David Stern was on WEEI today and I was interested to see what he had to say about the overabundance of foul calls in the first two games. He did speak on that, but what he had to say wasn’t too interesting. He basically just came to the aid of his blind referees.
What I found most interesting is that Stern said the NBA “has considered and will continue to consider” a “nobody fouls out” rule.
As the CEO of a successful organization, wouldn’t one of the last things you want to see be one or two superstars sitting in a Game 6 or Game 7 due to foul trouble? What about a “nobody fouls out” rule?
That’s something the competition committee has considered and will continue to consider. I wouldn’t impose that marketing decision on a basketball group. There are good and sufficient reasons that our teams believe that that’s a fair issue of competition, and that you shouldn’t give a pass to players to play at a different set of rules or change the rules to take care of them just because you want to keep them in the game.
When I think about getting rid of the foul out rule, I find it tough to imagine basketball without fouling out. But when I search my mind for a reason why, all I come up with is that fouling out is the only way I know how to curb fouls in basketball. It’s what was born with, what I’ve been raised with, and what I’ve become accustomed to.
But is having players foul out the best way to do things?
I don’t know. What if we had a league where nobody could foul out? Where players could hack and push and elbow each other all day long, with the only retribution coming in the form of two foul shots? That wouldn’t work, would it?
But what if we had something where a player’s sixth foul and every foul thereafter resulted in three foul shots or four foul shots? A coach could keep a player in the game if he had that many fouls, but it could come with serious side-effects. That would punish the player for being such a hack, punish the team for leaving such a hack in, but let the stars play no matter what.
Now I don’t know if something like that would work, or even if it’s a decent idea, but it’s something to talk about. Anybody else got any ideas?
(P.S. – I’d settle for just getting some refs who don’t blow a whistle every 0.2 seconds. Wouldn’t you?)