Uproxx- For the second-straight season, the Hall of Fame coach agreed to a series of sitdowns with Charley Rosen of Today’s FastBreak, dubbed “The Phil Jackson Chronicles,” and the 11-time NBA champ had some interesting, if not conflicting, rule changes in mind that he believes might help the game. Here’s what he had to say when he spoke to Rosen during training camp last fall:
“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.”
In addition, Jackson supports adding six seconds to the 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.”
Look, the cold, hard reality of these quotes is probably that they are just another strong sign that Phil Jackson's age is starting to catch up with him. It feels like the regularity with which he says things that are absolutely off the wall is steadily increasing with each passing month, and the most accomplished coach in NBA history already looked pretty looney when he decided to join a defunct Knicks franchise for no apparent reason. I'm not sure if he's begun his descent into becoming the old, crazy guy at the end of the bar, but he's certainly taken to sounding like him.
That said, I can't help but feel for the dude. I know he's got enough rings to make Saturn look low maintenance, but that continued excellence has clearly taken it's toll. Phil Jackson has gotten so used to winning that a couple non-competitive seasons have convinced him that the age old rules and regulations of basketball must be antiquated if they result in anything less than him raising the Larry O'Brien trophy. He's like the super hot girl that finally gets a boyfriend who treats her like a regular person instead of waiting on her hand and foot and has a hard time understanding that relationships are supposed to be mutually beneficial. Phil Jackson is too damn programmed to expect greatness to accept that the NBA is supposed to be a competitive league in which winning consistently is inherently difficult. So much so that he would rather turn the sport into a carnivalized version of itself just to see if an additional 6 seconds per possession is what's stopping him from picking up championship #14. If Phil Jackson's team isn't in the playoffs then clearly basketball is no longer being played the right way - no matter what comical collection of disorganized talent resides on his roster. That's why we almost need to draw up a 4-point line that will have the league's collective shot selection looking like that of the Harlem GlobeTrotters. Who doesn't value the Zen Master's peace mind over the spirit of the game?