I wrote this for my blog, but figured you all might be bored enough to enjoy it here, as well:
Now that we’ve got a little break 'til the next NBA season starts up (I’m sure you can hardly wait), I thought I’d go ahead and revolutionize the sport.
You’ve all watched free-throw attempts while the crowd behind the basket waves their hands, claps, shouts, and moves some weird giant brick cutout around. I would like to see statistics on home-court freethrow percentages vs. away-court, because I don’t really think the crowd is getting anywhere. Everyone moving all at once creates a uniform static, with all the cheering and clapping creating white noise that probably just calms the shooter down.
What we need are some newer free-throw combatting strategies.
First, I think there is probably a chance for some soon-to-be-illegal tactics that could work once or twice, 'til the league catches on. This would include the fans sneaking…fans into the stadium. At a key moment, with angles meticulously mapped out beforehand (and distributed to the correct seats), everyone switches on their fans and the ball gets blown, just slightly, back a few inches to harmlessly bounce off the rim.
Then that gets outlawed. Next up, lasers. Depending on where we are with technology at this point, the fans either cross the streams in some mini-Death Star approach, obliterating the ball, or they burn out the corneas of the shooting player. (Care must be taken to analyze the shooter’s future NBA career options, lest we destroy someone who might later have been on our team.) After that is disallowed and arrests are made, we have to move on to the longer term, more subtle moves.
Currently, I’ve got 2 ideas.
a) The 8 degree lean. All of the crowd in view angles themselves 8 degrees to the right, along the lines of those V8 commercials, thus destroying the shooters sense of balance in the world. To get this exactly right, I recommend distributing shoe lifts that everyone will place in their left shoe. To further create the illusion, people might want to bring in faux-bleacher tops and step-covers that they can set at angles so that all visible horizontal lines now gain this 8 degree angle. If done quickly between the last bounce of the ball and the throw, the shooter is surely going to over-correct for his new world view and leave the shot just off the side of the hoop.
b) The false basket. This involves a bit more early preparation…Prior to the game, people create larger than life basket rims and nets. These will need to be collapsible/telescoping so as not to be incredibly obvious the rest of the game. The plan, then, is to take two or three of these out just prior to the player taking his place at the line, and give them to people standing visually just to the left and below the actual basket. The player, fooled by the false perspective of the farther-away-but-larger baskets is mentally tricked for just a moment, causing his shot to average out between the varying baskets rather than aiming directly at the “real” one.
Boy, once St. Louis gets an NBA team, they are just going to rule the world in the lowest-opponent-freethrow-percentage stat. Ok, your turn. What plans do you have to disrupt the freethrow?