July 12, 2016, 9:25 pm
According to a press release from the league, the NBA will be modifying the current rules to “combat the large increase in deliberate away-from-the-play foul situations”. Marc Spears of ESPN provided the full press release from the NBA.
NBA Board of Governors approve new rules regarding deliberate away from the play fouls. pic.twitter.com/3LsV3smAnz
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) July 13, 2016
The league had already taken a stance on players jumping on the back of another player, but a definitive statement addressing the punishment is certainly a good way to cement their position. Fans can argue about how the league should address intentional fouls, but the league should always strive to keep players’ health a top priority, and we should consider ourselves lucky that the trend didn’t produce any major injuries.
The first item is a little more interesting. The goal is clearly to keep intentional fouls off the ball at a minimum, but if the NBA wants to stray away from this strategy, then the obvious question is why not extend this rule throughout the entire game? It seems like an attempt to keep everyone happy, but it really serves to complicate the message and position that the NBA is taking.
The second rule change also provides some opportunity for problems, as unintentional fouls are committed on inbounds plays on a regular basis. This will lead to more flopping, which will be tough to manage at a time when the league is already doing everything they can to keep it out of the game.
The rule also doesn’t seem to change much, as the teams could just wait until after the pass to commit the foul, assuming that there’s more than two minutes left in the quarter. It’s always really important to note that it’s not limited to any part of the game. This figures to severely impact inbounds plays moving forward, and it wouldn’t be that surprising to see some calls for revision on this particular change coming out next season.
Overall the changes seem suspect. I’m personally not a fan of pandering to the few players that struggle with their free throw shots. It’s a skill, and it takes away from the players that can shoot well and won’t be fouled, and could therefore be left on the court in these situations. But even if a rule change was necessary, this doesn’t seem like a strong position for the league to take, and also affects plenty of other game situations unintentionally. Next season should provide a nice trial run for the new rules either way.
On a side note, Mark Cuban made his stance on the new rule fairly clear
Mark Cuban told ESPN he voted against new deliberate foul rules. “Rewarding incompetence is never a good business strategy,” he said.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) July 13, 2016
It’s nice to see that he’s moved on from the DeAndre Jordan situation, isn’t it?