The NBA Finals are all set to start on June 4 with the Golden State Warriors facing off against the Cleveland Cavaliers. I predict Steph Curry will help the Golden State Warriors take it, and I predict they’ll do it at home.
But, I also predict the controversy that has followed both teams will follow them into the finals. How so? One word – fouls.
Those that saw the conference finals saw incidents of major fouling. In some circles, those fouls are still being debated as to whether or not they were flagrant – 2, flagrant – 1 or no fouls at all. I predict there will be more to come.
Why? Because the game has changed that much.
There has been much talk about “policing” on the court, and who is deciding what fouls are given, and when. Many seem to think that the referees are now responsible for handing out flagrant fouls and the penalties that go along with it.
But, let’s look further. Things started changing when the NBA got a new commissioner. When Adam Silver replaced David Stern, many (initially) were happy about the move because they thought Stern was – well – too stern. But, now that Silver has taken over, many people think that the rules have changed and the referees have free will to decide what is a foul and what isn’t.
Well, which is it? Do we want the NBA to handle fouls or do we want the referees to do it? Sure, the issue can be debated – and it has been.
That’s the problem! There’s no uniformity anymore, in my opinion. We need more structure. If a foul deserves to be called a flagrant – 2, then call it across the board. Don’t lollygag and wonder what you should call it.
People have been talking about “the letter of the law” when it comes to fouls, but it isn’t being followed – mainly because people want to see certain players in the game.
Sure, certain players are popular – that’s always been the case. But, should we really be changing the rules to placate the players and fans, or should we use this as a teaching moment to show that not everyone gets away with everything?
When I was a kid, there was a saying – “It’s not whether you win or lose. It’s how you play the game.”
It seems that many of us have either forgotten that rule or chosen to ignore it completely in order to make the game more exciting. That can be said for every major sport in America. I guess, when our generation’s offspring get older, we’ll see what they learned.
Enjoy those new rules