words_Nick Engvall

…change a rule?

As a fan of NBA Basketball, and more specifically a fan of the Sacramento Kings, I’ve had all too much experience with foul calling. Not to say that we got cheated back in 2002 against the Los Angeles Lakers but it seems to be the turning point for us. Bitter or not I, along with just about every fan that has watched a pre-season game so far, seem to be wondering what’s up with all these technical fouls.

Kevin Garnett is the latest to feel the wrath of the new NBA officiating approach. Image courtesy Yahoo.The one thing that personally I find disappointing about the timing of this new rule from the overseer of all things NBA, is that it happened AFTER Rasheed Wallace decided to step away from the game. I would imagine that if Wallace was playing this year under this new iron thumb whistle approach, he would have silently raised his eyebrows one too many times already and would be working on a long-term suspension by now anyhow. you can bet that it would have been entertaining for the few minutes it may have lasted though.

Under the new rules, officials seem to be instructed to T-up anyone who complains too long or even gestures. That means body language, emotion, passion, along with everything we love about watching our favorite players get in the zone, could be called a technical foul. Could you imagine the flip side to this, if Michael Jordan was given a technical for “the shrug,” or if LeBron’s “picture taking” fun with the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers was called a technical foul?

Passion is a large part of what separates the good players from the great ones. If we take out that passion from any “bad” we might see in Kobe Bryant or Kevin Garnett “politely disagreeing” with a call that didn’t go their way then it will eventually take the passion out of the things we love about watching these guys play basketball.

If you haven’t caught any of the games where this new approach to “appease the fans” with stricter enforcing of the no whining in basketball referees, then here is the highlight of the pre-season whistle blowing. KG made a quick exit from Tuesday’s Boston Celtics game for talking a bit too much about a call that Jermaine O’Neal received a technical foul on just seconds prior (his second in consecutive games). KG’s second technical came from laughing at the absurdity of his first. Could just be a bad night for the officials, right?

You could say that, if you didn’t see Reggie Evans and Grant Hill get tossed last week for patting each other on the backside in the Phoenix Suns versus Toronto Raptors game.

So, while I’m not usually one to complain, it seems that something will have to change.

Is this stricter officiating going to make the game better for the fans?