The NBA has really taken a turn for the worst. They fine players at the wrong times. They allow betting scandals to develop. They set themselves up for conspiracy theories. They make stupid rules.
Why doesn’t the NBA league office realize that the less they do, the better the game will be?
First off, I’d like to get something off my chest that’s been bothering me since it was first announced. The NBA league office admitted that the final play of Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs should’ve been called a foul against Derek Fisher. The league office made a one sentence statement, and didn’t feel the need to open the forum for discussion or even clear up the other mistakes made during the game.
By making this statement, the league office essentially takes away credit from the Lakers players that worked hard to get to where they are, one game away from the NBA Finals. By stating that the Spurs deserved to shoot two free throws in that situation means that the league office thinks the Spurs should’ve had a chance to tie the game and take it to overtime.
Now there are a few issues that come up from the league’s statement.
What does it change? Will they replay the last 2 seconds of the game prior to Game 5? Will the final score change? Does it make anyone feel better? Surely the Spurs have made an attempt to move on.
If every player and coach that participated in the game agreed that the no call was correct, along with 98% of the analysts, why does the league office feel the need to create drama where there isn’t. Yes it was a topic of discussion around the cooler and all over the radio waves, but no one really argued that the proper call was made on the court.
Why doesn’t the league office apologize to the Lakers franchise for all the wrong calls that hurt them during the game? Two calls in the last minute alone, the first being the goaltending call against Lamar Odom, which, in slow motion, we can see that Lamar touched the ball before it touched the backboard and thus was not goaltending, and the second being that the Lakers should’ve had a fresh shot clock after Derek Fisher‘s shot grazed the rimÂ with 5 seconds left in the game, essentially giving them 2 free throws rather than forcing Kobe Bryant to put up a wild fade away to beat the buzzer.
I truly feel that the job of the league office is to make sure the league runs smoothly, the basketball games are organized, and the fans are entertained. What’s the point of making a controversial statement that a full day later is completely irrevelant and doesn’t help the situation in any way?
Now the league has decided to make another statement with a rule that will cause more problems than Rasheed Wallace‘s seventh technical foul tomorrow night.
The National Basketball Association has decided that a new rule will be put in place beginning next season during training camp. Apparently, if a player who picks up an offensive foul during a game is later convicted of flopping, said player will be fined. SERIOUSLY??
Sure, I’m just as sick as everyone else of seeing the likes of Manu Ginobli, Anderson Verajao, and even my own, Sasha Vujacic flop all over the place. The trend of flopping has been around for a long time dating back to the infamous days of Vlade Divac. Perhaps a video of flopping will remind you of some long forgotten memories. It’s annoying, its unsportsmanlike, and it takes away from the game. However, the concept of flopping is no more ridiculous than the strategy of sending players to the free throw line, AKA Hack-a-Shaq (which apparently the league has tabled for now because they don’t know what to do about it).
Fining players for flopping creates several problems, but the main issue is that we all have Tivo. We all have the capability of rewinding one game, comparing it to another game, and even making a split screen image of two “flops” and comparing them to each other. How come one player was fined and the other wasn’t?
Here’s a great excerpt from John Karalis of Red’s Army:
“There will be a scenario where a guy will egregiously flopâ€¦ but draw a foul.Â What does the NBA do?Â Does it fine a guy for the flop and make the refs look bad for calling a foul on that play?Â Or does the NBA look bad by not fining a guy BECAUSE the ref fell for it and called a foul on the play?
And how long before someone split-screens two flops that look the sameâ€¦ but one drew a fine because the ref didnâ€™t fall for itâ€¦ and one didnâ€™t draw a fine because the ref fell for it.
Either wayâ€¦ the NBA just set themselves up to make the refs look even worse.Â This whole thing wouldnâ€™t be an issue if NBA refs had enough balls to make a no-call on these plays.Â I guess that wasnâ€™t an option.”
We can continue to crack all the jokes about flopping that we want, but the bottom line is nothing will change. By fining players that flop, the game will not change at all. The only difference is that player’s and teams will be forced to argue the fines. Since when does $10,000 make a big difference to these players? It’s not like it cost the team a game, so who cares. I’m not the only one that feels the fines won’t solved anything, The Arena feels that flopping is just a part of the game.
The NBA has been called many things over the years. Bill Simmons famously labeled it as the “No Balls Association.” The league has made many questionable decisions (ie. letting Joey Crawford referee the Spurs game two nights ago), but now apparently league decisions are in the form of rules and fines. We can only wonder what this league of “Nothing But Assholes” will do next.