SI Vault
 
THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING COURT
Jack McCallum
November 03, 1986
In an era when the big man is ever more dominant—when seven-foot forwards and six-seven guards are not uncommon—some astute students of NBA basketball believe that the players have outgrown the game
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
November 03, 1986

The Incredible Shrinking Court

In an era when the big man is ever more dominant—when seven-foot forwards and six-seven guards are not uncommon—some astute students of NBA basketball believe that the players have outgrown the game

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3 4 5 6

"Maybe by the year 2000 we'll have a four-man game," says Phoenix veteran Alvan Adams. "That sounds far away, but it really isn't."

Conclusion: The idea is intriguing, even if it is radical. But why not try it in the summer leagues or in the CBA? The world will keep on spinning while the experiment goes on.

Pro basketball thrives on an amalgam of size and skill. Rarely does a team with one and not the other win a title. But size is pulling ahead in importance. For every 6'6" bundle of talent like Michael Jordan, there are two 7'2" centers, three 6'11" power forwards and four 6'8" shooting guards. There are no doubt a few more Manute Bols scattered hither and yon, waiting to be found, fattened up and freed to play havoc with offensive basketball. "It may sound ridiculous now," says Clipper coach Don Chaney, "but I can conceive of a day when a team has five seven-foot starters."

It's getting crowded out there. Listen to the radicals. They're saying, "Open up the court, and let the game breathe."

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

1 2 3 4 5 6