Exposition Shows Off Higher Future for NBA


supersonics.com reports on "For the Love of the Game"...

 If Tom Newell is right, fans got a look at the future of the NBA yesterday at Hec Edmuson Pavilion on the UW campus.

Under the guidance of the former Sonics assistant coach, two teams of former college players, mostly with Seattle ties, played a game of basketball. That wasn't unusual. The rules were, most noticeably because both baskets were raised an additional foot off the floor to 11 feet. In addition, the three-point line did not kick in until the fourth quarter, and dunks were strictly banned - not that they would have been common with the 11-foot hoop.

To Jim Harrick, who coached the victorious Gold Team to a 90-60 blowout win over Yakama Sun Kings Coach Paul Woolpert's Black Team, the results were what Newell and company were hoping for: A purer brand of basketball that emphasized team play over one-on-one action.

"I think the game was played the way the game is supposed to be played," said Harrick, who coached UCLA to the 1995 NCAA Championship in Seattle and now is coaching in the NBA Development League. "I liked the way my team played today."

For the most part, that the basket had been raised would not have been obvious to an onlooker unfamiliar with the purpose of the exposition (so called by Newell instead of an exhibition because his intent was to prove a point about the game). Players, who Newell estimated had 8-10 hours of practice working with the 11-foot hoops, were for the most part able to adapt to the height. There were more misses short of the basket than usual - especially once fatigue began to become a factor - but few airballs.

"I really was impressed with the overall success adapting and adjusting," said Newell.

"I don't think with a higher rim the game changed that much," added Harrick. 

Read the full article here...

Note to the  Sonics and Storm:  From our interactive voting at the game, 72% of fans said it was "important" or "very important" to them to have professional basketball in Seattle.

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