Larry Bird and Reggie Miller Argue About a Potential Four-Point Shot

Reggie Miller and Larry Bird hold differing opinions about the NBA adopting a four-point shot.

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Complex Original

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Two of the league's greatest shooters ever, former Indiana Pacers player Reggie Miller and current Pacers executive vice president Larry Bird, got into it about a potential four-point line in The New Yorker Friday. The two vets had wildly different feelings about the NBA adding the line. Miller scoffed at the idea, and vehemently condemned it as a "gimmick."

"It’s comical. The league will be a laughingstock, and I will be in front of the line laughing the loudest. Why are we always trying to change and adjust the game?

The topic came into question because the unprecedented range of a new generation of players—Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, etc.—that has changed the face of basketball. Miller continued on his rant against the idea for a four-point shot:

"No one else has that kind of range. Maybe Damian Lillard? Even Kyle Korver doesn’t have this kind of range, and he’s a great three-point shooter. If there were ten guys doing what Curry can do, then we could talk about it. But even then it feels like it could become a pinball machine: ‘Add a four-point play! Then a half-court shot!’ I just think a four-pointer would be a gimmick."

Larry Legend, who believes this current NBA era may be the greatest in history, went against Miller and more thoughtfully considered the rule change. He says he's open to it because he experienced and welcomed numerous rule changes since he entered the NBA as a rookie in the 1979-1980 season.

"When I played, I never did practice three-point shots. But these kids here, that’s all they do. The game has changed, no question about it. Every ten, twelve, fifteen years, there’s something new coming in. You put that four-point line in there and people will start practicing. And once they start practicing, they get better at it. Maybe five or ten years down the road, fours are what everybody will be shooting. The game evolves."

Miller has never been supported rules changes regarding the NBA's three-point line. Before the beginning of the 1994-1995 season, the NBA tried moving its uniform three-point line distance from 22 feet away to 21 feet. The experiment's purpose was to move the NBA's arc closer to the NCAA's 20-feet-9-inch line and to improve offensive perimeter scoring. The change is widely credited for the Bulls record-setting 72 win 1995-1996 season. Miller lobbied to change it back immediately because it made it too easy for players who weren't great shooters to hit tres.

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