The series is tied. The players are on their last legs. The fans are tired, nervous, nauseous, and not settling for a loss. But I’ve always felt that game seven was kind of a slap in the face. Six games wasted just to be at a winner takes all match up has to have some benefit for the unwavering fan. To shake things up a bit, I’ve proposed a few new addenda to the rulebook for the inevitable game seven throwdown.
7) Less is More
If a team is down during crunch time or their egos are up during all the time, the coach has the option to play half the players for double the points. With only three players on the court, no subs allowed until a timeout, regular two–and three-pointers are now worth four and six points. The other coach can determine that they want to even the playing field, point-wise, and take out all but three of their players to also shoot for four and six point shots, or maintain seven players with subs for two and three points as per usual.
Pros: Teams with confident, strong trios can advance their scoring in half the time, making fourth quarter comebacks and halftime leads even more dramatic.
Cons: All basketball teams now only have three players so the college draft is screwed.
6) Foul Play
Forget individual players taking one for the team and fouling out at 5. This new rule would mean the team fouled automatically gets an additional point while the fouling team gets a one-point demotion. The player fouled also has the opportunity to shoot one free throw (see free throw rule addition below), but now with the automatic point separation, the team has the same potential two point gain if it is made and still a guaranteed one point if not.
Pros: Shaking up scoring systems could lead to awesome new play calls.
5) For the W
Each team has to draft a currently active player in the WNBA and play her for minimum four minutes during game seven. If she is used in the power trio, her foul shots are worth 1.5 points. Yeah. That’s right. Half points.
Pros: To all my ladies in the place, if you got real hair, real fingernails, if you got a job, make some noise!
Cons: Delay of game due to spitting game during the game.
4) Out and About
Game seven is to be played at a local, outdoor, fenced in, night lit court within the city limits of the hosting team. Arena seating is put up and first come, first serve for the fans. Game starts at sundown. This is the basketball equivalent of Bruce Springsteen playing pick up shows at The Stone Pony after bowling in Asbury Park.
Pros: Um hello. It’s outside, blacktop “Basketball Never Stops” style. It’s all pros.
Cons: Sunburn for the Birdman.
3) Take Your Time
The 10-second free-throw is totally waived and the players song of choice is able to run through the chorus. It’s an homage to the up-to-bat song play that happens in baseball with every hitter. Not only do the stadium pump-up jam hams get to take a break, the fans get a dance party depending on how slow the player shoots. It hurts less to miss a shot that you get paid to make when you’re listening to Chumbawumba. Or maybe it hurts more. TBD.
Pros: Mad tunes.
Cons: Bad tunes.
2) The Flop
As it stands with the new NBA Anti-Flopping rules, “flopping” is defined as any physical act that appears to have been exaggerated based on the reasonable force of contact, mainly because of it’s unsportsmanlike conduct and now has a $5,000 fine attached to it and potential expulsion. But what’s more sportsmanlike than supporting your team? Nothing. That’s why the new Anti-Anti-Flop rule proposed here gives the entire team the option to get their teammate out of a potential flopping disaster call. When a player begins to initiate a fall to the ground worthy of an Oscar, the rest of the team can also drop to the boards as fast as they can before the flop is called. With the entire team on the ground, there is no way to prove that the force, apparently great enough to cause seven grown athletes to collapse, wasn’t worthy of a mere fall. Fall for one, one for fall.
Pros: Stunts! It’s like Cirqu Du Soleil for giants.
Cons: Broken floorboard, broken bones, broken everything.
1) Long and Short of It
Every player must wear throwback “80s uniforms. Short shorts, high socks, tight tanks, rec specs. That’s all there is to that one.
Pros: Short shorts.
Cons: Short shorts.
So let’s root for that game seven. Who doesn’t want to see LeBron fall to the ground in an” 80s men’s uniform after waiting 90 seconds for a WNBA player to make a free throw to Ice-T’s “Today Was A Good Day” at a Miami high school bball court at dusk? Hey, it could happen.
Rachel Roderman is a writer and comedian based in Los Angeles by way of NJ. She wrote the webisode Coco & Ruby and contributes to HelloGiggles.com, both of which are the exact opposite of this website. Follow her on Twitter @rachelroderman.