By Henry Abbott
After New York Knick Trent Tucker caught a pass and released a jumper in a measly one tenth of a second, the NBA made a rule saying that no such shot could be allowed unless there were at least three tenths of a second on the clock.
Is 0.3 of a second really the magic threshold?
A TV show investigated, and found that Jason Kapono could catch and fire (they're unclear about whether or not it went in though) in just .22 of a second. (Comedy note: Check out Jordan Farmar's extremely limited role in this production.)
Today, people in Chicago are probably saying aha!
But what does that mean, exactly?
Nothing, really. It's not reason to change the rule.
The only next step the NBA could take is to say that now shots would be allowed in as little as 0.2 of a second. But for all we know nobody can actually can shoot that quickly. In other words, if you gave the Sixers the ball out of bounds with just 0.2 seconds left, and they inbounded to Kapono, you can't in good conscience say that he can really get a shot off in time.
He couldn't do it in a TV studio trying to be as fast as he could be, and he's one of the most practiced shooters out there.
What we do know is that timekeepers and referees can't see and act that fast. It's simply impossible for humans to take charge, live, of such minute increments of time.
All of which makes me think that what we really need is super high-tech timing based on a sensor in the ball or somesuch, and I'm certain the future will provide just that.