How to make the NBA regular season exciting

November 22, 2007 |

NBA regular season games are for the most part meaningless. Last year, every team that won as little as 41 of their 82 games made the playoffs. The Celtics have already won 9 games. Going by last year’s standards, they only need to win 31 of the next 75 to make postseason. They could wear their jocks on backwards and still win 31 more games this year.

We all know the good teams will qualify. We all know the bad teams don’t have a chance. That leaves just a few mediocre teams to play games that will determine their chances of playing in May.

So, in order to make those regular season games worth the $51.02 average ticket price, I’ve come up with an innovation which will make the games more exciting for even those with a slight interest in basketball. I call it “The Tank”.

You know those two concentric circles at center court. They’re barely visible on TV anymore. That’s because they’re only used once in a game. After the initial jump ball, those circles are needed. So here’s what I propose. Make the circles a removable lid. After the first stoppage in play, the lid is removed. Underneath is a six-and-a-half-foot water tank. Over the top, connected to the bottom of the scoreboard, is a harness, similar to those used on Coast Guard rescue helicopters.

As the game progresses, a player wrapped up in the flow of the contest might fall in the tank. In such a situation, the harness will be timed to slowly lower to rescue the sopping player. The contraption will be timed to reach him in 24 seconds. Meanwhile, the game continues under normal conditions except for the one team being shorthanded by one player.

It gets better. The tank will be filled with some type of sea life. I think jellyfish would be the perfect choice in most arenas, but creative PR men can spice things up with local flavor. How about lobsters at the Boston Garden? Adolescent gators in Miami. Crawdads in New Orleans. Maybe the Wizards can pay homage to their Baltimore roots and put live blue crabs in their tank. The crabs would be steamed and served as crab cakes at the concession stands at the next game. (It would be a sin to waste them.

You might think this is a foolish idea, but can you imagine the delight of Knick fans when Stephon Marbury falls in the tank and has to avoid water moccasin snakes freshly brought in from the East River. The place would go nuts!

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