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The NBA has gone through its fair share of changes since Larry Bird donned a Celtics uniform, and the Hall of Famer is open to seeing it change even more.
Bird entered the league in 1979, the same year in which the 3-point line was introduced. At that time, 3-point attempts were a rarity. In today’s game, they’re a necessity.
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Appearing Wednesday on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria,” Bird explained how players from his era would have adapted if 3-point shots became more prevalent.
“Obviously, we’d be taking more 3-pointers because that’s where the game evolving,” Bird told WEEI. “You know, back in the day, we wouldn’t even guard guys out beyond the 3-point line. And very few games looked at the basket from 23 to 25 feet.
“But the game has changed and the game goes through periods where it changes and you just have to adapt to the changes. And that’s what we would’ve done, we would adapt. I can remember back in the day Danny Ainge said we should shoot all 3-pointers every game.”
With seemingly every current NBA player not named Ben Simmons possessing or developing a 3-point shot, the next step could be the addition of a 4-point line. In fact, teams such as the Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks already have added 4-point lines on their practice courts.
Bird can see the change being made to speed up the game somewhere down the line.
“It’s definitely a major change, but you can remember 10 or 15 years ago, they moved the 3-point line up and, eventually, they got smart about it and moved it back,” Bird said. “But a 4-point line wouldn’t make much difference.
“I think the problem with that would be guys shooting a lot of air balls and a lot more fast breaks, but it really doesn’t matter. The league is always looking at ways to speed the game up and score more points. If they did it, I wouldn’t be surprised. But, I like the game where it is now and it’s doing fine.”
As big of a change it would be, the NBA wouldn’t be the first league to implement a 4-point line. It’s become a staple in the BIG3.