Blog Entry

Source: League won't cave on tech issue

Posted on: October 15, 2010 8:22 pm
NBA players complaining about new rules designed to stop complaining won't result in league executives rethinking the crackdown, a person with knowledge of the situation told Friday.

"I don't think it will have any effect," said the person, who has knowledge of the NBA's strategy but wasn't authorized to discuss it.

So after a flurry of technical fouls and a stridently worded threat of legal action from the National Basketball Players Association, it appears that the NBA and its players' union are headed for a showdown only months before the collective bargaining agreement is set to expire.

After the Celtics' Kevin Garnett was ejected Wednesday night in the latest incident highlighting the league's crackdown on whiners, the NBPA issued a statement calling the rule changes "unnecessary and unwarranted," saying they could cause a "stifling of the players’ passion and exuberance for their work" and "may actually harm our product."

"The changes were made without proper consultation with the Players Association, and we intend to file an appropriate legal challenge," the statement said.

There has been no public comment from commissioner David Stern or any of his lieutenants in light of the NBPA's threat. But the person with knowledge of league's strategy said officials are determined to put a stop to constant complaining about calls and verbal abuse of officials and won't cave as a result of the NBPA's threat.

The closest parallel in recent showdowns between the NBA and the union came during the 2006-07 season, when league executives backtracked on their switch to a synthetic Spalding ball after years of using a leather ball. The synthetic ball was widely panned by players, and the union filed a grievance with the National Labor Relations Board saying it wasn't consulted about what amounted to a drastic change in working conditions.

(I know those of you who work in the real world are snickering, but this is the terminology that the lawyers use to arrive at common-sense solutions that are obvious to the rest of us.)

After a few weeks, the league pulled the synthetic ball and went back to leather -- though not necessarily in response to the players' grievance. It turns out players were receiving what amounted to paper cuts from the rougher surface of the ball.

This is different -- in a way. On one hand, nobody's health is being endangered by the NBA's crackdown on complaining. But the league did increase the fines for technical fouls, and players' ability to perform could be affected if they're whistled for techs, ejected, or suspended for piling up too many techs. Then there's just the small matter that nobody wants to watch that.

Some -- like Matt Moore of the Facts & Rumors blog -- say too bad. Don't have tantrums like a 5-year-old in the school yard, and you won't be assessed any technical fouls. I say the solution is somewhere in the middle. Clearly, nobody wants to see NBA players griping about every call and non-call. The gesturing, cursing, pointing and other expressions of disbelief that various players possibly could've committed a foul ... all that has to go. But nobody wants to pay hundreds of dollars to sit in the stands and watch Kobe Bryant get ejected from a game under these new rules. (And believe me, he will.)

In the end, this won't be solved by grievances, lawsuits or other complaining. (Complaining, after all, is what the league is trying to get rid of.) It'll be solved when league officials figure out how to communicate to the referees exactly how far is too far -- and when the refs get a better feel for how to enforce this new normal of on-court behavior. And yes, it'll be solved when the players adjust to their new boundaries.


Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2010 1:39 am

Source: League won't cave on tech issue

My issue with this rule is that it assumes that NBA refs are perfect, that they are never wrong, and are little gods.

We have all likely played some sport and received a call of a foul that we didn't agree with. We are you human and reaction is natural.

Yes I understand there are some players like Kobe, or Artest, or Sheed that go to far with it, but you have players who do nothing more than throw their hands in the air like "who me" Duncan, that get treated like those others.

There is a big difference between a player going up to the official to ask what exactly it was they did, and a player who is yelling at or cursing an official. The officials have shown they believe they are above reproach and no player should dare question their rulings.

That is why I hate this rule!

I'll take a player who is respectful and does a natural reaction of "who me" or "what did I do" than a player that is acting like a lunatic any day. I guess the NBA wants its players to be automatons or marines and just "yes sir mr. ref, please ring me up again"!

Since: Aug 15, 2008
Posted on: October 16, 2010 1:34 am

Source: League won't cave on tech issue

C'mon Raider, why go there?  Should someone make a comment about "let me guess, you're black, right?", they would get blasted on any message board, as they should.  Who cares if someone is black, white, brown, purple, or green?  We can all be in agreement that NBA players are notorious for whinning about calls, black and white players both.  I simply cited Lebron's "crab dribble" as my straw that broke the camel's back and someone else mentioned the shorts.  While I think the length or fit of an athlete's uniform is an odd place to draw the line, to each his own.  It's this kind of mentality to turn everything into a metaphorical, or maybe literal, pissing contest about whichever stupid reason you pick that has made our society such a difficult place to have any kind of intellectual conversation.

Since: Jan 26, 2008
Posted on: October 16, 2010 12:17 am

Source: League won't cave on tech issue

let me guess u are white right

Since: Nov 29, 2006
Posted on: October 15, 2010 11:15 pm

Source: League won't cave on tech issue

The NBA may lure me back. All they need to do now is lose the below the knee skirts that the player's refer to as trunks, and the game could be watchable again. Note to all the grown *ss men:  We all know you have thin, skinny, legs. We understand that the baggy shorts are supposed to cover up the skinny legs, and give the illusion that the wearer is thicker, more masculine and more threatening. Today's grown men feel that practical basketball trunks expose their very long, skinny legs, and make them look effeminate. Guess what tough guys? You are what you are. Clothing doesn't change what's underneath. Just keeping it real. 

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: October 15, 2010 11:14 pm

Source: League won't cave on tech issue

Simple Solution:  Watch Slamball.

Since: Jul 26, 2008
Posted on: October 15, 2010 10:54 pm

Source: League won't cave on tech issue

Agreed on all prior comments. I'm all for "shut up and play". I'll even buy a shirt with the slogan and wear it to games!

Since: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: October 15, 2010 10:54 pm

Source: League won't cave on tech issue

And they shouldn't cave in. NBA = Nothin' But Attitude and Thugzz.

Since: Oct 15, 2010
Posted on: October 15, 2010 10:19 pm

Source: League won't cave on tech issue

Great post and I completely agree.  Put Basketball back into the NBA and I'm sure I will watch.  Put it back to the Dr J days, and I may buy a jersey, get the NBA ticket on Directv, etc...  Clean up the game and get rid of the players that don't adjust.  Suspend them without pay and you will get my attention.  Let them all go out on strike ... there are plenty of others with major talent that I will watch that enjoy the game.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: October 15, 2010 9:19 pm

Source: League won't cave on tech issue

"Legal Action" by the union?  LOL, go right ahead!  Under what legal grounds can you challenge how the NBA wants the game called?  
This has to be the dumbest threat by any union in history!  If you think the NBA is unfair feel free to tell your players there are many other professional leagues around the world that they are welcome to play in for pennies on the NBA dollar.
F*$@ the union!  

Since: Aug 15, 2008
Posted on: October 15, 2010 9:17 pm

Source: League won't cave on tech issue

This is why the NBA is also a dying sport.  These multi-millionaires are crying about rules that were put in place to keep them from crying.  No players should feel that he is important enough to argue with or tell an official what to call.  I don't personally care how talented and athletic you are Kobe, Lebron, Garnett, etc., you are still NOT bigger than the game.  I completely stopped watching the NBA following the "crab dribble" argument by the self-proclaimed "king" of the NBA.  If you are supposed to be the best players in the entire world at a sport, is it too much to ask that you follow the basic rules of the sport?  Dribbling, passing, shooting, defense, those are what I teach my middle school basketball players and that is what I learned throughout high school when we were winning three state championships in a row at the 4-A level (biggest in my state).  The lack of fundamental skills and, much more importantly, lack of following the basic rules, is what led to the demise of international basketball for our country for far too long.  These guys think they are above the game and that the rules don't apply to them.  The NBA should never have had to impose this rule to begin with but the whinning, prima donna, brats in the NBA forced it to happen because they can't shut up and play.  The thing that all of our high school coaches told us during every game in every sport, shut up and play.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or