One of the reasons that the NBA has become one of the fastest-growing sports leagues in the entire world is its willingness to adapt to modern times.
Whether that be through participating in relevant cultural movements and social activism, empowering its players and talent to build their own individual brands and create additional drama and storylines within the sport, or tweaking its rules to better fit the modern game and encourage aesthetically pleasing basketball, the NBA actively listens to its fans and often, makes the changes necessary to improve its overall product.
Basketball fans saw an example of a relevant rule change recently, as the "transition take foul" rule was implemented before the beginning of the 2022-2023 NBA regular season.
The new amendment punishes defenders for purposefully taking a foul when the opposing team is starting or within an advantageous fast break situation to nullify the upper hand.
Rather than a common team foul resulting in a sidelines out of bounds or two free throws being doled out if the fouled team is in the bonus, now, teams committing a transition take foul will put an opposing player at the line — the fouled team can choose any player on the floor to take the free throw — and still have to play defense as the opponent will retain possession of the ball following the free throw.
This has been a popularly acclaimed implementation, as the new rule keeps the games from getting bogged down and allow for more exciting transition plays that often result in highlight dunks or creative finishes at full speed. With the 2023 NBA Playoffs having just began, another rule change has been suggested by a significant chunk of fans.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 17, 2023
After watching Joel Embiid, Giannis Antentokounmpo, and Ja Morant get injured or nearly injured due to defenders recklessly sliding under them as they were airborne in hopes of drawing a charge, many fans and pundits are calling for the removal of charges altogether.
While that would be an extreme measure, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the NBA compromise on this facet of the game to help protect offensive players and encourage more highlight-worthy plays.
Some possible half-measures include expanding the restricted area or calling a Flagrant 1 or 2 on defenders who are extra careless with how they try to draw charges.
While outlawing the charge altogether might tip the scales too far in the favor of offensive players, these aforementioned half-measures could bring about better safety and more aesthetically pleasing basketball.
The Athletic’s Zach Harper says the NBA should ban charges
“The charge isn’t really a basketball play… It’s really not, especially not anymore. Not with today’s athleticism. The charge is a bailout call for the defense.”
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) April 17, 2023
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| Title: Should NBA outlaw drawing charges after Giannis Antetokounmpo and Ja Morant injuries?
| Author: Andy Quach
| Date: April 17, 2023