NBA considering adding a 4 point shot

NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn and vice president Kiki Vandeweghe acknowledged in a recent interview with ESPN.com that the league office, at least in an exploratory fashion, has weighed expanding the dimensions of the court and the introduction of a 4-point shot.

In a sitdown interview with ESPN’s TrueHoop TV, conducted during All-Star Weekend in New Orleans earlier this month, Thorn and Vandeweghe spoke of both concepts mostly from a hypothetical standpoint, but did concede that the ideas have been presented for discussion at a league level.

The NBA has employed a 94-foot-by-50-foot court since the 1940s. But Vandeweghe — who went to two All-Star Games as a player and most recently served as an executive and head coach with the Nets before joining the league office in 2013 — confirmed that the growing size and ever-increasing athleticism of players today prompted discussion about expanding the playing surface.

“Making the court bigger — it’s an interesting idea and we’ve actually looked at it,” Vandeweghe said. “We keep a list of ideas on what we should do and how we can make the game better, of course. But arenas are obviously built in a certain way and that would take a lot of adjusting to actually make the court bigger. But does it mean we shouldn’t look at it? No, of course not. We’re looking at all sorts of things.”
“Those seats that are very close to the court are obviously very expensive seats to start out with. And most of them come right up to the floor. So when you start extending the floor, sideways or length — you could probably extend it lengthwise easier than you can sideways. So there are a lot of things you have to look at there.”

The NBA adopted the 3-point shot from the old ABA starting in the 1979-80 season. As for the prospect of a 4-point shot, Thorn said that, too, is “something that’s come up” as an informal proposal.

The mere notion of the NBA someday adopting a 4-pointer is believed to be an offshoot of a famed quote from then-Boston Celtics star Antoine Walker, who reportedly answered a question about why he took so many 3-point shots by saying: “Because there are no 4s.

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Maidana up next for Mayweather

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. gave himself a 37th birthday present on Monday: an opponent. The pound-for-pound king announced on Twitter that he will next fight fellow welterweight titleholder Marcos Maidana on May 3.

The 147-pound unification fight will be carried by Showtime PPV and take place at a venue to be determined — either in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand, the front-runner, where Mayweather has had his last eight fights, or the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., which came into the picture in recent weeks and is making a strong push for the fight.

Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer, who has worked with Mayweather since 2007 and also promotes Maidana, told ESPN.com that he hopes to have the venue locked in “in the next couple of days along with the ticket information.”

The fight will be the third of a 30-month, six-fight deal worth $200 million-plus that Mayweather signed with Showtime and parent network CBS last February. Mayweather has said he plans to retire at the conclusion of the contract.

Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs) holds world titles at junior middleweight and welterweight but will return to welterweight to make his second defense when he faces Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs), a 30-year-old crowd-pleasing slugger from Argentina who will be making the first defense of his belt. Maidana, who landed the fight over fellow former junior welterweight titlist Amir Khan, won his world title in dramatic upset fashion by scoring two knockdowns in a unanimous decision against Adrien Broner in their Dec. 14 brawl at the Alamodome in San Antonio.