NBA Rule Change: The Designated Free Throw Shooter

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My childhood dream was to one day play in the NBA. As I grow older the chances of that diminish every day. The odds of an NBA team looking for a 5’5 guy in his 30s who hasn’t played a competitive game since high school (and now plays incredibly infrequently) are pretty low. But they can never take away a passion for the game and my ability to dream. Air Bud got to play in a State Championship and Lil Bow starred in a move where a teenager played in the NBA because he had special shoes. So what can I do with my current skillset to make it to the league?

Well every offseason the NBA goes through rules changes. Like with any change it can take some getting used to, but they all serve a purpose to better the game. Yes the goal is to speed things up and make for a good fan experience, but I’d like to suggest borrowing something from Baseball (the sport that doesn’t care about speeding things up). In Baseball most pitchers can’t hit for shit (exceptions being Babe Ruth and Shohei Ohtani) so they invented the position of Designated Hitter a player who comes in on offense to bat instead of the pitcher. Well in basketball there are lots of players who suck at shooting Free Throws!

So with this I propose we instate the Designated Free Throw Shooter. In fact I feel this would be the closest we get to real life professional BASEketball. I share with you a great scene from the film for inspiration:

“Remer: We’re pretty good at basketball. [takes the ball, shoots and scores, then sips his beer]
Coop: Yeah, as long as we don’t have to run or jump or dribble or nothing. You know what I mean? [takes the ball, shoots and scores, then sips his beer]
Remer: [holds the ball] Ah, shit’s overrated anyway.”

Embed from Getty Images

Not being a good Free Throw shooter certainly doesn’t keep anybody out of the Hall of Fame. Look at two of the best Centers in NBA History as Wilt Chamberlain shot 51.1% and Shaq shot 52.7%. Ben Wallace was able to get in to the Hall of Fame shooting a career 41.5%!!! We also know Giannis Antetokounmpo has also had his struggles at the line.

Well what if we could choose one player a game that we know sucks at shooting FTs and have somebody on the roster available to go in to the game to shoot on their behalf. When the player is fouled and goes to the line, the Designated Free Throw shooter hops in to action. They shoot the FTs and if the second one misses the other team automatically gets the ball (so the Designated Free Throw Shooter doesn’t have to play defense). All the Designated Free Throw shooter has to do is stand 15 feet away from the basket and get it in the hoop in front of thousands of people in attendance and millions watching worldwide.

With this you could open up the league to all kinds of “players”. People of all shapes, sizes and physical abilities can get to step on an NBA court and live out their dreams. Pay them enough to quit their day job give them travel (room and board) and hook em up with the gear (get me on a Nike Elite Account!!!). Now let’s go out and make it happen! As a final note I would play myself in the Disney movie… Tentative title is the “The Little Shlub that Could”.

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