Problem of perception
While it's unfortunate to see a star player receive an early technical foul for doing little more than pleading his case to a referee, the NBA's new policy is necessary for the good of the game.
Not ideal, not pretty — necessary.
To many, the NBA is known for its shady refereeing as much as its supreme athletes and fast-paced game. While the refereeing always can be better, players openly showing up refs after calls doesn't help the perception that the refereeing is poor.
Without some sort of mandate, player complaints would continue to expose the men in stripes to added criticism.
It's not easy for NBA players, who play an adrenaline-fueled game in front of fans whose toes practically touch the court. Athletes in other sports don't deal with the same accessibility.
Because of that accessibility, basketball players need to be on their best behavior, and the new policy has helped that behavior.
firstname.lastname@example.org< More whistles is grating
The only good thing about the NBA's respect-for-the-game crackdown on decorum has been the ensuing discussion.
First ESPN's Jeff Van Gundy suggested that technical free throws be eliminated and a point simply be added to the opposition's score. Then TNT's Kevin McHale said the real respect-for-the-game sanctions should come against players who aren't giving full effort.
All we know is this: No one benefits from whistles that slow the game. If respect is the concern, then issue fines or simply add a point to a player's total toward a suspension.
Passion has a place in the game. Pouting should be handled outside of the game.
And the whistles have to cease. They pierce the viewing experience.
It's about whine
Los Angeles Times
The NBA has gone old school, er, grade school. No talking. No talking back. No talking unless called upon. And don't bother raising your hand or making any sudden movements.
Just play quiet until the buzzer sounds, then go home and you can act however you want.
Sounds bad, right? Wrong. The heavy-handed technical rule cracks down on the league's worst aspect: whining. Initially, it will be bumpy while stars such as Dirk Nowitzki and Kobe Bryant re-learn when they can cry foul. But long term, this is an improvement.
As to the argument that this strips the game of emotion, well, that's hooey. Amazing isn't whining. Amazing is a Bryant game-winner, a Rajon Rondo behind-the-back pass, a Dwight Howard rejection, a Josh Smith slam.
Whining always helped players get an edge, but now everyone has to shut up and play. Finally.
Policy seriously silly
The NBA is going to be more serious about calling technical fouls for demonstrative behavior this season.
And this time the league is serious!
Let's play out a hypothetical: Kobe Bryant, who already received one technical, drives late in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, thinks he gets fouled and reacts angrily to the no-call. Yell if you think he gets ejected for his second technical.
Hmm, it's awfully quiet in here. Please.
Like most attempts to strong-arm the game, this initiative will either fade or be used selectively. You can't take emotion out of the game. And it was silly for the NBA to try.