During last night’s telecast of the NBA game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Golden State Warriors, TNT analyst and former coach Jeff Van Gundy suggested eliminating the most boring play in basketball: the free throw.
The more I think about his idea the better I like it, although I’m not in favor of what he would replace the free throw with. His suggestion would be that after the first foul is called on each team, the opposing team would get one free throw. If the player converts, his team gets three points. If not, then, of course, nothing. After that, no more free throws after fouls.
I favor his idea of eliminating the free throw because, yes, it is basketball’s least exciting play and eliminating it would speed up the game. However, what I would recommend is that after every foul. the team that is fouled is awarded one point and the ball out of bounds. That would also quickly eliminate the hack-a-player tactics we see at the end of many NBA games that make the final few minutes seem like an eternity.