Serious stunner: FIBA introduces five-point shot, effective immediately in international competition

In what is apparently an effort to either increase fandom or sheerly generate publicity for international basketball tournaments, FIBA officials started their week by announcing the introduction of an entirely new wrinkle to the game: Any shot taken from or behind the half-court mark will now be awarded five points. Reportedly, the rule change – which is effective immediately – was done with the intent to “ensure that such spectacular actions finally get the rating that they deserve,” according to a FIBA official speaking through Google Translate.

German Basketball Federation (DBB) president Ingo Weiss explained his “yea” vote for the five-pointer with, “You can draw from such a decision of FIBA your hat. You can imagine how chaotic the conference, with more than 200 participants and a translation expires in 36 languages and dialects, but in the end, almost all the participants have decided, we also naturally from DBB. We were also able to enforce the fact that the center line and not used, as another line is drawn. The new scheme is a further nuance our great sport – its impact cannot yet be assessed.”

Referees’ signal for successful five-pointer

The DBB’s official website goes on to say quote Team Germany head coach Frank Menz as predicting that “What’s going to happen for sure is that specialists are trained from childhood for these litters. A completely new position and function has been born. I’m curious to see what types of players will emerge in the end of the 5-point launcher. There will also be a number of new defensive options.”

According to FIBA statistics, successful half-court shots occur in approximately 0.12% of games; analysts for the German federation estimated, however, that some 5% of game outcomes could be affected by the new rule.

Further explain DBB officials: “This requires only that the center line will be painted in a red signal color. For the referee’s 5-point rating is not a problem: They show a shot attempt with outstretched hand (five fingers) to, at the other hand comes to success. This is also a reason that of the originally planned 6-point scoring again was abandoned…”

BallinEurope will now weep for the future of basketball. Directly after having Google Translate taken outside and shot, that is.

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Tim “Der Nächste Nowitzki” Ohlbrecht moves up to Houston Rockets, to become eighth-ever German NBA player

Congratulations go out from BallinEurope to Tim Ohlbrecht, who has made the jump to the NBA in signing with the increasingly interesting (and increasingly European-spiced) Houston Rockets – and whoa, are some Germany-based news outlets excited.

In reporting on the contract, which has the former Frankfurt Skyliners/Telekom Baskets Bonn/Rio Grande Valley Vipers big man locked in with Houston through this season plus a club option through 2014-15, Bild labels Ohlbrecht “der nächste Nowitzki” while getting positively giddy about the possibility of the 24-year-old matching up against Dirk (and sidekick Chris Kaman) when the Rockets face the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

Der Spiegel meanwhile quotes recently-hired Team Germany head coach Frank Menz as stating that he was “impressed by Tim’s development in the U.S., particularly [in athleticism],” noting that “It shows great will and ambition to [get to the NBA] the hard way, through the D-League.”

Less than a week ago, Ohlbrecht’s agent Tyler Glass informed Sportando that his client had turned down a 10-day contract offer from the Boston Celtics; in hindsight, this appears quite the shrewd move by Glass, who perhaps knew of the much more attractive offer from the playoff-contending Rockets.

After four seasons with Giants Leverkusen and Brose Baskets Bamberg, Ohlbrecht declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft back in 2010, but his name went uncalled. He returned to the German Bundesliga thereafter to play with Bonn and Frankfurt in turn before reentering the Rockets system this season with the D-League Vipers; his stat line there includes marks of 13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. And since 2008, Ohlbrecht has played summers with Team Germany.

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