Cameron takes a look at the NBA landscape and flopping. He also makes a proposal on some rule changes that need to be applied as soon as possible. The NBA is broken and one man is looking to fix it.
I don’t want to start this out seeming to attack the referees in the NBA. The Thunder lost game two because of poor execution and two major slip-ups by Russell Westbrook (including passing up on a wide-open Kevin Durant twice in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter in which Durant probably would’ve hit those two-threes, given the Thunder the lead and effectively had the Heat shitting in their pants; another big blunder for Westbrook was getting stripped from behind by Mario Chalmers like he was an unaware fat kid in a pick-up game at 24-Hour Fitness.) and that is it. The other problem with the Thunder was that they didn’t decide to show up for the game until midway through the third-quarter because they spent the first two looking for fouls instead of playing basketball.
I’m sure basketball fans are as fed up with the refs in these NBA playoffs as I am, but it’s time to stop blaming them and start placing blame where it belongs. The players.
Referees’ are only doing their job and calling it as they see it, look at that again, calling it as THEY see it, meaning, as anything that deals with human beings there is bound to be human error. The players on the other hand are the ones who are not performing their job to their fullest.
Now is where you click out of the page and say, “WHAT IS THIS ASSHOLE TALKING ABOUT ? THESE GUYS GO OUT THERE AND BUST THEIR ASS THE ENTIRE GAME, SHUT UP IDIOT YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT?!!!!” All I’m saying is hear me out. Yes these players do bust their ass every day and every quarter trying to win games and win championships. My argument is this; if you continue to allow players to look for fouls instead of baskets you’re going to have a poor product and continue to have people be skeptical on whether your sport is fixed.
Imagine you are walking down the aisle (the paint) of Vons (the court) and you see that specific bag of cookies (and the basket) you’re looking for at the end of the aisle and it’s the last thing on your list. But, oh no! It’s the last bag. You make a mad dash down the aisle nearly knocking down the bread items neatly stacked on each other and low-carb crackers that give some weird sense of achievement to suckers on diets. Finally, reaching your destination, some ass-clown(the defender) jumps out at you, out of nowhere, and slams into your cart knocking themselves to the ground and in the process you now begin to feel bad and allow them to have the cookies(the foul). Is this fair to either party? No. So why does it make sense to award anyone in basketball.
At the end of game 2, maybe about 11-seconds left, Kevin Durant caught the inbounds pass with LeBron James draped all over him Durant pivoted, took a dribble, jumped straight up and took an errant shot that fell short and effectively closed the book on game 2. Everyone cried foul. I even received a text from co-Editor-in-Chief,of this fine website, Dustin Brewer, that read like this.
“What was that no call? These refs suck”.
Yes, these refs do suck, and they have all post-season, but Kevin Durant instead of looking to maybe A.) Dribble out to the three point line and put up the game winner which probably would’ve gone in seeing as how at that point Durant was a cool 8-for-9 from the field, or B.) Maybe take a solid shot on LeBron instead of looking for the foul, you know that thing basketball players used to do in the 90’s, 80’s, and even further back before then. All you have to do is take the shot, only make sure you aren’t whiffing on it because you’re looking for a foul instead of a basket.
Durant’s lacksadaisical attempt at a shot is what cost the Thunder the ability to at the least tie the game and send it into overtime. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this and it won’t be the last. The following are a few rules I believe should be implemented in order to better the game of professional basketball; I’m positive we are all tired of watching multi-millionaires flop around looking for calls as opposed to playing the game the way it was meant to be played.
Rule change No. 1 – No offensive charges, meaning exactly what it sounds like. Offensive charges, not only a very ticky-tack call but in the same right it slows down the flow of the game and also awards an opposing team an extra possession it may not deserve just because someone decided to jump in front of your path. Why anyone should be rewarded for such a shitty act is ridiculous and I say that’s it, no more.
Rule change No. 2 – No more flopping on offense and defense. If you aren’t able to play up on someone in the post you do not deserve to be rewarded for falling to the ground when they back you down. I don’t know if maybe most of the NBA players were castrated in the last five years but let’s just say it lacks a certain testicular fortitude to not play up on defense and just fall down making it look like they were barreled over.
On the offensive end, if you pump-fake and the player guarding you comes falling down on you and then you decide to wildly throw up a shot. THIS IS NOT A GODDAMN SHOOTING FOUL!!!! It’s a foul, just no a shooting one. The NBA earlier this year tried to clean this up but it just hasn’t seemed to work. Paul Pierce, being the master at this, was jobbed out of this call a lot in the Eastern Conference Finals this year, he would fake, and when the defender came crashing down on him he’d put the shot up errantly and there would be no call; moving down to the other side of the court, either LeBron, Wade or Bosh would fake their shot the defender would bite make contact and not only would this be a foul but it would be a shooting foul.
Again I understand that not everything is fair. But when it comes to things like this, it isn’t matter of fair it is a matter of principle and this leads us to our next rule change.
Rule change No. 3 – No more “star” treatment. This isn’t a written rule anywhere but, I don’t care who you are or how much you make, this isn’t right. Why is a foul for one, not a foul for another? Oh yeah, that’s right, because one of the persons in question is either LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, Dwayne Wade, Kevin Durant or any other media deemed “superstar” and they “deserve” these calls. No, no one truly deserves anything. These men get paid millions of dollars to play a game and play it hard, and most of the time they don’t, they half ass it because they are deemed “superstars” and they gain a sense of entitlement that is undeserved. We crowned LeBron before he had any semblance of a NBA career and before he actually won the things that make you a king in the NBA, because of this crowning no one is truly allowed to play defense on LeBron and it’s a foul too. It’s disgusting to sometimes watch and this only happens because he’s a “superstar”.
So only a few changes there, but tell me they aren’t good ones. You honestly want to spend the majority of a basketball game watching millionaires play a glorified game of H-O-R-S-E or do you want real basketball back? Do you want to continue to watch Wade and Bron gallivant around the court after a bogus call acting like that’s what they deserved or would you rather watch them go hard to the rack and get a call because that’s what they earned? I know I would rather have the latter of both of these but they will never come to fruition let alone the three rule changes. As nice as it is to hope for the best, it is better to always be prepared for the worst and I am prepared for the NBA to keep its ways and ignore what its fans would like to see, real basketball.
Cameron Heffernan is a writer and co-Editor-in-Chief for hefferbrew.wordpress.com and hefferbrew.tumblr.com. Cameron loves basketball and the NBA, all he knows is that you wouldn’t see any of the fouls you see in the NBA, in a pick-up game and he’s totally cool with that.