Somehow, my literary and highbrow friends tell me – yes, I have friends and, yes, many are cultivated – I am supposed to be embarrassed by saying I love the NBA. Similarly, I love Shakey’s Pizza (“foodies” disown me), I love the U.S. Postal Service (FedEx, ShmedEx) and I love taking the bus (Lexuses are for losers).
As much as I adore the NBA – I would wed it tomorrow, except America is not yet progressive enough to allow human-hoops marriages, plus Toni, a.k.a. She Is The One (And Then Some), already is insanely jealous of my NBA League Pass – it could use some upgrades.
Thankfully, Couch Slouch, both a thinking man’s man and a man of the people, has 20 ways to make the NBA better:
1. Since it’s never whistled, eliminate the three-second violation and allow players to pitch a tent in the lane to sell bitcoin and memorabilia.
2. All national TV games announced by Mike Breen, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy; otherwise, by Marv Albert and anybody.
3. LeBron James gets to change teams every year, and at midseason, half the roster turns over to ensure he makes the NBA Finals.
4. Replace between-quarter coaches’ interviews with “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey.”
5. Every time Blake Griffin is fouled – instead of free throws – let him try to slam-dunk leaping over a Kia Optima with Kevin Federline sitting on the hood.
6. They cannot put Russell Westbrook on TV often enough; he’s more electric than electricity. Memo to Colin Cowherd: You are still wrong about Westbrook.
7. Let Steve Kerr and Doc Rivers broadcast their own games from the bench.
(Column Intermission: Be smart, people – 21-6 Le Moyne of Syracuse, N.Y., coached by Patrick Beilein, should be the sleeper choice for your Division II NCAA tournament bracket. My compliments to Stepson of Destiny Isaiah Eisendorf; the 6-foot-6 senior forward shot 39 percent on 3-pointers, 55 percent from the field and 80 percent on free throws, plus, in the regular season’s final 11 games, averaged 15.1 points and 6.5 rebounds. He still can’t beat me in HORSE.)
8. Create an NHL-style penalty box, and, just for kicks, require Draymond Green to sit in it for 15 minutes every game.
9. Statistical adjustment: When a pass leads to a 3-point basket, it should count as 1.5 assists. I’m serious, folks.
10. Bring back three-to-make-two free throws; if fouled on a 3-pointer, you get five-to-make-three, and, in the unlikely event DeAndre Jordan shoots from beyond the arc and is fouled, he gets 10-to-make-three.
11. Any game Kevin Harlan calls, his commentary is provided only via closed captioning.
12. Mark Cuban cannot attend Mavericks games, does not speak about officiating and is only allowed to comment publicly on last week’s “Shark Tank” ratings.
13. Gregg Popovich gets to the NBA finals once every three years, regardless of his team’s record.
14. NBA sage Zach Lowe of espn.com should blog eight days a week – when you write that well about something, you should write more often. Note: Nobody ever asks me to write more.
15. With apologies to all the NBA’s nascent political activism, John Oliver is a national treasure; everyone in the league needs to watch his HBO show every week.
16. Annual All-Star weekend promotion: Isiah Thomas vs. Isaiah Thomas, one-on-one.
17. You know how parking enforcement officers have ticket quotas? NBA officials should call at least two traveling violations per quarter.
18. Spike Lee does not get courtside seats.
19. I did not Trust The Process, I cannot Trust The Process and I will not Trust The Process. #JustSayNoToTanking
20. Replay reviews only to clarify what Hubie Brown just said.
Ask The Slouch
Q. Now that Louisville has been stripped of its 2013 national title, does Rick Pitino have to have the tattoo removed that he got to celebrate the championship? (John Keeling; Boerne, Tex.)
A. Pitino says he has no knowledge of a tattoo on the left side of his back that reads “2013 NCAA Champions” along with a Louisville logo and the team’s 35-5 record.
Q. What variation of Arizona State’s Curtain of Distraction did you employ during your wedding ceremonies? (Mark Kulzer; Wynantskill, N.Y.)
A. One time in the late 1970s, my best man Gonzo threw a beanbag chair at the justice of the peace while I slipped out into the Cracker Barrel parking lot.
Q. If the Louisville basketball staffer had opened up the stripper parties to the general student population, would there have been no penalties? (Dan Cantwell; Albany, N.Y.)
A. My readers make me so proud.
Q. Shouldn’t our slogan for the Winter Olympics be “Make America Fifth Again”? (William Grubb, Jr.; Clarksburg, Md.)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!
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