GH And Petey's Timberwolves Blog

Monday, November 15, 2004

Stupid Rules

The Timberwolves didn't have game this weekend (a rarity as they usually have two), so there hasn't been much to write about. So, I've spent most of my weekend playing the greatest video game of all time, and watching the Vikings. The Vikes ended up losing a game in which they were dominated nearly the whole time, then made an amazing comeback only to have a chance to win the game taken away by a blown call by the refs.

Basically, the Vikings kicked off and the kick returner fumbled. From the replay, you could clearly tell that the Vikings player had recovered it. According to Chris Collinsworth, it's not who has it first, it's who has it last (a complete lie). If somebody gets the ball and is downed, it should be that teams ball. However, as Chris was trying to say, this doesn't always happen, so whoever ends up with it in the end often gets the call.

Football is full of bizarre and stupid rules, and the instant replay is among the stupidest. For some reason, when there's a fumble, they can't use replay to review who recovered it. This whole idea is preposterous to me. Wasn't the whole point of replay to make sure that the refs didn't blow an obvious call?

Anyway, all this thinking about stupid rules got me to thinking about the NBA rules. The most common criticism I hear about the NBA is that people don't like it because the refs have too much control over the game. While I don't want to get into it too much (maybe in some other blog) I don't think this is necessarily true. I think all other major professional sports in America are just as subject (if not more so) to biased officiating than the NBA.

The point I'm getting to is that all sports have some dumb rules, and the NBA is no exception. Below is a list of some of the rules I'd like to see changed (in no particular order).

Defensive Three--I think we were all glad to see the illegal defense rule go. I mean, let's face it, nobody knew what the hell an illegal defense was anyway. Then they got rid of it and replaced it with a slightly less stupid rule. Every time the defender stands in the paint for too long, the other team gets to shoot a free throw for some reason. Come on NBA, it's time to let this rule die. Just let them play zone.

24 Second Violations--How many times have you seen the 24 second clock go off, then the defense got the ball and started the fast break, only to have the officials blow the play dead. That's just dumb. The officials should wait for one team to establish possession before blowing the whistle. That way, if the defense can gain an advantage from some sort of fast break, they won't instantly loose that advantage because the other team failed to get a shot off quickly enough.

Continuation--I'm not sure what the rules say exactly about continuation is, and that's basically because the officials seem horribly inconsistent about calling it. I've seen people take three dribbles, followed by eight steps, a jump stop and a spin move and still have them count the basket. To be honest, if I were a defender in the league and I heard a whistle, I'd just start grabbing stuff to make sure they couldn't score. At the same time, if a player gets punched in the face while making a pass to Yao standing right under the basket who then dunks it without jumping in half a second, there is no continuation. I would like to see the NBA go one way or the other with this. Either give continuation when somebody makes a pass for a wide open layup or dunk, or stop letting people take so many steps and still get it (with the possible exception of fast breaks).

Flops--In the NHL, you can go to the penalty box for flopping. In the NBA, an obvious flop should be called for a technical (sorry Vlade). It would make the game easier to officiate. Since people would know that they could potentially give an "and two" to the offense, it will force them to think twice about flailing around like an idiot and start playing some real defense. I'm not suggesting that you would call one every time somebody flops, just on the real obvious ones.

No More Jumping Into People--I'm sick of seeing Kobe do the same thing every time. He pump fakes, somebody standing seven feet away jumps up and in the general direction of Kobe, then he jumps four feet forward into the person and gets the call. Let's face it, the defense isn't really committing a foul here. Kobe's just abusing a loophole in the system. If a player goes out of his way to draw contact on a jump shot, it should always be either a no call, or an offensive foul. I mean, if you pump fake and someone jumps right into you, it should be a foul. But your jump shooting motion should have to remain natural to get the call. No more jumping forward.

Kick Ball--I'm not a huge proponent of this rule, nor do I strongly oppose it. Sometimes though, it seems like the defender can't help but get hit in the foot by the ball. For this reason, I suggest the simplistic solution of getting rid of this rule. Who care's if somebody plays defensive with his foot anyway?

The Ben Wallace Rule--Every NBA player with cornrows should be required to where their hair in a giant fro for at least 12 games a season. How sweet would that be?