The Commish Online                                                                                
An Open Letter to the NBA
November 19, 2003
by Sean Mullin

To the National Basketball Association:

The other day I went to your website to read the official rules of basketball, in the hope that it would help me understand the game better, because I’m a new fan. 

I have a few questions and comments about the first few rules.  That’s as far as I’ve gotten.

First, do you really think this “simple” diagram helps anyone who knows nothing about basketball understand the game that all?  Sure, I could build a court now.  (Thanks a lot, by the way.  You’re right: I was secretly planning on building my own court!)  But that doesn’t change the fact that I have no bloody idea what all those carefully measured spaces are for, does it?  (The answer, in case you’re wondering, is a resounding no.) 
Second, Rule 2 pertains to officiating—and I know that’s important and all—but, for the love of God, you still haven’t mentioned how to play the game!  There’s a wonderful passage about the official scorekeeper BUT I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO SCORE!!  Doesn’t that seem a little ironic?  Aren’t we putting the apple before the cart here? 

Maybe it’s me.  Maybe I’m insane…

Thirdly, what in God’s name is a field goal?  Isn’t that a football term? 

I don’t want to overwhelm you with too many questions so I’ll stop for now.  Thanks for your time and prompt response.


The Rook originally hails from Boston and currently resides in Kansas.  He can be reached at