Editorial: NBA needs to end Tackle Basketball

Editorial: NBA needs to end Tackle Basketball
Boston Celtics

Editorial: NBA needs to end Tackle Basketball

Dr. James Naismith was asked how many fowl shots should be awarded in a particular situation. He gave them a rule of thumb that is still used today. “One if by hand, two if by knee.”

By Bill Smith

    Having barely survived the era of Hack-A-Shak I am now up to my earlobes in the NBA's newest attack on our sensibilities—tackle basketball. Anyone that has watched the playoffs this season has to be struck by the number of physical assaults by those with very little talent against those with immense talent. 

      In game 3 of the attempted strangulation by James Posey against LeBron James wasn't a flagrant fowl, it was a mugging. Had LeBron broken Posey in half, any court in the country would have called that justifiable retribution. I would have paid to see that. Had the attack happened in the NFL, it would have been a 15 yard penalty for a horse collar tackle that would make Roy Williams proud.

      The NHL had to do something about the trapping defense. The defense took the great skaters out of the game and allowed the average player to get an unfair advantage. Thug Defense presents exactly the problem to the NBA. There is a group of unbelievably athletic players in the league now. People pay to see that, not some muscle bound thick legged Cro magnon man club the basketball thoroughbreds of the league into submission.

      It has to stop before someone gets hurt to the point that it costs them their career. 

Worse yet, it is just plain unwatchable. If the NBA does not get control of it, Thug Defense will hurt their TV ratings. Does the league really want to be compared unfavorably to the WWF or whatever it is calling itself this week?

      I can hear a lot of you ballers saying “yea but there are as many flops as there are muggings.” As Newton's third law says, “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” That is true for basketball as well. I have seen enough bad acting to start another soap opera series with the barely offended player flopping around on the floor like a flounder on the deck of a boat. And while that does have some comedy value, it has to be stopped as well.

      Is there a solution? YES!

      The penalty for a mugging must be made so sever that it will not happen often. How about the first violation in the game, the offending player is benched for the the rest of the quarter and following quarter. After the player's third mugging, a three game suspension is appropriate. A similar but slightly less sever penalty for flopping would be appropriate.

      If the NBA can muster up the intestinal fortitude to fix the situation, players like LeBron, Chris Paul etc. will take the league to new heights. If not, it will continue to be mired in fifth place behind the NFL, college football, baseball, and college basketball in the minds of the fans only because the NHL marketing effort can't get out of its own way.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for http://BrutusReport.com, He also has published several novels on http://ebooks-library.com/index.cfm and edits http://fryingpanpolitics.blog.com


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