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By Maddie Thompson

Dear Mr. President of Basketball Sir,

Greatest of mornings to you and a baller-ist of days. While watching the latest rounds of March Madness and eagerly awaiting the l NBA Playoffs, I’ve discovered a recurring issue in your games and sport as a whole: It’s lame and I’m bored.

Don't get me wrong! I think the activity of playing basketball itself is fine, (even if lacking a little pizzazz, I mean basketball? The name’s a little too straightforward don't you think?) but there are some serious opportunities being missed right now. Sure, the NBA’s Western Conference is still totally up-for-grabs with less than 10 games to go, but I can see where this season is going, and I’m finding myself tuning in to the games less and less and watching FRIENDS reruns more and more. This is a grim date for the both of us.

Not to worry though, out of the kindness of my heart, I’ve come up with a list of suggestions on how to give this classic game a face-lift listed below for your convenience. I urge you to take them into consideration as you plan out the next season.

Have the homiest of runs and a fieldest of goals Mr. President.

Sincerely, M-Dog ‘Hoops’ Thompson (P.H.D.)

1. Players Have to Wear Jeans Can you imagine it: The score is 100-100, there's 10 seconds left on the clock. The players are sweating, the crowd is rampant, time seems to have come to a stop as everyone holds their breath waiting for what comes next. Ja Morant makes his way across the court, the ball bolting with him. He gets to halfcourt, he jumps, he shoots, HE SCORES!! All while wearing classic american Levi’s (Sponsorship pending) The product placement opportunities are endless. Jeans give just the right stiffness to make the players a tad bit uncomfortable, while giving them that ole’ folksy feel. This shouldn't be implemented every game, but instead randomly once a month, keeping the players and fans on their toes.

2. Penalty Box In the Canadian alter-ego of basketball, hockey, they have implemented a sort of timeout situation for naughty players called the penalty box. If you fight another player, you’re both sent to a glass box on opposite sides of the rink, where the whole stadium can watch as you take your grown up timeout, waiting until you’ve thought long and hard enough about your actions to learn your lesson and get back in the game. Truly an incredible system. My proposal is that not only would we implement the penalty box on each basketball court, but we would put both offending players in it together and let them just duke it out. Can you imagine Steph Curry and Boban Marjanovic in a fist fight? Instant ups in viewership, I guarantee!

3. Style Points A single point to be awarded every game for any time someone does something cool. Awesome dunk? Style point. Nice shoes? Style point. Good beard? Style point. (That one’s for you James Harden) The style point is a completely objective and unbiased incentive to make the game inherently better by making it cooler. I see only positives here.

4. If you hit the ball with your head you get an extra point This could be an addition to the previously mentioned style points. You know how soccer players do that cool thing where they hit the ball with their head? Yeah, they should do that in basketball. In my professional opinion there are simply not enough opportunities for concussions in professional basketball. This would change that forever.

5. Danny Devito gets to take a shot You think the game was good so far? Think again! The crowd goes absolutely wild, jumping for joy as the legend himself, Danny Devito appears. He is wearing a banana costume and a silly little hat. The national anthem plays as he walks onto the court, stretching and going for a pre-emptive victory lap on the court while the basketball game continues around him. When he’s prepared, he steps up to the free-throw line where he takes a shot. Everyone looks on in awe as his arm stretches out, Michael Jordan in SpaceJam style, and dunks the ball. He then bows and retreats back to the locker rooms. This happens every game. No exceptions.

6. Turn the lights off This one is fairly self-explanatory. I just think it would be amusing to hear the little ‘squeak squeaks’ of the players' shoes as they scramble around aimlessly.

7. Fill the basketball with beans Also self explanatory. As a bonus, whoever wins gets to crack open the ball and eat the celebratory beans from inside. Another opportunity for sponsorships!

8. Bugs Bunny is the team captain for every team You know he would love to do it, I know he would love to do it, why don’t we just let Bugs Bunny lead every team. He’s a cartoon, he doesn’t have to follow the laws of physics, he can do whatever he wants, and he wants to coach the Lakers and the Celtics at the same time. He told me so in a dream before getting that stupid Elmer Fudd guy to fall off a cliff. A perfect example of the grit Bunny brings to the team.


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