Where’s the 3 in Bookstore?
Letter to the Editor | Monday, March 17, 2008
As the start of the Bookstore Basketball tournament draws closer, dreams of a Cinderella run by a little known team are born. The largest five-on-five outdoor basketball tournament in the world has its handful of great, good, and yes, pretty awful basketball players. But the one thing the tournament does not have is the 3-point shot.
In a sport dominated by big men, the 3-point shot allows the smaller sharpshooter to become a deadly threat from behind the line. While the big men shoot their jump hooks and lay-ups inside, the smaller guards bomb treys from the outside. In NCAA basketball, the 3-point shot was added in 1986 and next season the 3-point line will be moved a foot back.
Today, when a shot is made from beyond 19’9″, the basket counts as three points. Anything inside this range is two. In pickup basketball, the three is two, and everything else is one. But in Bookstore Basketball, this aspect of the game is mysteriously disregarded, levying a heavy advantage to bigger teams. No longer can the guard shoot a three from a foot behind the 3-point line and have it be worth more than the pathetic big man lay-up. It’s all worth one. This makes sense right? The shot 6 inches away from the basket is worth the same as the one made from 21 feet away. When Shaq nearly pulls the hoop down with a dunk, it is worth the same as Kobe’s fade away 3-pointer from the top of the key. It seems to make perfect sense to the Bookstore Basketball organizers. Every other league in basketball has the 3-point shot, but for some reason it is not included in Bookstore.
Imagine telling the Notre Dame basketball team that the 3-point shot just counts as two. Kyle McAlarney would probably break down and cry for a week. Ryan Ayers and Luke Zeller would give each other a long, sobbing hug. Tory Jackson would celebrate, but that’s beside the point. No 3-point shots for the Notre Dame basketball team would mean more losses and no NCAA tournament. Sorry Reggie Miller, those back-to-back 3-pointers you hit against the Knicks with 15 seconds left actually did not tie the game. You lose. Sorry Gilbert Arenas, those clutch 3-pointers you hit at the end of games to win do not actually count as three. You lose too.
So, Bookstore Basketball organizers, I want to thank you. Thanks for taking away the one thing the shooting guard does best and giving the already freakishly tall big man another advantage. Thanks for taking away a Cinderella run by a small team because they can shoot the lights out. No really, I do not know how to express such an overflowing feeling of emotion. Maybe in the tournament I will dribble down the court, point to you in your red fleece with the clipboard, pull up from behind the 3-point line (there is a reason why it’s called that) and drain a long range bomb for you. And yeah, buddy with the clipboard that should be worth two, not one.