The Campfire

Have you ever heard of the Elam Ending?

By: Jonathan Goad

Have you ever heard of the Elam Ending? What about the TBT?

If you haven’t heard of either, it’s okay. I just found out about the Elam Ending this morning and only heard about the TBT a few weeks ago.

The TBT stands for The Basketball Tournament. Simple right? The Basketball Tournament is a 72-team, winner-take-all basketball tournament.

 There are different ways to get into the tournament, and the best thing is that anyone can enter a team. 

The prize? 2 million dollars — split between the winning team. That’s a lot of folding cabbage, ya’ll.  

Ninety percent goes to the team and get this; ten percent goes to the top 201 fans of the winning team. 

If want to get in on some of that action, then check out their FAQ page.

The Elam Ending is a relatively new way to improve on the ending on basketball games. Instead of running down a clock, a team will win by reaching a set number of points first.

Once the game clock goes below four minutes, it is turned off after the next dead ball. Then, the target score is set. 

The target score is the leading team’s score plus seven — which is supposed to eliminate late-game fouling, making every ending more interesting.

The basketball world seems to be mixed on it, however. Just browse Twitter to catch reactions. 

I, however, find it intriguing. Every game ends with a made basket instead of time running out. 

It does eliminate tradional buzzer beaters, but those are still game-winning shots. While players don’t have to beat a clock, they still have to make a basket to win — adding a pickup game feel to the end of games.

Some complaints center around giving the trailing team a chance to win a game that they don’t deserve to win. 

I see it as forcing teams to close a game out and not let up for even one second. 

With a game clock, all the winning team has to do is run out the clock But, with the Elam Ending, they have to continue to score —  with the ability to finish-off an opponent separating good teams from great teams.

Here’s a prime example of not finishing the game.

Other arguments against it could be that you can win on a free throw, which I would eliminate. When a team is two points or fewer away from the target scores, there are no more shooting fouls. You then take the ball out of bounds at half court, pickup game style.

The late game fouling, which almost never works, would come close to an end. In crunch time, you want your best players on the floor. Well, any team that had Shaq had one of the best players; but he was terrible at free throws — implementing the “Hack-a-Shaq” philosophy.

That’s a boring brand of basketball — and gutless, in my opinion. The Elam Ending forces teams to play defense if they want to win. 

You can still intentionally foul the opposing team, but that provides  them with free chances to get closer to the target score. 

Wouldn’t you instead just step up your defense?

The NBA and the NCAA are both looking into adding it to their rules. I think they should give it a real chance.

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It’s a bold, but still a new idea. I’m sure there will be some issues found with it. 

Those can be tweaked and adjusted as necessary. 

Big shout out to Nick Elam for coming up with this idea. If anything, you’ve made me a fan.

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