|Cut it out, LeBron. (cbssports.com)|
Gosh damnit, David Stern. Lockouts, blocked trades, the “respect for the game” rule – and now this? The NBA announced last week it’s implementing a 90-second clock for pregame rituals. After player introductions, teams will have just a minute and a half to perform rim pull-ups, chalk tosses and shorty solicitations. Less clowning and quicker tip times, the NBA says. Tell me, David, do you lease your fun-sucker or did it come with an option to buy?
The NBA pregame dap exchange is more important than the third quarter! It’s DVR-worthy. True story: I once rewound a Toronto Raptors game just to see how awkward it was to see Linas Kleiza and DeMar DeRozan bump torsos. That has to be the first time “rewound a Toronto Raptors game” has ever appeared in the written word. These are the greatest athletes on the planet. The handshakes, the theatrics, the egos – that’s what makes your league go, Mr. Commissioner. Why would you take that awa-ohmyGod you’re retiring.
As I’m writing this post – my first for Beats, Dimes & Drives – ESPN is reporting that Stern, 70, will retire Feb. 1, 2014. On that date, he will celebrate his 30th year as commissioner of the Association. Wow, I don’t know what to say, really. This was a curveball. I was kind of hoping to crank out another 500 words on how the big, bad man took my John Wall Dougie away. Now I just, I don’t know.
Joe Posnanski, I feel your pain, dog.
Congratulations, Mr. Stern. I just put two envelopes in a tumbler. One said to FINISH YOU Mortal Kombat-style and turn this into a litany of your wrongdoings as Big Boss (the ’85 lottery, urinating on the already rainy Seattle, the “buried bodies,” CP3 to the Lakers); the other said to let you off blast and offer five ways to speed up NBA games without murdering The Dapshow. I pulled the latter. I know, should have bent the envelope.
1. The five-minute jump: If a team, up 15 points, hits four three-pointers in a row, the game clock skips forward five minutes. Think of it like jumping off Rainbow Road on Mario Kart and landing halfway through the next lap. Obviously, this rule has its limitations. You can’t use the shortcut with under five minutes remaining, effectively ending the game. But if the Bobcats are down 23 with 6:51 in the 4th quarter… c’mon, that game needs to get off my TV.
2. Picture-in-Picture the second half of all TV timeouts. Mute the broadcasters so the advertisers don’t get pissed, but throw the ball back in before Kobe’s done ladling soup for the NBA Cares campaign.
3. And1s in quarters 1-3 are automatic points. This will result in fewer trips to the free throw line and more hard fouls. If you get hacked on a made bucket in the fourth quarter, you still have to shoot the free throw. The pressure remains when the game is on the line. Put on your stars and stripes bandana – that rule is ’Merican right there.
|How will this man's introduction be entertaining? (canishoopus.com)|
4. Coaches no longer get introduced during pregame. Sure, I’m just shaving seconds at this point, but LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, THE HEAD COACH OF YOUR MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES…RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKK ADDDDEEEELLMANNNNNNNN!!!Stop it.
And finally, any on-court beef between league-minimum players takes two minutes off the game clock. This happens all too frequently in the NBA. Hey, guy-who-rides-pine, sit down. It’s garbage time. We didn’t care about you when you were an athletic, high ceiling, 8.3 ppg-dude in the Big Sky. We certainly don’t now that you’re in the league. Get out of Mo Harkless’ face.
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