Tag:NBA Rules
Posted on: October 26, 2010 2:03 pm

Report: Knicks scout led improper workouts

Posted by Royce Young

Adrian Wojnarowski reports that a New York Knicks scout, Rodney Heard, may have broke NBA rules by conducting secret workouts of collegiate players throughout gymnasiums in suburban Atlanta.

One of the workouts in May of 2007 led to Brandon Rush's ACL tear that forced him to withdraw from the draft, rehabilitate and return to Kansas for another season. (He did get a national championship out of it though.)

But on top of that, other players were improperly worked out. Wojnarowski reports that Heard trained Wilson Chandler for multiple weeks before the 2007 predraft camp. And of course the Knicks drafted Chandler that year.

Dar Tucker said Heard led two-a-day workouts for him and other players for "multiple" days before the 2009 draft. (NBA rules limit teams to two total workouts spaced three days apart.)

Heard also reportedly oversaw workouts in 2010 for players that included Ekpe Udoh and Tory Jackson from Notre Dame.

In the past, the NBA has fined teams and suspended team officials involved in improper workouts. None of those incidents though spanned multiple seasons or involved an injury to a player who could have been a potential lottery pick. Yahoo! contacted Heard who denied being involved and the NBA declined comment. Heard said of Rush's injury:

“That’s so far from the truth ... Someone called me and told me he got hurt. I was in Florida at our staff meetings.”

When told that Rush said he was running the workout, Heard responded: “I wasn’t there. That’s a lie.”

But the players mentioned are on record saying Heard led the workouts. Rush told Yahoo! he hurt his knee in a three-man weave and that Heard was running the workout. Tucker and Jackson also confirmed Heard's involvement in their workouts.

The NBA has made it pretty clear that teams aren't to work out players before the conclusion of the predraft camp. The NBA has publically fined teams over this issue and suspended coaches and general managers. Notable ones include George Karl in 2005 for attending a workout at Marquette (he was watching son Coby), Don and Donnie Nelson for attending a private workout in Yugoslavia in 2002 and John Lucas who was coaching the Cavs in 2002 for including LeBron James in a workout who was a junior in high school.

There are a lot more details and information in the story to look over but it's pretty clear this is a big deal and the Knicks and Donnie Walsh will likely be hearing from the league soon.
Posted on: October 21, 2010 3:36 pm

NBA Board of Governors modify instant replay

Posted by Royce Young

The NBA's moving more and more toward fully utilizing instant replay in close call situations as today, the NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved several modifications to the instant replay rules that will go into effect for the upcoming 2010-11 season. Instant replay may now be used:
  • During the last two minutes of regulation and the entire duration of any overtime period, to determine whether the ball touched the rim and thus whether the shot clock should be adjusted.
  • During the last two minutes of regulation play and the entire duration of any overtime period, to determine which of two players on opposing teams caused the ball to become out-of-bounds. This modification expanded the previous rule to include the entirety of an overtime period instead of just the last two minutes of an overtime period.
  • During a replay review of an out-of-bounds call, to determine when the ball is out of bounds for purposes of adjusting the game clock and shot clock.
  • At any point during the game, to determine which player should attempt free throws after a foul occurred.
  • At any point during a game, to determine whether a foul that was called a clear-path-to-the-basket foul met all the criteria of a clear-path-to-the basket foul.
So let's recap:

Replay to check if a shot hit rim in the last two minutes for shot clock violations? Check. Sounds good.

Replay to see who knocked a ball out-of-bounds in the last two minutes, but expanded to include ALL of overtime? Check. Sounds very good. I like it. And also to check the game and shot clock in said out-of-bounds situation? Also good.

Replay to check who should be shooting free throws and to determine clear-path fouls? Well, those are fine I guess, but at this point we're really reviewing a lot of stuff here. I don't necessarily dislike it, but I just don't love when a game is stopped to replay something. Already, the NBA struggles with a great flow because of TV timeouts and coaches calling them. Not that these replay situations will happen all the time, but reviewing a clear-path call seems like it could realistically happen two or three times in a half. And that would really hamper the rhythm of a game.

Of course, here's where I say you want to get the call right, but sometimes getting it right with eight minutes left in the second quarter isn't as important as not wasting the two minutes it takes to review and get it right. Maybe to you it is. But one complaint the NBA has never had was that games are too long. Now the league is potentially adding more stoppages and more whistles. Add this with the new technical foul rules which add more whistles and down time and could we be looking at an extra 10-15 minutes added on to each game?

In general, the NBA has done an excellent job using replay properly so far and there's no reason to think they won't master these new uses. The officials are typically pretty brisk with the review and since the actual officials review the call on the floor instead of sending it upstairs, things work fairly efficiently.

Overall, the changes are good and in the best interest of getting a fair winner. And I'm always a fan of that. In this situation, the good probably outweighs the bad, hence why the Board of Governors approved it unanimously.
Category: NBA
Posted on: October 19, 2010 6:40 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 8:19 pm

NBA bans shoes for the first time ever

Posted by Royce Young

A little over a month ago, I remember writing about this pair of shoes that make people jump higher. But not because some ad campaign says so or because you pump up a basketball on the tongue of the shoes. Like these kicks literally make you jump higher. How? Because there's a spring in the sole.

The company Athletic Propulsion Labs has developed the shoes called the "Concept 1's" and they're going to retail at a cool $300. The technology is what they're calling "Load n' Launch" in the forefoot of the shoe that is basically a springboard. APL claims it will increase a vertical leap by three and half inches and in some cases, more.

And treating the shoes like they're vertical leap steroids, the NBA has banned them. From a press release:

For the first time in its 64-year history, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has banned a new line of shoes based on the league's rule against an "unfair competitive advantage" that increases a player's vertical leap. The league's ban on Athletic Propulsion Labs' Concept 1 confirms the company's claims that the shoe, with its Load ‘N Launch (TM) Technology, performs as advertised. No professional player will be allowed to wear the product in games for the upcoming 2010-2011 NBA season.

This action comes on the 25th anniversary of the NBA's ban on Nike's Air Jordan shoes, albeit for reasons of their colorful appearance rather than any performance advantage.

Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL) was notified by a senior NBA official who stated, "League rules regulate the footwear that players may wear during an NBA game. Under league rules, players may not wear any shoe during a game ‘that creates an undue competitive advantage (e.g., to increase a player's vertical leap).' In light of that rule...players will not be permitted to wear the APL shoes during NBA games."

Sports Illustrated's Chris Ballard tried the shoes in September and based on his highly non-scientific lab results, they work. Well, to some degree. Ballard said he felt like maybe he got a little extra, but the other test subject said he felt a significant difference, saying that he's never been able to dunk with two hands before using the Concept 1's. So it's possible they really do enhance a vertical leap.

Ballard said he played in the shoes five times and tested them out on a wide range of other players. Some jumped higher, some didn't. The results were a little mixed. And likely mixed enough that might make someone hesitate in dropping $300 for a pair of sneakers.

The concept of the Concept 1's isn't anything new. People have been trying to figure out how to make athletes jump higher for forver. Everyone remembers the Seinfeld episode The Jimmy (two Seinfeld references in one day? Yep, and I apologize) where a guy named Jimmy wears some pretty funky looking shoes that force you to walk on your tippy-toes. And in the show, he claims the kicks have made him jump through the roof.

A friend of mine is a workout junkie and he's tried wearing a form of strength shoes to attempt to strengthen his legs and calves. Just like any other weight training program, it works some, but increasing vertical leap typically comes from a lot of hard work. You can buy some vibrating stomach wrap that's supposed to give you six-pack abs, but really, you're only going to get what you want by working hard in the gym. And it's likely these shoes are in that same category.

And while the APL's won't be appearing in the NBA, you'd think a ban from the premier jumping sport on the planet would be devastating for business. But in reality, this is the best endorsement the company could get. Because by banning the spring-loaded shoes, in some way the NBA's acknowledging the shoes might actually work. Already on the company's website, that's exactly how they're marketing them - "Banned by the NBA" it says.

Ballard's feature doubted the new shoes because of some very non-conclusive results. (If you read Ballard's story, he even called the new tagline of "Banned by the NBA." Impressive.) That might've been a bit of a PR hit for the company, but today's ban is a godsend. The NBA probably did the shoe company the biggest favor it could by telling its players they weren't allowed anywhere near them. How ironic.
Category: NBA
Tags: APL, NBA Rules, Shoes
Posted on: October 19, 2010 4:22 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 4:24 pm

LeBron and Bosh are concerned about tech rule

Posted by Royce Young

About time the center of the NBA universe weighed in on the current NBA controversy.

After Chris Bosh picked up a technical foul last night because of the "Respect My Authoritah!" rules, it was inevitable the Heat would weigh in. Bosh doesn't like it one bit and neither does LeBron James. As James told Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel:
"We are emotional players," LeBron said. "I mean, just imagine if it's Game 7 of the Finals and you feel like there was a call missed or something you felt should have been called and you show emotion. And you're at a point where you already have a technical foul, and now you get kicked out of Game 7 of the Finals because of this rule. It wouldn't be great."
Bosh was whistled last night for pulling the "keep the hands in the air to show I didn't foul" routine. But Bosh has a reason to be a little miffed. He was only hit with two technicals last season and for the most part, isn't a combative player. And he tried to let Dick Bavetta, the official that tagged him, know.
"I just went to him and said, 'Dick, we know each other better than that, I didn't come at you disrespectfully,' " Bosh said. "I just wanted to talk about the call," Bosh said. "And that was it. And his main emphasis was, 'Put your hands down.' I'm not saying anything bad or anything. I'm not a disrespectful guy."
I don't know about you, but if this is going to be how it is all year with the complaining about complaining about complaining, it's going to get old fast. Actually, it's old fast right now. LeBron pulled the "It's an emotional game" card and while he's right in some sense, it's not the best excuse to carry on with officials.

In the end, both Bosh and LeBron wanted to comment and offer their dislike for the new rule all while not getting T'd up big by the league in terms of a fine or something. Which of course led to LeBron referring to himself in third person which is always fun.
"What I don't want to do is get in trouble," James said. "Everything LeBron says is blown up these days and I already know, so I'm not going to harp on it too much."
Yep, I think that approach is kind of what the league is going for with the rule too. Don't harp on anything.
Posted on: October 15, 2010 2:55 pm

Shaq shares his thoughts on technical fouls

Posted by Royce Young

Not a ton of people are loving the new technical foul rules that enforce a quicker whistle. In fact, some may even feel it's "stupid." One such large player (in more ways than one) also doesn't love the new quick whistle and of course, this player isn't shy.

Shaquille O'Neal talked to reporters today and shared his feelings on the new stricter rule:
"I just think that if you give those guys that much control you might as well start selling their jerseys at Footlocker. This is an emotional game. I know when I pay the money to different arenas and I take my sons and my daughters, I want to see everything. I want to see them talking smack, I want to see it all. You can’t try to just cut off an emotional game — expect people not to have emotion.

“[I'll] say that you can probably cut out the secondary and the third emotion, but if you hit me with this mic right here, like this, I’m gonna at least go, ‘Whoa, what you doing?’ I can’t just let you hit me with the mic and just keep talking, ‘Yeah, everything’s good, I love Toronto,’ you know what I’m saying? I’ve got to at least have that, ‘What are you doing?’ I think they [should] give us room to respectfully react once, sometimes maybe twice. Matter of fact, just keep it like the way it was.”

“The other night, I don’t think KG did anything to get tossed out. Like I said, [you're] going to give them that much control you might as well start selling their jerseys. Might as well make them stars.”

Fine coming in 3, 2, 1...

There's definitely two sides to this issue. One says, "Come on. You can control what you do. I understand an emotional outburst but it makes no sense to keep talking and complaining. Just walk away!" The other says, "Basketball is an emotional game and players get caught up in it. Part of the game is working officials and it's impossible for them to stay consistent with these calls."

Me personally, I don't mind smack talking, but watching a player whine after every call gets really old and annoying (I'm looking at you , Tim Duncan Face.) I think the NBA realizes how it makes the game look like a whiner sport. The way the rule is laid out, it says you can react, but don't carry on. Doesn't that seem fair? Players have the opportunity to let out the uncontrolled outburst, but they just need to zip it and get over it shortly thereafter.

More than likely, the NBA will cave and relax the rules. They've tried this kind of enforcement before, but it didn't hold up. They've got to stick to it if they want it to work. And I hope they didn't just use preseason to really emphasize it only to back off in the regular season. Give this half a season and players will start shaping up. Let a guy pick up a big technical late in a game and maybe he'll think twice about badgering an official for an extended time.

I do kind of like Shaq's line about selling the referree's jerseys. It's pretty annoying when an official inserts himself into a game and tries to prove a point. I agree there. And I guess that's what the heart of this debate is.

But I don't know Shaq, I can't really say I'd be in the market for a Bill Kennedy replica jersey. Not my thing, I guess.

Posted on: October 8, 2010 3:15 pm

The new technical rules are being enforced

Posted by Royce Young

The NBA said it was serious about implementing new technical foul rules. There's now a "respect for the game" clause and the whistle will be much shorter for player.

And we're already getting a good look at it in just a handful of preseason games. So far, they're definitely serious.

There's Grant Hill and Reggie Evans getting tossed for patting each other on the backsides. There's a lot of players like D.J. Augustin who got hit with one for a mild protest during Wednesday's game against the Thunder. And then there's last night's affair where three Celtics were nailed with the big whistle.

Paul Pierce, Von Wafer and Nate Robinson were all assesed technical fouls in last night's win over the Nets. Pierce got tabbed when he took exception by throwing a fist in the air after teammate Rajon Rondo went hard to the floor with no whistle. According to the Boston Globe, official Steve Javie tried to stop Pierce, but it was too late.

“I didn’t realize,’’ Pierce told the paper. “Steve Javie was like, ‘That’s the new rule.’ I was like, ‘Dang.’ But I mean, it’s something that a lot of players are going to get early technicals, but they’ll make the adjustment." 

Robinson was nailed under similar cirumstances and Wafer picked up what's already his second technical for a small protest. 

The new rules say this:

"Players making aggressive gestures, such as air punches, anywhere on the court. Demonstrative disagreement, such as when a player incredulously raises his hands, or smacks his own arm to demonstrate how he was fouled. Running directly at an official to complain about a call. Excessive inquiries about a call, even in a civilized tone.

"In addition, referees have been instructed to consider calling technicals on players who use body language to question or demonstrate displeasure, or say things like, 'Come on!' They can also consider technicals for players who 'take the long path to the official,' walking across the court to make their case."

The league tried a crackdown similar to this in 2006, but it didn't last long after players just couldn't adjust. And thus far, though it is just a few games into preseason, it looks like players are having a difficult time again. Basketball is a high speed game played with a lot of emotion. And sometimes, like in Pierce's case, you react without even really thinking. It's easier said than done to keep those emotions in check.

Posted on: September 30, 2010 4:34 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2010 4:34 pm

Now introducing "The Van Gundy Rule"

Posted by Royce Young

In 2005, the NBA instituted a dress code for its players to go by and it caused quite a stir. Some called it racist, some called it stupid and some actually thought it was a good idea.

In the end, the controversy dissolved and now everyone seems fine with players arriving wearing a nice pair of corduroy pleated slacks with a tasteful two-button mauve tweed jacket. (I have no idea anything in that last sentence actually is.)

Now, the dress code has moved to include coaches.

Some of the NBA's top sideline wanderers had started taking advantage of the lax dress code rules, one being Stan Van Gundy and his mock turtlenecks. Well, the NBA has had enough of those. Now, coaches are required to wear collared shirts on the sidelines. (Nothing was mentioned about pants, so I assume it's still acceptable to show up bottomless?)

“I want them to at least name the rule after me,” Van Gundy said in an AP story. “Somebody has their Bird rights. Larry Bird got that rule named after him. I want it to be the Van Gundy Rule.”

The new rule is just a partial change for Van Gundy who has slimmed down a little this offseason by participating in some of the drills - like sprints - insted of barking at his players while they do them. “More like sprits ,” Dwight Howard joked.

“You should have seen me run,” Van Gundy said in the AP story. “I don’t think you call those sprints. I don’t know what it was, but that was far from sprints. That was a 51-year-old, overweight sprint.”

Regardless, now Van Gundy will be ready to wear a suit, collared shirt and possibly even a tie for the new coach's dress code rule. I don't think it'll stir up quite the same controversy the player's code did, but that's mainly because the main offender has already been reeled in.

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