Warriors

Why Kerr is not a fan of 'gimmicky' hypothetical 4-point line

Warriors
Steve Kerr and Steph Curry

Warriors superstar Steph Curry has helped usher in an era of unprecedentedly long 3-pointers, making 16 of his 39 (41.0 percent) attempts this season from 30-to-39 feet away from the basket.

Curry's range was on full display during the NBA's All-Star Weekend earlier this month, winning the 3-Point Contest in no small part because he drained two 30-footers in the final round and trading ridiculous 3-pointers with Portland Blazers star Damian Lillard in the All-Star Game itself.

If the NBA were to institute a hypothetical 4-point line, it's hard to imagine anyone benefitting more than Curry and the Warriors. That doesn't mean Curry's coach would be in favor of such a rule change.

"It's not something I would advocate for," Kerr said Monday in his video conference ahead of the Warriors' game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Chase Center, calling the idea "gimmicky." "It wouldn't shock me, though, if anything behind half-court turned into four points before too long. It seems to be the way the league is going. The league has been very, very offensive-minded with the rules changes over the years and the way teams are playing.

"So it would not shock me if it happened, but I would not be for it."

Some teams have added their own 4-point lines on their practice courts, encouraging their players to expand their range. It's hard to imagine critics of the modern, 3-point heavy NBA quieting down if the league added a 4-point line, considering the emphasis on shooting beyond the arc stems -- in large part -- the efficiency of shooting long, 2-point jumpers.

 

Perhaps the 4-point line's introduction will be a lot like the 3-point line, with few teams and players having the range taking extra advantage. All it will take, though, is the simultaneous emergence of a shooter a la Curry and the widespread realization that taking a shot worth twice as much as anything within the 3-point line is much more efficient.

Considering how quickly the NBA's analytical revolution has changed the game, I'd be willing to bet said realization comes much, much quicker than the 35 years between the introduction of the 3-point line and the start of Curry's first NBA MVP-winning season.

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Of course, plenty of people thought the 3-point line was "gimmicky," and Kerr carved a niche over a 15-year NBA career thanks to his ability to shoot beyond it. Curry is one of the players representing the next evolution, and it's possible his and others' abilities could portend a rule change.

Perhaps moving the 3-point line back, as Kirk Goldsberry suggested almost a year before Curry won his first NBA MVP, could split the difference of reflecting the increased range of modern shooters without introducing another shot. Right now, though, any changes are hypothetical, so it could be a long while before Kerr has to start game-planning for a generation of 4-point marksmen.

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