The NBA is constantly tweaking the rules to make the game more entertaining, faster-paced, etc.

So has the NBA ever considered reducing the 24-second shot clock (say by even one second)?

  • 4
    24 seconds is already a pretty short amount of time to get the ball down the court, and also set up a play, and execute that play. In college they are given 35 seconds, which I would agree seems to be too long as there is too many times an offense isn't punished by good defense. Talks of reducing the shot clock in the NCAA have occurred.
    – Nick
    Apr 27, 2014 at 19:04
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    At some point, reducing the shot clock too far would actually make the game take longer due to more violations. 24 seconds was calculated to optimize for 60 shots per team. Apr 28, 2014 at 10:11
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    @SteveJackson "24 seconds was calculated to optimize for 60 shots per team." Any reference to this would be an interesting read. I, for one, was not aware of such.
    – user527
    Apr 28, 2014 at 12:30
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    @edmastermind29 looks like wikipedia mentions it: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shot_clock#Creation Apr 28, 2014 at 13:39
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    (1) It is unclear why 60 shots is optimal. 60 was just an arbitrary number thought of by some guy in the 1950's. (2) During the 2013-2014 regular season, each team averaged 6,806 FGA or 83 FGA per game. (3) So if 60 is somehow the magic number, then the shot clock should instead be made longer, given that current NBA teams are overshooting that number. (4) But clearly there is no reason to suppose that 60 is somehow the magic number.
    – user3564
    Apr 28, 2014 at 18:39

1 Answer 1


I don't know of any official talk about that specifically but I'm sure it has been suggested. I remember Jason Kidd mentioning back in the early 2000s that he thought it would be a good idea to take a couple seconds off of it. At the time it might not have been a horrible idea in that teams normally used most of each possession and the scores were often very low. That was the prevailing belief on how to maximise your chances. Nowadays they tend to think the opposite way, not that this is ironclad to work well either but that's the thinking. Being that they allow the zone and defenders can lurk on the perimeter off the ball so easily, and it takes longer to actually get into any kind dribble penetration, taking time off the clock is likely to be a terrible idea.

  • 2
    There is a single point towards answering this question, but a single coach does not "the NBA" make, and the remainder is commentary on the subject, not relevant to the question.
    – Nij
    Jul 10, 2019 at 3:34
  • Coach? He was a player then and one of the top 7 or 8 guys in the league, a guy that people talked about as getting robbed in the 02' MVP vote😂 Jul 10, 2019 at 5:10
  • 1
    Still just one guy, not the NBA.
    – Nij
    Jul 10, 2019 at 5:14
  • I guess the rest of what i put there isnt especially helpful toward the original question. It just came to mind. I can say though that in all the years i have followed the NBA, and this dates back to the 80s in total and to the early 90s where i was old enough to really become knowledgeable and keep up with nearly everything pertaining, the only time i have heard the shortening of the shot clock idea was what i mention with Jason Kidd that time. Jul 10, 2019 at 5:16
  • This was almost assuredly an SI or Slam article, and it i believe had to be to do with a question on the rules changes the league did make in the 01' offseason, that of the allowing of the zone and im pretty sure the change of the 10 seconds to halfcourt rule to 8 seconds. He liked those well enough but also liked the idea of a shorter shot clock. I dont think i have ever heard it mentioned by other players or coaches, much less the league itself. Which is fairly strange in itself, being that they have suggested alot of stuff over the years. Jul 10, 2019 at 5:24

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