Justice Demetrio

All rise, the honorably dishonorable Justice Demetrio is back on the bench ready to serve his brand of Stone Cold justice.

Case #000000002 is brought to the court by friend of the Millennial Man, Mr. Gary “the Glove” Payton.

The Glove does not like what he sees in today's NBA.

The Glove does not like what he sees in today’s NBA.

Mr. Gary Payton vs The NBA

Mr. Payton made waves last week when he called out the current brand of basketball, labeling it soft, weak, and grandma ball. It has gotten so bad in his mind that he can no longer watch the game that he loves and played at a hall of fame level for over a decade.

It is a big enough shame that America is deprived of the Glove in his post-retirement element on NBA TV with Chris Webber. As great as the Inside the NBA TV crew is, fresh blood is always good and the C-Webb/Glove combination looked primed to take over the entertaining NBA analyst crown a few years back, just watch this clip and understand the joy that was taken away from us.

The Glove’s credentials are thought of highly in this courtroom, so when he speaks up about the NBA being

So many people wanted to punch Laimbeer in the face that he eventually had to wear a mask to protect himself.

So many people wanted to punch Laimbeer in the face that he eventually had to wear a mask to protect himself.

soft, Justice Demetrio listens.It is apparent that the rules have been changed to put an emphasis on offense and make it harder for defenses to defend without fouling. Scoring used to be a big deal in the NBA, every point was earned the hard way and the top scorers in the league had it the hardest as defenses committed fouls on them that would be a felony off the court.

The venerable Sam Smith highlighted the famous “Jordan Rules” that the Bad Boy Pistons used to slow down his Airness in his prime.  Those Pistons team were determined to turn the game into a knock down drag out parking lot fight. If you were going to score on them, you had to earn it with blood, sweat, and the greatest basketball player to ever live.

Basketball is a contact sport, while football is a collision. When playing basketball you get hit, sometimes harder than others, it is a smash mouth game or at least it used to be. Since the implementation of the hand-checking rule in 2005 the game has opened up and made it easier for smaller ball handlers to move freely up and down the court.

It is not a coincidence that Steve Nash won back-to-back MVPs right after the rule was implemented. His seven seconds or less Suns would have had a harder time playing that style in the 80s and 90s. Sure the Showtime Lakers got up and down the floor, scoring a ton of points, but Magic Johnson is 6’9 and as big as many centers, which made it easier for him to deal with all the contact. Nash and his slender 6 foot Canadian frame would’ve been knocked around easily.

Would Steve Nash and his flowing locks have been a two-time MVP in the 80s or 90s? Unless Doc Brown shows up, we'll never know.

Would Steve Nash and his flowing locks have been a two-time MVP in the 80s or 90s? Unless Doc Brown shows up, we’ll never know.

However, this is all presumptive, there is actually no definitive way to prove how players would handle other eras of basketball. Old men love to romanticize their eras and talk about how much worse the new generation is compared to them. Being too soft is a common slight against the Millennial generation in all things, not just basketball. Older generations see us as weak, narcissistic, and smart phone obsessed pansies incapable of building up the greatness they established.

Basketball might be a contact sport, but the contact got way out of hand in the 90s and resembled an MMA match with some occasional basketball played. The Heat-Knicks games were particularly ugly with the teams more focused on hurting each other than anything else and the first one to 70 winning.

Verdict: 

The NBA has definitely changed the rules to get rid of the hard contact and collisions that ruled the 80s and 90s. This does not mean that it has gotten too soft, though. The game was getting out of hand and the rules did need to change. Basketball is meant to be played more freely and open, than the slugfests that were masquerading as basketball games. It is not impossible to play good defense either, just look at the Pacers, Heat, and Bulls. In fact the current game rewards teams that can play defense without mugging the other team, but rather work in unison and have players that can move their feet to stay in front of the guy their guarding.

Older generations love the way things were due to nostalgia. They become blind to any faults with the way they did things and as a result think everything is wrong with the new way. The “Greatest Generation” may have won a World War, but it still had segregation, sexism, McCarthyism, and rampant organized crime. The old NBA rules allowed Bruce Bowen to mug his way to five first team all defensive player honors.

What? Foul? Who? Me?

What? Foul? Who? Me?

The type of fouls being called are not the problem with system, but punishments handed out for those fouls are. This court has never liked the foul out rule in the NBA, nor the fact that all fouls are considered equal. How can body blocking a dribbler outside the three point line be penalized the same as a hard foul on a guy going up for a layup?

Here are the changes the NBA must make. Get rid of foul outs, we do not want to see players taken out of the game due to foul trouble or ultimately fouling out. The best players should be able to play as much as their endurance allows them or as the coach sees fit. Instead of fouling out at 6 personal fouls, add an extra free throw to the penalty. If it is a shooting foul or a team bonus foul, then the shooter would get three shots instead of two. On non-shooting fouls, when the team is not in the bonus, it would just be one free throw and the ball back.

If a player happens to reach 10 personal fouls, then it is two additional free throws for the shooter. This rule change benefits the opposing team with extra shots, rather than taking players off the court. Fouling becomes more of a strategy that can be implemented and allow for some of the old style to be brought back into the game. I know this could lead to teams just hacking big men to make them shoot free throws, but guess what, if you’re in the NBA you should be able to make at least 60% of your free throws, I’m sorry it is your fucking job. It will also be fun to watch Deandre Jordan and Dwight Howard battle it out for most missed free throws in a season. 

Also, since players would no longer be ejected, the NBA can create a hierarchy in penalizing fouls. In the

NFL a false start penalty is less detrimental than a pass interference down field. It would be silly if all

Balls in your court, commissioner.

Balls in your court, commissioner.

penalties were just five yards since they affect the game in different ways. New Commissioner Adam Silver can make a splash next year by making minor, non-shooting fouls, one penalty, and fouls that prevent layups or are more blatant to be worth two fouls. The amount will be added to the players personal foul total, meaning three two-penalty fouls equals six total fouls and an extra free throw for the shooter.

The challenge is determining what would justify two fouls over one, but anything that is worth doing is going to be difficult. This court will leave that up to the NBA to determine as Justice Demetrio is not an employee of the National Basketball Association and therefore cannot do all the work. These are just the changes that have been ordered by the court to be made before next season. Also, get rid of hand checking fouls, it is a stupid fucking rule.

Court Adjured.  

 

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