The court should be lengthened and widened, he said, to accommodate the athleticism of today’s players. Timeouts and commercial breaks need to be cut back to restore the sport’s natural flow. Refereeing is a mess: they should stand closer to the action the way they did in the old days, so they can see the fouls better. They also need to find a way to control illegal contact: defensive players holding, offensive players pushing off (“LeBron James,” Jackson said, “has the best ‘off’ arm in the game”). James Naismith, Jackson said, invented basketball as “anti-football,” a sport in which brute violence would be replaced by free-moving fluidity, but excessive contact has destroyed that fluidity. Also, today’s players are allowed to cheat when they dribble: they routinely put their hand under the ball, which gives them far too much control. As a result, the game has become much more dependent on dribbling, less on motion and passing and teamwork. Over all, Jackson thinks the N.B.A. should aspire to be more like soccer, which has managed to remain a global juggernaut without corrupting the sanctity of its game.