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LOUGHERY: CHANGE RULES

All-star weekend, when the only thing guarded is the players' parking lot, might not have offered the best forum in which to discuss the need to add offense to the NBA.

But for many, a weekend devoted to the freestyle skills that turned a sports league into a marketing miracle was the perfect place to raise concerns about the fan-unfriendly elements of the modern NBA -- the isolation game and the bruising physical play inside.

"I've got three things I'd like to see changed in the game," said Kevin Loughery, the former NBA coach and player who coached the rookies in their game against second-year players Saturday.

"I would like to see the 24-second clock go to 20. I would like to see anybody who scores within five seconds of a made shot get three points."

Loughery's third idea is more complex. It involves eliminating the charging call when a player collides with a defender.

"That should either be a block or a no-call," he said. "It's not a basketball play. There's no effort to go after the ball, no effort to block a shot."

The result, Loughery said, would be more of a running game.
With apologies to Desmond Mason, it sure looked like Vince Carter was worthy of winning another dunk contest.

Carter had two highlight-reel jams in Sunday's All-Star game, doing a 360-degree turn as he dunked in the second quarter and slamming home a windmill jam a few minutes later on a fast break.

"I was just out there having fun," Carter said.

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