Los Angeles Lakers veteran Carmelo Anthony has seen the NBA change its rules numerous times during his 19-year career.
Most recently, the league has taken on the players who try to draw shooting fouls by leaning in an unnatural way to initiate contact with defenders. As a result, NBA stars like James Harden and Trae Young — known to have taken advantage of the old rules in the past — have seen a decrease in their attempted free throw averages this season.
Harden averages 7.0 shots from the charity stripe per game this year, a dip from 7.3 free throw attempts in 2020-21. Meanwhile, Young has been shooting just 5.6 times from the free-throw line per game in 2021-22, considerably less than the 8.7 he attempted last season.
Asked about the rule change, Anthony said it hasn’t affected him much. “I’m able to adapt to all of the type of styles of play in the game and the way that they’re officiating,” the 37-year-old forward said.
“I really don’t rely on the officiating to dictate something that I’m gonna do or a shot that I’m gonna take or move that I’m gonna make. In 19 years, I never looked for officials to bail me out or anything. I understand the guy who have played that way and I don’t want to say needed, but they use it to their advantage, they’ve mastered that, and it’s just not going their way as of right now.
“So I’m sure that as the season goes on, we’re still in the first 20 games of the season, as the season goes on I think you’ll start to see some things let up, hopefully. Who knows, we’ll see.”
Russell Westbrook said last month he wasn’t concerned with the new rules either.
“There ain’t too many people flying at me, so I’ll be alright [laughs],” Westbrook said.
Anthony opens up on his message to Lakers teammates in win over Pistons
Anthony used his experience and leadership skills to inspire the Lakers’ comeback rally in a recent win over the Detroit Pistons.
L.A. entered the fourth quarter of the clash facing a double-digit deficit to overcome — and without LeBron James, who had been ejected for the ill-famous altercation with Pistons center Isaiah Stewart.
The 10-time All-Star has revealed he spoke up after the drama unfolded and told his younger teammates to use the adversity they faced as a motivation to get back into the game.
Eventually, L.A. overcame a 17-point deficit to notch an important away win over Detroit.
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