Frankly Speaking - If I Were Commissioner of the NBA

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Frank LaydenFrankly Speaking

If I Were Commissioner of the NBA

by Frank Layden

If I were commissioner of the NBA...

I’d put another team in New York, specifically in Brooklyn. That would give us 30 teams. I think it would be a great rivalry between the Knicks and the team in Brooklyn, who we will seek a name for. (The Brooklyn Basket Cases — That might be a good name for them.) But I would put a team in Brooklyn.

If I were commissioner of the NBA...

I would pull the NBA teams out of Canada, moving the teams in Vancouver and Toronto to Anaheim, California, and somewhere else. How about a team in Oklahoma? I think they deserve a team. I would keep the NBA within the confines of the United States.

If I were commissioner of the NBA...

I would make some rule changes. I would widen the free throw lanes, and I would cut the 24-second clock down to 18 seconds to see if we could get some more shots and more fast-break basket ball. I would take John Wooden's advice and make the dunk count for one point. I also would add an additional line outside the three-point line and create a four- or five-point field goal. And if I were commissioner, I think I would probably allow goaltending, because I think we're the only game in the world in which we don't make every effort to stop every opportunity to score.

If I were commissioner of the NBA...

Instead of having a women's league, what I would do is add two women to every existing NBA team. Whenever one coach substituted a woman, the other coach would have to put in a woman. Maybe there would be designated quarters in which we'd have women in the games.

If I were commissioner of the NBA...

I would seek to have somebody at my side who was not only entertaining but would also be somebody who was really creative in the game of basketball, and I would willingly take that person's advice. Now, the only person I can think of who would be available to do that would be myself, and I think that I could be bought. If the commissioner saw fit to raise enough money to pay me, I would be willing to move to Greenwich, Connecticut, and ride down to New York City with him every day, and we could discuss the problems of the league.

If I were commissioner of the NBA...

I would create one division in California alone. I think it would be nice to say, "Well, tomorrow we have to play in San Jose, and the next day we have a game in Santa Barbara." And I think everybody would want to play on the West Coast in that California division, and I think that would be a lot of fun. It would make travel a lot easier.

If I were commissioner of the NBA...

I would envision the NBA having a training camp very much like spring training in baseball, which would cut down on a lot of our expenses. All the teams would go to one place —a warm weather place, like Florida or Arizona — and all the teams would practice against one another. It would be good for the fans, because they could go to one place and see all the teams. I think it would be good for training our players and good for the cities where we held the spring training. We'd practice against one another and watch each other.

I think that all of these ideas should certainly be considered even though I'm not the commissioner and I never will be the commissioner. I also know none of them will ever be implemented — because they make too much sense.