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Saturday, September 25, 2010

The NBA Wants Its Players to Respect the Game More

This ought to be interesting.

The bet here is that technical foul records held by Charles Barkely and Rasheed Wallace could be in jeopardy.

Is the NBA moving to a standard where challenging a refereee's call will be like challenging the home plate umpire's call of a ball or a strike (which can result in an automatic ejection if the objection is too forceful)?

Now, the headline opens up all sorts of possibilities about how the players could respect the game better, so it's interesting that this topic is what the NBA has chosen to discuss. The referees are now in an interesting position, because no one pays to watch them, if they've done a great job, well, then you haven't noticed them, but now they're being asked to make themselves more noticeable by giving more technical fouls and potentially throwing players out of the game.

Perhaps the best solution is to toss some notorious gripers who also are future Hall of Famers out of games early. If the referees show that they're willing to do that, then the tenth man fresh out of the D-League or having gotten paid in depressed Greek currency from his former team in Athens probably will get a clue and not complain. The problem, though, with this solution is that the overall suggestion came from polling fans. Well, while the fans want to see less whining, how happy will they be when Joey Crawford runs a marquis player or two in the first half of a game that they've paid over $100 per ticket to see? Would they rather then see a) Lakers-Celtics with no griping (but with Messrs. Bryant and Garnett exiting the game in the first half) or b) the same game, with griping, but also with Kobe and KG? After all, wish lists of fans only go so far.

It's good to see that the NBA is listening to its customers and trying to improve the game. That's a big plus for any business, so let's be patient and see how this all turns out.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't play recreating league basketball, but I do play rec league softball. And if our softball plyers got anywhere close to as in-your-face with the umpires as do the pros, the rec league guys would be tossed instantly. So we don't do it. The message, therefore, is that this kind of behavior can indeed be modified.

That said, is the complaining really a terrible part of NBA hoops? I'm not much of a fan, in large part because I don't get the feeling the most of the players care all that much (except for the last few minutes of the game and, of course, the playoffs). So while vociferously complaining to refs may not be the best message to send to America's youth, at least it shows that the players give a s&#t.

12:41 PM  

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