Friday, June 15, 2007
Stop, Flop, and Roll
After watching the flop-fest that has befallen the NBA, I believe it's time for a radical rule change to lessen the number of offensive fouls. If they can cut down on the number of preposterous charges (mostly flopping-induced), they could even allow a little more contact on the shot, and let people play actual defense. Of course, taking a charge is sometimes necessary, especially when someone like Ronny Turiaf is out of control, barreling down the lane. But athletes are now hesitant to drive (i.e. Lebron), since if you step foot in the paint, Manu Ginobili is going to fling himself at the nearest official. So here is my proposal...
If you are on defense, and anything else than your feet or hands touch the floor, it's either an offensive foul or a technical.
Radical? Maybe. But I'm not Skip Bayless-ing you here. I think it would change the game for the better. If you fall to the ground, it had better be obvious that it was a foul. No more 300 pound guys acting like being nudged in the shoulder would send them flying 6 feet in the air. (For instance, look at the above picture. I could run full-speed at Raja Bell with my shoulder lowered, and I wouldn't get him to fly that far backwards). These are players that can keep their balance, but would rather fall down to seduce the official into making a call. If this rule were adopted, you would only see guys hit the floor that were legitimately run-over. Yeah, there might be some unfortunate missteps and goofiness (sorry Mark Madsen) that get punished, but it would drastically reduce a major problem and allow superstars to drive the lane.
It's not enough to just toughen the league's stance on offensive fouls. NBA officials suck. They get caught up in the action, the crowd, and the superstar personas. Make it black and white. Make it harder for people to undercut superstars going up to make a play. Make the person who just pretended to be knocked unconscious have to face his coach, knowing that he just allowed the other team free points.
Basically, just make it stop.