Who ever claims that the NBA fixes every game or every finals? No one. I think claims they’ve fixed ‘some’ games, and ‘some’ finals are reasonable though. I’m not even sure if it was done in a sinister way. Sometimes it backfires. Sometimes not.
Making calls to extend a series to 7 games (which likely happened to the Kings, Blazers and Mavs) and making calls in favor of star players (which happens every single game) is game fixing. Its letting something other then competition decide games.
The point is not that refs fix games anyway. The league is set up in such a way that the officials often has more influence on outcomes then the players. The x-factor in any game is which team gets the most important calls. Assignment of refs to garner outcomes and questionable front office rulings to force game 7′s are only a tiny proportion of the litany of ref’s mistakes swinging entire games, series and thus seasons.
Can you blame the refs? Okay, you can. But its much harder to hold it against them when you consider the lack of help they get from the league. I don’t count Stern’s unfailing stock quotes of support. Smarmy “You know, I root for the officials” lines only make me hate them more. He claims they get it right 95% of the time when even refs admit (due to… logic!) that 20% of calls could go both ways. If refs were trained better, or you know, were not trying to keep up with athletic freaks 40 years younger then them, maybe we’d understand.
A team’s best player going to the bench due to foul trouble or getting ejected later is just too harsh of a punishment for the way refs are told to call the game now. Stars expect to get touch fouls called that would be 100% non-fouls in the 90′s. Whistles control games more then ever. In a 48 minute game played at the insane speed/size/power of the NBA 6 fouls is just WAY too little.
5 and your out? Even 6? Its a rule created 80 years ago when the style of defense and abilities made it difficult to foul out. The number was totally arbitrary
A guy who gets 2 fouls early, something ridiculously common, has to sit for a whole quarter or more, but only if he’s really good. So bad players with fouls stay on the floor. Is that competition? I want to see the best players competing and outperforming each other as much as possible, not one team going up 20 because the opposing best player is sitting.
1 blown call can be worse then 10 bad plays by an individual player. Through no fault of their own refs have way too much power over the course of a game. People only complain when the end of a game is affected but the foul calls in the first directly affect the outcome more then many in the 4′th. Every game you watch key guys hit the bench or play with much less aggression for fear of picking up another touch foul.
Why not change fouls to work more like team fouls. A player gets 5 fouls. You foul in the act of shooting they get two shots. Every foul committed over five is an extra free throw for the victim. Make a shot and draw someone’s 6′th foul, its 2 points and 2 free throws. For every foul over 8 or 9 the bonus shot is worth 2. I’ve never understood forcing players off the floor so less talented ones can suck up fouls.
It makes the game more choppy and violent as the scrubs who go in are there know they’re getting minutes to hammer people with foul. They intend to use them too preventing the other team’s stars from playing. The only reason the stars sit: they are too important to risk losing for crunch time. This keeps them on the floor and is just as much an incentive to keep it clean.
No wonder half the league’s stars get injured every year when much less talented players are being subbed into games for the soul purpose of hitting stars as they jump through the air to the basket. There is no impediment for a guy who won’t be closing to not foul and it ruins the quality of the league. The past decade is much better if Gilbert Arenas and Dwayne Wade didn’t spend 2 or 3 years each playing crappy or off the court? A rule that reduced thug fouls would also reduce those injuries.
How does this not make the game better? Instead of gaining an advantage by playing a weaker version of your opponent, it gives teams an advantage to beat them at full strength. To win via athletic competition. Mano a mano, not mano a backup scrub. Get Howard in foul trouble and you can force potential four or five point plays at the end of regulation.
We need more ways for teams that are down to get back in it. Don’t you want teams way down attacking the rim with fury instead of jacking desperation 3′s? Should we not reward such play? Does it not improve every single blowout instantly?
If they instituted a rule like this, everyone wins but the front office is too concerned with any admission of a mistake. The NHL has tweaked it’s rules around continuously even changing the size of the nets and finally eliminating the neurtal zone trap to huge benefit. Hockey looks like hokey again. Not this NBA. Its the Nostalgia Basketball Association.
You can claim changes tarnish the legacy of the game but not adapting a sport’s rules as it changes tarnishes the game right now. Perhaps we should go back to soccer balls, peach baskets and scores in the 20′s? Or, maybe use our heads, make intelligent changes that improve the game, and create a new legacy firmly grounded in common sense and a drastically improved product for all.