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Friday, October 29, 2010

Blow The Whistle (Or Not...) - The NBA's New Rules on Techs

As you may have heard and noticed, the NBA is instituting new rules for what warrants a technical foul this season. Already, there have been 21 techs whistled in the first 18 games of the season. That number estimates to a whopping 1,435 technical fouls (simple math; divide 21/18 then multiple the result by 1,230 games. Trust me on this). If refs continue to calls techs at that rate, the total number would almost double the amount of techs called last season (roughly 750).

Let's think about that for a second. Think about the effect a technical foul can have on the flow of a game. It kills momentum. A tech gets the crowd riled up (hope they don't call any in Detroit). They warrant the players fines, which have been doubled for this season, and techs also stop the clock thus making NBA games longer. DING DING, we have a winner ladies and gentlemen!

I have a background in media and advertising sales, so I can see the benefit of the NBA (which has been rumored to be down in revenue) secretly wanting to extend games. The extra TV run time would allow for the NBA to generate more advertising revenue, as well as garner the money from the fines. Do the math; if the league fines players DOUBLE for technical fouls and at the rate they are being whistled, that's almost 3-4x as much extra $$. David Stern may be on to something there.

As far as the effect on games, I say let the players play. Basketball can be an emotional sport, and of course NBA players never think they commit a foul. Not to mention that some of the technicals that have been whistled so far have been borderline ridiculous. Maybe the refs will lighten up as the season progresses. Maybe the players will learn to stay off the men in striped shirts (although I doubt that will happen).

Either way, I really hope the refs don't take the term "whistle while you work" too liberally. Makes for better basketball all around.


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