Adam Silver paced his office frantically. A few high-ranking NBA executives sat in the office with him, glancing at each other uneasily.
“We have to do something to distract the viewers from the Sterling debacle.” Silver finally pronounced, continuing to tread the same path between his desk and the window. “Something bold, but not too obvious. Instructing the refs to manufacture more overtime games, that was a good first step, but we need more.”
“Sir, perhaps if we call fewer touch fouls?” an executive piped up tentatively.
Silver stopped his movement and stared at the speaker, his eyes wide behind thin-rimmed glasses. Beads of sweat slipped down his forehead, and he was shaking slightly. He gripped the edge of his desk with white knuckles and leaned forward. “Are you suggesting, Tom, that we completely forfeit control of the game to the players? Is that really what I’m hearing from you?”
“Of course not, sir. Sorry, sir,” Tom demurred, looking down at the floor. There was a period of uncomfortable silence as Silver stared disbelievingly at his underling.
As if to reduce the embarrassment of his fellow man, another executive said, “What if we start awarding more blocked shots?” This idea must have been less offensive, as Silver went back to walking that same path, over and over.
Finally, he replied, “Yes. That may work, Seth. If we gave blocks to any player who strips a ball or merely challenges a shot…”
“…It would make it seem like the level of defensive intensity had skyrocketed,” Seth finished, smiling in a self-satisfied manner. “Shall I instruct the scorekeepers to implement this change?”
Adam Silver nodded. “Yes. Get in contact with our arenas.” He turned around and faced his window, which afforded a stunning view of the hustle and bustle of New York City. Spreading his arms wide, with the sun shining directly on his face, he proclaimed, “I can see it now. A new era of NBA basketball, where players like Wesley Matthews, who block one shot every five games, are awarded two or even three blocks in a single game for making routine defensive plays!” The very idea was so absurd that he began to giggle like a child, then laugh.
One impressed executive slowly began to clap. As others joined in, the applause got faster and louder, until it was deafening. Over it all, the maniacal, shoulder-shaking laughter of Adam Silver could be heard, echoing all around the room.