Does steric hindrance affect Bronsted basicity?
I understand that basicity is a thermodynamic quality. Not a kinetic factor. So it doesn't matter if it takes a million years for the proton to reach the site of basicity; time is nothing in thermodynamics. We only care about the initial and final state. So this suggests to me that steric hindrance does NOT affect Bronsted basicity
In addition, the hydrogen proton is quite small. So I wouldn't expect it to be particularly sterically hindered by anything (unless we're in solution and the proton is heavily solvated). Still, once the proton reaches the site of basicity, it's reached it, and if I understand thermo correctly, thermo doesn't deal with anything in the middle of the energy graph. Only the points on the two ends.
Also it would be nice if one could comment on the difficulty of this problem in general. Just curious. Personally I think it's a fascinating problem. (On the other hand I'm not the one actually doing the problem).