Rules Are Made to Be Broken
David Stern and the NBA Executives have initiated another rule that they feel will help the overall game of basketball. Just two weeks ago, I wrote about the new NBA rule for “flopping” now being an offense that can be fined (https://sports-debaters.com/2012/10/03/fined-for-flopping/). This morning, the NBA announced that pregame rituals will be allotted only 90 seconds after player introductions before a delay of game warning will be enforced. Two delay of game warnings and your team receives a technical foul. With the extravagant handshakes and dances that some players have created over the past few years, David Stern and company felt that this rule had to be implemented to bring order back to the start of games.
There has been some outrage among fans across the country, stating that David Stern is trying to take the fun out of the game and that there is really no reason to change the current rules and regulations. The truth of the matter is that this is one of the smarter decisions that David Stern has made during his tenure as the NBA Commissioner. Not only will this speed up the start of games, but it will leave more room for advertising dollars for commercials. MONEY PEOPLE!!! Wasn’t that the reason that we didn’t start last season until Christmas? I am a big fan of players interacting with fans and giving a good show, but when it comes down to it, I turn on the game to watch basketball. If I want to watch a performance and a show then I will go watch the Harlem Globetrotters. A few players have chimed in about the new rules and there will definitely be some backlash because of it.
The 3-time NBA scoring Champion, Kevin Durant, stated to The Oklahoman, “I personally don’t like it. Every player in this league has routines they do with their teammates, rituals they do before the game and before they walk on the floor. The fans enjoy it. You see the fans mimicking the guys who do their stuff before the game. To cut that down really don’t make no sense.” While Durant is one of the most respected players in the NBA, he is still relatively young and didn’t seem to use too much maturity in his dislike for the new rule.
Seasoned veteran and 2-time NBA Champion, Dwayne Wade, took another approach. Wade has been know as one of those players that has the longest pregame ritual. He shakes hands of every teammate and then progresses on to shake the hands of multiple fans and continues on to do pull-ups on the rim. When reacting to the new rule, Wade said, “I’ll have to take something away for sure. I’m always going to make sure I show love to the fans. There’s so many rules, I can’t keep up. … There’s no reason to make a big stink. It’s their league, it’s their rules.” Wade is right. This isn’t a rule to discourage any players from having fun, it is a rule to regulate the amount of time that fans have to wait for a tip-off.
It’s not like the NBA is trying to eliminate team camaraderie, but some of these pregame rituals have gotten way out of control. Back when Shaq was playing for the Phoenix Suns, he was the first person to have his team perform mini sketches that took upwards of 3-5 minutes. Some players have gone as far as making an individual handshake with almost every player on their team as well as coaches. Players like Lebron James and Kevin Garnett like to mimic the great Michael Jordan with their famous chalk tosses in front of the commentators table. James was optimistic that he won’t even have to change his pregame rituals.
“I won’t change it, I’ll be able to work it in,” James said. “We’ll figure it out.”
I personally think this rule is more than fair because if you can’t get all of your handshakes and dances in before the allocated 90 seconds is up, then you should change your ritual. I am sick and tired of turning on a game that has a proposed tip-off time of 7:00 PM and not seeing NBA action until 7:20 PM. Some of the rituals are fun and entertaining, but there is a time and a place for it. I would like to thank David Stern and his team for finally creating a rule that will make the game better.
For all of you guys that love the handshakes and dances, here is a video with some of the best.