Are we playing 1’s and 2’s or 2’s and 3’s?
This phrase is commonly uttered before pickup basketball games, but in the future, people may start to add 1’s, 2’s, 3’s and 4’s—at least in Larry Bird’s opinion.
The Indiana Pacers president believes that the increased popularity and impact of the 3-point shot could lead the NBA to eventually add a 4-point line. He actually thinks it could be good for the game.
“Every 10, 12, 15 years, there’s something new coming in,” Bird said to The New Yorker’s Charles Bethea. “You put that 4-point line there and people will start practicing. And once they start practicing, they’ll get better at it.”
Though Bird wouldn’t be surprised to see the game evolve in this way, 4-point line might not be deemed good for the league, or the game of basketball in general.
One glaring question that would need to be answered: where would the line be drawn? The 3-point line is 22 feet from the hoop in the corners and 23 feet-9 inches around the rest of the court. The 4-point line would probably have to be at least 27 feet from the hoop, which would extend it closer to half court—47 feet from the hoop.
Realistically, only a handful of players would be able to consistently hit 4-point shots. Shooters who are only marginally accurate from the 3-point line would have trouble extending their range.