1. Mandatory testing. If players don’t know the lyrics to “Sweet Georgia Brown,” they don’t get to play. Period. They’d be tested before every game.
2. No more jump balls. Instead, each player has to write an essay about why they want the ball. The head referee will then read each essay, and will decide who gets the ball purely on the strength of persuasive argument.
3. Incentivizing victories. The team that wins the game gets to have all of the individually wrapped chocolates that we all know basketballs are secretly filled with.
4. More teamwork. Players at all times must hold the hand of at least one teammate.
5. European influence. No more Spanish players. There are so many Gasols it’s hard to keep them straight. Also, their first names are familiar, but just slightly off. Pau Gasol? Marc Gasol? This is America, home of Pauls and Marks. (This is to say nothing of league journeyman benchwarmers Kevi, Jennif, and LeBro Gasol.
6. Increased duties for power forwards. Does anybody even know what a point guard does? Nope. They’re gone. Each team gets two power forwards now.
7. Change up the clock. Goodbye, 12-minute quarters and the 24-second shot clock. Hello, 12-hour quarters and the 24-minute shot clock.
8. Speed it up. It’s a beloved NBA tradition, but the third-quarter High Tea service adds at least an hour to the average game and grinds any momentum (and excitement) to a halt. Players can make do with a single cup of tea and maybe a scone.
9. Player accountability. Everything is a foul now.
10. Commitment to player safety. Helmets are no longer optional.
11. New scoring options. Sometimes a regular field goal is worth two points, and sometimes it’s worth no points at all. If a player can deduce by the end of the season why some shots are the mysterious “Zero Baskets,” they win a $50 gift certificate.
12. New trade deadlines. There are no trade deadlines. Teams may exchange players at any time during the season or game.
13. Titles matter. The sport’s new name is buh-basketball.