The NBA has implemented the new policy in response to informal research conducted showing fan disapproval of players’ incessant whining and complaining. It’s not clear what the sample size or demographics are of the fans polled, but some would argue that emotional outbursts are welcomed to the delight fans that enjoy seeing fire from their players.
An exhibition game between the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics last week resulted in four technical calls within a 16-second span, with forward Kevin Garnett being ejected after picking up two of them for arguing over calls made against teammate Jermaine O’Neal. Incidents like this and the one involving Odom have the NBA players association fuming, planning legal action over the league’s decision to crackdown on player’s reactions during games.
“The new unilateral rule changes are an unnecessary and unwanted overreaction on the league’s behalf,” NBPA director Billy Hunter said. “We have not seen any increase in the level of ‘complaining’ to the officials and we believe that players as a whole have demonstrated appropriate behavior toward the officials.”
In addition to causing what Hunter see’s as a “stifling of the players’ passion and exuberance for their work,” they’ll also be hit with a blow to their pocket-books.