NBA Rumors: Rule Changes To ‘Unnatural’ Shooting Motions Used To Draw Fouls Being Explored
James Harden, Wesley Matthews
Andrew D. Bernstein-NBAE

Over the last few seasons, the NBA has seen a lot of changes in the way the game of basketball has been played. Something that has become extremely apparent has been the increase in offensive players actively seeking fouls.

Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden was the first to truly garner attention for his ability to create contact even when defenders were actively trying to avoid him. But in recent years, others such as Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks and Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks have stood out as going out of their way to draw fouls as well, much to the dismay of the opposition and some fans.

Now it has gotten to the point that the NBA is apparently looking to change some of the rules in regards to that. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the league met in order to explore potential rule changes to help prevent players from going out of their way to initiate contact:

The NBA’s Competition Committee met Monday to further explore rule changes to restrict the unnatural motions surrounding jump shots that players are using to draw fouls, sources told ESPN.

The league wants to limit ability of players – including crafty stars like James Harden, Luka Doncic and Trae Young – to lean backwards and sideways, for example – to initiate contact and get to the free throw line.

The NBA has shared a video compilation of player examples with the 30 teams that outlines a number of motions deemed unnatural that used to draw fouls. The NBA and Competition Committee will drill down on specific plays with the league’s GM’s next week to target examples that’ll be recommended to owners to vote to eliminate next season, sources said.

Under Adam Silver, the NBA has consistently been willing to look at and review potential changes in every facet that may be necessary and this is another example of just that. Players have begun recognizing the importance of going to the free-throw line and are almost manipulating the officials to get there.

The key here, should changes be made, will obviously be differentiating between who is initiating contact on these plays. If the offensive player is jumping unnaturally into a defender just for the sake of creating contact, it wouldn’t be a foul on the defender. Whether or not a rule change comes, the league is clearly watching everything closely to figure out any way they can make the NBA a better product.

James commends NBA, NBPA for handling of pandemic seasons

The NBA has had a lot on its plate just in getting through the 2020-21 season in addition to finishing out the 2019-20 season due to the ongoing pandemic, but things are finally close to getting back to normal. Fans are back in the building and next season looks as if it will be a return to normalcy for the league. LeBron James had nothing but praise for the NBA as a whole in how things have been handled.

“Well the one thing that I’m happy about is to see fans back in our buildings,” LeBron said. “That is the number one thing I’m extremely excited about and happy about, to see fans. Obviously we know we had a couple instances over the last week with some fans taking it a little bit too extra but at the end of the day, fans being back in the building is a beautiful thing to see.

“So you commend the PA, you commend the league, Adam Silver and his crew on figuring out a way to withstand the pandemic, to withstand it and the players committing to it.”

It has been difficult for everyone involved, but the commitment has been there for all parties and that is why the NBA has continued to thrive.

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