|Posted by paul on October 13, 2012 at 12:05 AM|
The NBA Commentariat has been more smugly and vacuously self-righteous than usual lately, seeming to universally welcome the NBA's new 'anti-flopping' rules as a brave and noble attempt by the NBA to fight a terrible scourge that threatened to destroy the game. What a flaming crock. Notice how the media always tells us what we are concerned about, and notice too that it rarely, if every, has anything to do with our real concerns. Honestly, how concerned were you about flopping? How concerned were most fans about flopping? We all bitch about flopping when it impacts on our team negatively. We all get particularly annoyed over chronic floppers. Flopping has always been with us. Dave Cowens famously bitched about it. Where there is officiating, there will be flopping, and where there is bad officiating, there will be more flopping.
So, to start with, we supposedly had a 'problem', which was supposedly urgent, that was not urgent if it even was a problem at all.
But let's think about this a little more. To the extent that flopping really was rampant in the NBA, how could that have happened if the officiating was good? Wise minds in the Commentariat are always careful to remind us that officiating is tough to do (so we should never blame officials for anything, it seems), and they have a point, albeit one that they beat to death. Of course officiating an NBA game is not easy. THAT'S WHY THE NBA IS SUPPOSED TO HIRE THE BEST OF THE BEST!!! Theoretically NBA officials work their way up through the ranks, from bantam ball, to high school ball, to college ball, to pro ball, to the NBA. They aren't supposed to be like you and me out on the court trying to make sense of the whizzing action. They are supposed to be the ultimate experts in their field. It is to laugh, no? To laugh, and to cry. These idjits can't see Dwayne Wade whacking Rajon Rondo in the face in one of the critical plays of the entire 2011-2012 season. Their performance is routinely pathetic.
In fact, its been common knowledge as long as I've been watching NBA basketball that most fouls won't get called unless the victim of the foul 'sells' the foul. Clueless refs simply don't see most fouls unless the person being hit dramatizes the hit. Commentators have freely and routinely acknowledged this for years. They've often treated 'selling the foul' as a key skill for top players to have, even a critical skill. A star player who can't 'sell' fouls is libel to become a hunted man around the NBA. We have seen some of that with Rondo. Referees have seemed to see Rondo getting smashed to the floor as being a natural outcome of being a small man in a big man's game. It has at times seemed like the only calls Rondo could get were the ones where he flopped. Naturally, in a cruel and ironic twist, Rondo has been painted around the league as one of the foremost floppers!!
Teams like Miami, where players like Lebron, Wade and Battier already routinely bash opponents, will surely have even more free reign to play smashball, now that opponents have to just take it on the chin. The 'power game' and the power players have been given yet another advantage by a league and by a commentariat that seems to be obsessed with train-wreck drives to the basket by the likes of Lebron, and brusing 'blocks' by the likes of Wade. Finesse players, like Rajon Rondo, may need to start their own league. It's hard to do much with finesse when your opponent can just knock you down and take the basketball from you.
These new 'anti-flopping' rules don't make the game better. They make it worse. They also misplace the blame for flopping. The root cause of flopping is bad officiating, and the league is to blame for that. Instead of accepting its responsibility to recruit and train excellent referees, the league chooses - as it always seems to do - to shift any blame for any problems onto the players. This is the way things are in our society generally. Nothing is ever the system's fault. It's always the fault of whoever doesn't fit into the system. Thus we have possibly the largest prison system in history. The individual human being must always be blamed. It's always the individual's fault.
The new rules are also yet another attack on the free speech of players. Consider that the league has already stipulated that players cannot criticize officiating in the media. Nor are players allowed to criticizine officiating during games. NOW THEY CANNOT EVEN IMPLICITLY CRITIZE THE OFFICIATING BY ATTEMPTING TO SHOW THAT THEY HAVE BEEN HIT!!! Basically, the players have been stripped of any recourse against bad or unfair officiating. Their last remaining way of objecting to bad officiating has been taken away.
Isn't it interesting that the players' union seems to have no problem with any of this?
As a fan, I'm disgusted with the league, the union, and the Commentariat. When in doubt, blame the players, and treat them like bad children, and take away more of their dignity and rights. The whole affair seems to be yet another disgusting display of authoritarianism by Don Sterni and his many cronies.