Chase Center Empty Arena
A general view of the court before the game between the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chase Center on May 06, 2021 in San Francisco, California. Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images


  • Liga ACB is trying out a new rule that could change the NBA landscape
  • Implementing it in the NBA will force teams to innovate new game plans
  • More leagues adopting the rule could entice the NBA to give it a chance

The NBA has prided itself on adapting to the different eras by making changes to the rules whenever it was deemed acceptable.

Changes implemented throughout the lifespan of the NBA is as follows but not limited to:

- 1951: Expanding the lane from six feet to 12 feet (better known as part of the "George Mikan Rules")

- 1954: Creation of the 24-Second Shot Clock

- 1979: Addition of three-point arc

- 1980: Three-pointers become permanent

- 1984: Clear Path rule

- 2001: Defensive three-second rule added

Now, another change could be heading the NBA's way if one such overseas professional basketball league makes it into an integral part of the game.

Liga ACB, the premier professional basketball league in Spain, has given players the ability to inbound the ball without the referee needing to touch it first in the first 38 minutes of the allotted 40-minute game.

A clip of the league trying out this new rule has made its rounds on social media after Spanish basketball coach Marc Castillo posted it to his own Twitter page with Baxi Manresa (team wearing red) and Joventut Badalona (team wearing white) as the teams involved.

As seen in the short video, once Manresa lost possession of the ball, a Badalona player immediately picked it up and threw the ball down the court for an easy layup–all of which happened without the involvement of a referee.

It is interesting to note that this rule has a ton of similarities to that of soccer, where the linesman will simply point his flag towards which team will have possession of the ball and the players have the prerogative of when to throw the ball back into play which could lead to an easy score.

One such case happened back in the 2019 UEFA Champions League when the Tottenham Hotspurs' Harry Kane scored a lightning-quick goal against Olympiakos to draw level after an unlikely assist from a ball boy led to the opportunity.

This "live ball turnover" rule, when translated to the NBA, could create new scoring opportunities and game plans that fast and transition-heavy teams could take advantage of for the first 46 minutes–or even force the league to shorten the game altogether.

The Milwaukee Bucks, Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, Charlotte Hornets and Toronto Raptors all immediately come to mind since after finishing the 2021-22 season in the top ten of points scored in transition.

Players like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Ben Simmons and Ja Morant all stand to benefit from such a rule change because their agility on the court will make it a nightmare for opposing defenses to stop them.

The pace of the game immediately quickens because of such a change and will put an emphasis on players continuously working on their stamina.

At the same time, it also opens up the possibility of a team generating turnovers if they mistime an inbound.

A repeat of the Tottenham Hotspurs moment could even happen in the NBA if the team in possession of the ball is quick on their feet.

Liga ACB giving this new rule a try would be a monumental improvement to both aspects of the game while also ensuring that fans stay glued to their screens as highlight reel-worthy moments will likely be produced out of it.

All in all, if the rule presents a positive change in the quality of games and more leagues adopt the rule down the road, it would not be hard to believe that the NBA would also find ways to make it fit stateside.

Ja Morant dunk
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant attempting to dunk the basketball during his rookie season in the NBA. David Liam Kyle/Getty Images