The Bonus in Basketball
Worst rule – bar none. Nothing like taking the last two minutes of a ballgame and stretching it to a good 15 to 20 minutes. I understand why it’s there. You don’t want one team fouling intentionally and indefinitely to keep the other team from scoring, but there’s got to be a better way.
Proposition 1: Hockey style penalty box. After 5 team fouls in a half, the next personal foul results in the offending player visiting the penalty box. This would give the opposing team a “power play” where they have a numbers advantage until the offending player has served their time.
Proposition 2: Running Clock. I’m tired of this bullcrap where teams will foul intentionally, hoping the opposing player will miss their free throws and get the ball back. This is chickenshit. If you can’t beat the other team straight up in the time allotted YOU DON’T DESERVE TO WIN! (shocker). Once you have reached the bonus all current rules remain in place, the other team still shoots free throws and you can still get the ball back, but that whole time they’re shooting free throws, the clock keeps running. That’s what you get for pulling a bitch move.
Proposition 3: No bonus. Infact you eliminate free throws all together. This is my favorite and most convoluted. If you foul an offensive player in the act of shooting, play is stopped. The offensive player is then allowed to take an unguarded shot from the spot of the foul. If you foul somebody going in for a layup, then they get a free shot right there from underneath the basket. If you foul an offensive player before the shot. Play is stopped, and the offensive team puts the ball back in play at the spot of the foul.
Let’s face it, all the bonus accomplishes is to let a team that has under-performed until the end of the game have an opportunity to win. I know we’re supposed to live in a world where giving it your best is supposed to be good enough, and hell, I should probably just be glad that they still allow one team to win in the game of basketball. But there has to be a better, more honest way to play the game.