ensure that is to broadcast the ‘behind the scenes’ and the drawing of the ping pong balls live. By doing so, no owner will try to buy a pick, because doing so would expose him to the entire world. This will ensure that there are no conspiracies.
3. The season shall be shortened to 62 games. 82 games is just too much; many unmotivated players become tired or indifferent, and coast through portions of the season. Shortening the season to 62 games will increase the quality of regular season games. The length of the season will stay the same so that the games will be more spread out, giving teams time to practice and work on team ball.
4. Fully utilize instant replay. Fans are always complaining about refs. This may never change, but one surefire way to improve officiating is instant reply. Heck, the NFL already does. And its not like you have to do it on every call. But on questionable calls where theres a lot of disagreement, or in crucial moments of the game, use it! If it wasn’t really a foul on Kevin Durant like you called, and he had flopped instead, reverse the call.
5. Two playoff spots, shall be eliminated, making it 14 total playoff teams. Honestly, 16 teams out of 30 is just too much. The 8 seeds in each conference are usually not very good, and are even sometimes well below .500. This makes the 1 vs 8 seed matchup pretty pointless. Of course there are exceptions, like with the Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks, but they are not enough to offset matchups like the Miami Heat and Charlotte Bobcats that are painfully predictable. Doing this will also further lessen coasting during the season. With less playoff spots, teams in the middle of the pack will have more incentive to win, bringing higher quality games down the stretch of the regular season.
6. Like in the NFL, the top team in each conference will get a bye. The wear and tear of the NBA is truly tremendous. Every team’s goal is to win a championship, but to be dynasty that wins countless champsionships would mean playing basketball from August straight to next June every year — the work load is just a bit much. By implementating the bye, it will provide a reward and rest time for the top teams, as well as make for higher quality competition in the regular season as the top teams in the conference fight for this bye.
So in regards to points 5 and 6, the playoff format will look like this:
1 seed: bye
4 seed vs 5 seed: winner plays 1 seed
2 seed vs 7 seed: winner plays winner of 3 vs 6
3 seed vs 6 seed: winner plays winner of 2 vs 7
7. Minimum games played rule to start in the All Star game. I’m all for letting fans participate in All Star voting, but even fans should learn to not get too greedy. I mean, are you really going to vote in Kobe Bryant when he hasn’t played a game all year?