The NBA is making umpire changes heading into next season to stop players who go out of their way to change the game beyond the way it is normally played, according to Monty McCutchen, who oversees the on-court performance of umpires. of the league.
“We want basketball to be played, not manipulated,” Monty McCutchen, NBA senior vice president and head of umpire development and training, said in a Zoom call with reporters Thursday afternoon.
The NBA was quick to point out that the revised approach is not due to rule changes, but rather to interpretive changes, designed to eliminate some of the open foul play that has become widespread in recent seasons. Players like Bring young of the Atlanta Hawks and James harden of the Brooklyn Nets, have constantly found new ways to create free throws.
“NBA officials are no longer thinking about ‘what would have happened,'” McCutchen said, adding that the goal is to determine if there was an “open, abrupt or abnormal movement” when the offensive player begins to create contact with him. defender.
Some examples of such plays include a shooter who lunges or leans toward a defender at an abnormal angle; an offensive player who abruptly veers off the path (sideways or backward) toward a defender; a shooter who moves his leg up or to the side at an abnormal angle and an offensive player who uses his arm to hook the defender.
The biggest change for this season is that the NBA will now call an offensive foul on a player who throws a defender into the air with a false play and lunges at the defender for an unnatural movement foul.
McCutchen was quick to point out, and he had several examples to back him up, that the NBA doesn’t want to eliminate players so that they will catch a defender in the air and commit a foul. If an offensive player has a defender in the air and is fouled in a normal shooting motion, it will remain a defensive foul.
“We want there to be an equal opportunity to compete with passion and skill,” McCutchen said. “And we want to flow in the game and we want basketball to be played like basketball, not individual one-on-one games in an attempt to get the most efficiency.”
Still, McCutchen said, there will be plenty of ways for players to get to the free throw line. One move that has not been removed from players’ arsenals is the ability to go around a screen and go straight up in a shooting move, causing the defender to run into behind his opponent and commit a foul.
What will not be allowed is players doing their best to jump in front of a defender and then stop, which will cause the defender to run towards them and generate contact.