(Reuters) - The NBA is exploring the possibility of expanding the dimensions of the basketball court to accommodate the growing size and increased athleticism of players, ESPN reported on Tuesday.
NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn and vice president Kiki VanDeWeghe also acknowledged in an interview with ESPN.com that the league office had informally weighed the possibility of introducing a four-point shot.
Thorn and VanDeWeghe, in an interview during the All-Star break, spoke of the concepts mostly from a hypothetical standpoint but conceded that both ideas have been presented for discussion at a league level.
The NBA has employed a 94-by-50-foot court since the 1940s.
"Making the court bigger - it's an interesting idea and we've actually looked at it," said VanDeWeghe, a former NBA All-Star player and head coach.
"We keep a list of ideas on what we should do and how we can make the game better, of course. But arenas are obviously built in a certain way and that would take a lot of adjusting to actually make the court bigger."
Thorn brought up another thorny issue.
"Those seats that are very close to the court are obviously very expensive seats to start out with. And most of them come right up to the floor," said Thorn, a longtime former NBA general manager.
"You could probably extend it lengthwise easier than you can sideways. So there are a lot of things you have to look at there."
The NBA adopted the three-point shot from the old American Basketball Association starting in the 1979-80 season.
As for the prospect of a four-point shot, Thorn said that, too, was "something that's come up" as an informal proposal.
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Gene Cherry