The 3-point line was introduced in the NBA in 1979. At first, everyone thought it was a gimmick. No one utilized it. But fast forward to today, it is considered one of the most lethal shots in basketball.
Legendary coach Phil Jackson has been a keen observer of this trend and he believes it would be best for the game to move things up a notch by adding a 4-point line and increasing the shot clock to 30 seconds.
Stephen Curry for 4!
In July 2016, Phil Jackson suggested the NBA should add a 4-point line. Note that this was after the monumental 2015-2016 NBA season where Stephen Curry drained 402 3-pointers to snag the single-season record. It could be argued that it was the season that changed the game for good.
"Why not have a four-point line about 35 feet out? It wouldn't be long before players will get reasonably comfortable shooting from out there. And having a four-point line would certainly serve to enable teams to catch up in what are now blowout games,” Jackson said per Today's Fastbreak, via Complex.
Jackson definitely predicted the future. After that historic season by Curry, players like James Harden and Damian Lillard started making it rain from far beyond the 3-point line. Harden actually ranks second in most 3-pointers made in a single season with 378. He particularly made his mark in Houston where 3-pointers were an intrinsic part of the playbook.
Over the past few years, teams have integrated the 3-point shot into their playbook. If you want to be in the NBA, you must have a smooth stroke in your arsenal.
30-second shot clock
Apart from adding the 4-point shot, the Zen Master also suggested increasing the shot clock to 30 seconds and had an interesting but unsurprising reason behind this.
"This would give offenses more time to get low-post players involved, make defenses work harder, and encourage more passing and player movement," Jackson explained.
This explanation is expected from the Zen Master. The triangle offense, the package he utilized to win 11 NBA Championships as a coach, relies on spacing, proper player movement, and scoring in the post. It is a slow and calculated offensive system. So it’s not a shocking revelation that Jackson prefers an extended shot clock.
Time will only tell if the NBA follows Jackson’s recommendations. The 30-second shot clock seems like a long shot. But for the 4-point shot, the NBA tried it out in the All-Star celebrity game.