Ticky-Tacky-Technical

I’m sure you are well aware of the new technical foul rule in the NBA. Players from all 30 teams are to follow by the same conduct or receive a technical foul for their actions. No throwing your arms up in the air, no fist pumping, finger pointing, and don’t even think about questioning the guy with the whistle. When the whistle is blown, you live with the call. As a fan, it’s hard enough to continue watching the game when a bad call turns momentum, but it’s an aspect of the game that must live on. Whether the whistle is blown for a justifiable reason or not, the referee must hit your team with a blown call at some point.

Executive’s around David Stern say it’s better for the league, well is it? Three weeks have passed in a new season, with new rules. Controversy, which lived inside the game, is no longer resolved as it happens. Who’s going to be the first to step up and say this is a problem. One distinct tweak has only brought more of a dispute around the league. Players, spectators, commentators know it’s a problem. You watch the NBA, you know about it. The league took away players simple freedom as an athlete. Players are humans, so are refs, we get it. Why make a rule to ban harmless frustration? Most calls are given no compensation when a player pleads his case to begin with.

So, where’s the problem? It’s created less enjoyment for the fans and because the rule change lies in the hands of the league office, how does this help a slowly worsening economy for pro basketball, known as the NBA. Professional basketball is centered on the NBA. David Stern’s league is professional basketball in a nut-shell. One questionable rule change is punishing to the league and everyone invested in it.

It’s been a known issue when flaring tempers get out of hand. The NBA wants to control a player’s temper. Look back to the old rule. One player after another was penalized with a technical foul they undoubtedly deserved. Now where are we? Technical fouls are piling up almost as quickly as a regular two shot personal foul. There is no longer any kind of discussion solely between a referee and the athlete. The athlete’s emotions are being limited and affecting performance on the court. The rule is mocking professional competition. NBA teams are full of world class talent from top to bottom. Just one year ago, any given player controlled their own universe on the court. Look where it’s gone; into the league’s hands. Players worry about using up 6 fouls, ejections, fines, and killing confidence. They don’t just worry about playing the game. Individual players have a lot more to pay attention to than playing basketball.

Rasheed Wallace, a 15 year veteran, now retired, famous for his post-call reactions, plastered his name on the new rule for the most part. Rasheed Wallace leaves a vivid memory during his time in the NBA. To fans, his uncontrollable anger directed at the referees started all of this. The Boston Celtics play a different brand of basketball than most other teams. It’s non-stop, physical, hardnosed basketball executed for all 48 minutes, with no sense of urgency. Sure, there are other teams with the same attitude, but the Celtics stand out as being a team with a no quit attitude, willing to break the rules to win a basketball game. The league as a whole should expect this from all 30 teams, now it’s gone. A winning style in the NBA looks the exact opposite of what the rule shows. Every player is treated in accordance to the new rule. There’s no emotion during a play, big or small. Looking at the bigger picture; players are purposely losing their temper to pick up a cheap technical, bringing more attention to an emotion-less swing in the game.

The NBA thought a change was necessary in the off season. As far as I can see, the decision wasn’t thought over. Referees were tired of doing their job. The league doesn’t want to see world class athlete’s act like professionals. Arguing a call is a part of the game.  A call is only thoroughly reviewed under two minutes, leaving a player with one small advantage. That’s not enough. Referees and players have had noticeable conversations during the game about specific calls. The new rule kills hope to get a call right. One rule has made the NBA a  non-player friendly league with no questions asked.

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