In 1979, the NBA ushered in a new era of basketball when it followed the lead of a couple of other leagues and introduced the three-point line, which changed the game as we know it.
Up until that point, basically every team relied on the strategy employed by the basketball coach from Hey Arnold! if you replaced “Tucker” with “the tallest guy on the court.”
The three-pointer revolutionized the way basketball was played, and while big men still have their place in the game, they’re no longer the scoring machines they once were when compared to guys who can shoot behind the arc.
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who’d argue the three-point line didn’t change the game for the better, and when you consider how long it’s been since it was implemented, there aren’t many people who even remember what things were like before it was adopted.
However, there’s at least one hater who’s still salty about it 40 years later: Gregg Popovich.
Popovich— the Mike Leach of the NBA— is a notorious curmudgeon and quote machine who recently shared his thoughts in an article examining how three-pointers helped basketball evolve.
He expressed his disdain for the outside jumper, saying:
“I hate it, but I always have. I’ve hated the three for 20 years. That’s why I make a joke all the time (and say) if we’re going to make it a different game, let’s have a four-point play. Because if everybody likes the three, they’ll really like the four.
People will jump out of their seats if you have a five-point play. It will be great. There’s no basketball anymore, there’s no beauty in it. It’s pretty boring. But it is what it is and you need to work with it.”
That’s a scorching take coming from the guy who once coached Manu Ginobili.
I’m a big proponent of making any shot behind the half-court line count as four points and would now love nothing more for the concept to become a reality just so I can see how Popovich reacts.