September 7, 2007
Have you ever pondered this question? After reading TrueHoop today, Kelly Dwyer pointed out a valid point. Perimeter shooting is at a premium in the NBA right now. If you try and derive the reason why, you’d have to look where all the players are coming from. College of course (well, mostly). In College, the 3-line is 20 feet and 9 inches, where in the NBA it is 23 feet and 9 inches. This extra 3 feet is pretty drastic for young shooters to get adjusted to, coming out of College. The prime example I think about is J.J. Redick. In College, this guy couldn’t miss. I would always stand up for him in the J.J. or Adam Morrison debate. He seemed like the perfect candidate to come into the league and start firing down some threes, just like how Jason Kapono has done so well. Well if you caught a glimpse of J.J. this past season, you’ll know this wasn’t the case. He had to adjust his shot for the extra 3 feet. This is no easy task! Think about it. He has been shooting the 3-ball from the same distance since high school, right up until he finished his career at Duke. He then comes in the league and everyone thinks he’s a dud. I still see a future for this guy as a sharp shooter. Again, Jason Kapono wasn’t even worth talking about until this past season, and now he’s making the big bucks. This leads me to my initial question: What if the college and NBA 3-point line were the same distance? For one, perimeter shooters in the NBA would NOT be at a premium. The transition into the NBA for shooters would be quite easy. As long as the distance is the same, they will knock down these shots. Guys like J.J. Redick would have been more useful and affective in their first season. I’m sure the same was said for guys like Steve Kerr. I’m sure his numbers weren’t all that pretty as a rookie. Would the NCAA ever enact this type of change? Probably not, but hey, it’s worth a ponder.