Union upset with rule changes

Union executive director Billy Hunter isn’t pleased with the rules designed to curb player complaining and promised legal action.

“The new unilateral rule changes are an unnecessary and unwarranted overreaction on the league’s behalf,” Hunter said in a statement released Thursday on behalf of the Players Association. “We have not seen any increase in the level of ‘complaining’ to the officials and we believe that players as a whole have demonstrated appropriate behavior toward the officials.

“Worse yet, to the extent the harsher treatment from the referees leads to a stifling of the players’ passion and exuberance for their work, we fear these changes may actually harm our product. The changes were made without proper consultation with the Players Association, and we intend to file an appropriate legal challenge.”

An NBPA official said such legal action would likely take place during the next 20-30 days. Four years ago, the union filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board over a similar behavior-related clean-up effort by the league.

NBA officials weren’t immediately available to comment on Hunter’s statement.

League referees are operating under stricter guidelines designed to limit player reaction, both verbal and non-verbal, towards officials. The NBA’s desire to drastically reduce what it deems as excessive complaining falls under its “Respect for the Game” initiative. The league office has said that fan research suggests that NBA players complain too much, especially compared to other pro athletes.

Officials have been briefing teams throughout the preseason on what would constitute a violation, and therefore a technical foul, under the new guidelines. Among the points of emphasis: Players are no longer allowed to excessively question referees and engage in an overt act, such as an air punch or exaggerated clap to protest a call.

The changes were front and center in Wednesday’s New York-Boston game at Madison Square Garden. Four technicals were called in span of 16 seconds of the second quarter, which included the ejection of Celtics star Kevin Garnett.

Technicals are not only easier to get, they’re now twice as costly. Players and coaches are docked $2,000 for each the first five techs of the season, $3,000 each for the next five and $4,000 each for 11-15. After that it’s $5,000 each. Suspensions also start with the 16th technical.

56 Comments

  1. aharris says:

    This is just bad. The player have to be able to show emotion! It’s a freedom of speech issue and it is really really bad for the game!

  2. IckeyRay says:

    Scrap the new rule! i don’t want to watch a bunch of robots play basketball. Whats wrong with having a bit of emotion? It is so wrong to tech foul a player when they feel emotional about a play. i Mean i get when some players step over the line when they over react but the new rule is WAY TO STRICT!!

  3. Austin K says:

    I don’t pay money to watch robots with no passion and emotion play basketball! I love basketball. I pay money to attend and watch NBA games because I want to see professional athletes excel at something only they can do best. When you take away the ability of the players to show any kind of stirring emotion, be it frustration or elation, you take away the passion and the thrill of the game. This kind of aggressive, stifling officiating detracts absolutely from the emotional foundation of the game we all love to watch. It appears from tonight that any kind emotional outburst is an intolerable offense. These are professional athletes that invest their lives in basketball! And were supposed to enjoy watching them play without them being allowed to show any kind of intense emotion? I don’t think so.

  4. Ti Brown says:

    NBA Basketball is still too Black. Again. The only reason these behavior policing policies on millionaires is acceptable to even the most common of us is because we believe we’re watching savages make more money than us and we want to tighten the leash on them. It’s easy to forget these are rich, powerful, adult men, isn’t it? http://bit.ly/9NhxDw

  5. Omarisgay says:

    What are they bored? They don’t know what to do so they add these retarted rules?
    Emotion is a big part of the game, player personalities mean a ton, look at Ron Artest, he wasn’t even a 10 point scorer last season, but is one of the most familiar icons in the game because of his antics on and off the court. What the hell is a referee, they’re getting more pampered then the players.

  6. Wilhelm says:

    This new rule change would make more sense to me if it was given degrees of severity, Meaning, breaking technical fouls into minor and major levels. Minor technical fouls will involve such infractions as staring at the refs for too long, complaining too much, etc, can be received in unlimited supply, and only result in the opposing team being awarded a bonus free throw. That way, the league can work on their “clean up”, without fans spending their hard earned pennies to see their favorite players ejected in the first minute. That leaves the more severe technical foul–the Major technical foul–with all of the harsh reprocutions of the old technical foul call, which players will be ejected after receiving two, get all of the same fines, and instead of the opposing team receiving only one bonus free throw, they are awarded two free throws and the ball back. The league can even have fun with this, naming the minor T the Rasheed, the Duncan foul (for his unfair incident with Joey Crawford), while naming the Major technical, Major pain, Ron Artest, Deep Doo Doo, or the Rodman….I personally don’t like the technical foul call at all, and I wish the league would let the players play more. However, if they are going to implement this rule, then at least lay it down slowly and don’t drop it on it’s head. EH?

  7. James says:

    If this rule is enacted Duncan will be kicked out in every game. He has a mean look in his face always.

  8. jean paul says:

    I been an nba fan all my life, an i can say this new rule is bad for the game; it takes the emotion from the game, it puts to much power in the referee hands, COME ON the referee does get it wrong sometimes their human, the garnet expulsion is a perfect example of how bad this rule is for the game, no one comes to the game to see Dwight howard, kobe, lebron or KG get expelled. I also don’t like how they fined the coaches for criticizing the officials. Wheres freedom of speech?.

  9. Donskee says:

    Their turning nba games into a poker game… Everybody on poker face pleaseeee…
    when you’re called for a foul,,, poker face please don’t react..

    imagine Jordan being called for technical after shooting his last winning shot vs. Utah for raising his shooting hand for more than 3 seconds…. hahaha

    or MJ showing a poker face after “The Shot” vs Cleveland.. hahahaha..that would be more remembered I guess..

    Silly Rules… denying emotions…

  10. Lazy River says:

    The refs are going way overboard on calling techs. Are they so perfect that they never make mistakes and are above criticism? I understand the need for civility and respect for those who are officiating, but why is it wrong for a player to ask “What did I do wrong?” Soccer has similar non-complaining rules in the form of yellow cards, but refs are generally tolerant until the player becomes vociferous or demonstrative in the extreme. Same way in baseball. “Don’t show me up” us what the umps say. We’re almost out of preseason games to get this right. Let’s make a concerted effort to be reasonable and consistent.

  11. KB says:

    Lets take a vote once a week and give the REF’S a technical.
    Too many bad calls.

  12. claytaurus says:

    The new rules had better stay consistent. If Stern wants to scrutinize the players, then Stern will be scrutinized as well. The new rules better apply to ALL NBA players, even the guys who wear a Lakers #24 jersey and a #6 Heat jersey. Those players complain and make gestures as much as anyone in the league, and if those guys don’t get T’d up or ejected as the average NBA player does when exhibiting behavior not allowed under the new rules, then the NBPA must take note. Stern will be exposed as playing favorites if the rules don’t stay consistent among the NBA’s elite players. Kevin Garnett’s ejection was just the NBA sending a message during the preseason, when the arenas are not filled to capacity and the game is not televised on a big time network like ABC, ESPN, or TNT. Let’s see if the league can stay consistent on a “money” game like the Lakers/ Heat on Christmas Day on ABC. I know it will get chippy and let’s see if the “Big” names get T’d up or tossed out of a game on national TV. We’ll see then if Stern throws out his “marketable” players out if they misbehave in front of millions watching the game. I know if Lebron and Kobe get thrown out before halftime, a lot of people watching will complain or turn the channel, and that won’t look good for the league…but hey, rules are rules, right David Stern? You better not make exceptions for the superstars!

  13. claytaurus says:

    So let’s go back to the NBA front office’s claim that an “informal fan research” suggests that NBA players complain too much…so far almost all of the feedback on this article are against the new rules. So where or what social group did the league officials do their research on? I want the NBA to run a poll on their webpage to see where fans stand on this rule, and why are we told about this research only now? I have been to a lot of games and I follow the NBA almost religiously— I was never asked or given a questionaire to fill out about the excessive complaining, nor have I been aware of the NBA’s concern or “research” about it…So again, what type of people was David Stern’s research done on? The NBA refs? His own panel of VPs, and other execs in the meeting room? After seeing the overwhelming opposition on this comment board, there is something fishy about David Stern’s “fan” research. Put up a poll on NBA.com! Let’s see the results instead of being told about it after the rule has already been implemented.

  14. JK says:

    it’s a pretty common complaint by viewers that there’s too much complaining…I for one can do with less gesticulating and more focus on the game. And it is disrespectful to the game IMO. How else can you explain that up until the NBA, players never complain? When’s the last time you saw a college player complaining to the ref about a bad call. Now that the players have “made it”, there goes your respect for the game.

  15. Seems old David Stern is becoming one heck of a national socialist. Heil Stern!

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  17. DMAC says:

    It makes me laugh when everyone says it takes something away from the game. The players are pampered and over-payed to play a game. What gives them the right to cry and throw a fist in disgust because they don’t like a call. No one says you cant get jacked up and play with passion; why cant they focus enough to not to do it. Why cant they be civil and talk to the ref about the call. According to Tim Duncan he has never fouled anyone. I would love everyone to go to work tomorrow and swear and throw a fist up at their boss because they don’t like a decision they made.

    Maybe they are calling it so tight now that in the regular season the players may just realize how much they complain. i am sure it will be a little looser when the season starts.

    According to all the posts the refs are always making bad calls and the players are always correct when they complain. I guess when everyone’s at home watching the game on TV and watching the fav team play, it will be ok when opposing players complain about a call and you will agree with them to reverse it, because the players are always right.

  18. ian says:

    Hey look at the referee call a tech…. GREAT TO WATCH…see the refs dance… see the refs run around…. – Heck you can take out all the refs and make computers officiate the game and no one would mind, this is just the refs trying to get some attention, I just hate it when a game gets decided by refs, its fake, and refs should be fined for making bad calls coz it makes the game ugly.

  19. Robert L says:

    Dislike whining players. Winning is good.

  20. Robert L says:

    Stern believes he is restoring the integrity of the game. I dislike winning players as much as anybody, whether on “my” team, or the opposition. However, most of the technical calls being made in the preseason or absurd. It is not something I want to watch. Are you listing, Mr. Stern? and Sponsors??

  21. rramos says:

    These rules just make the nba look “soft”, the ref’s aren’t 4 year olds, they can handle it… F*ck these new rules, change them back!

  22. faz says:

    Keep the double fine, get rid of the new tech rules

  23. Andre W. says:

    This is a horrible, useless rule, enough said on that, I could just see more then half of the Lakers getting technicals and being thrown out of the game, going up to the head office one after another, first kobe, then pau, then andrew and fisher, followed by phil, lets not forget artest, lamar gets excited every once in a while, but they would go to the office and say we need to strike because this is BS. NBA is about heart and emotion if the players, not about howard sterns worry about the NBA’s image to the euro league or his thoughts on basketball at all.

  24. bigbot11 says:

    TIME FOR DAVID STREN TO GO,, HE IS MAD WITH POWER , WE SHOULD NOT GO TO THE GAMES

  25. wtf says:

    these rules are killing the game

  26. Jerry D says:

    I can’t stand this new rule. Its taking away from the game, as a NBA fan I live for those intense moments where the games on the line and players put there heart and soul into every play but now if any player lets there emotions be known the ref gives them a tech. I mean come on folks what happened to “Our right to express opinion” Remember that referees are human and they can make mistakes, and in my opinion if I where a captain/franchise player of my team you better believe I would want him to voice his displeasure.
    Not only is the NBA stealing money on the techs from players but they are just ROBBING THE FANS OF THE GAME WE LOVE. Which is hard nose gritty win at any cost basketball. GET RID OF THIS DUMB RULE!!!!

  27. Mudy says:

    This New Rule suck and is bad for NBA. Basketball is such an emotional sport than to take it to next level player need to compete and that comes with EMOTION… NBA is MENS SPORT!! AMERICAN BASKET BALL where men compete with everthing on LINE and As a FAN, we get into the game when our Team gets emotional hyped and Most team feeds of the energy to play basketball and now NBA is trying to T player up for even Physical Guestures!! This is pethatic Gay rule ever!! This is MEN sport where we compete!! This is not a Europen SOFT leage where player just ran and play without Emotions…..Basketball is an emotional sport and FANS feed of theri teams energy…EMOTIONAL PLAYER WHO BRINGS ENERGY TO THE GAME!!! DAVID STERN has never played ball in his Life I don’t know how this hell that FAG is a commissnor … There should be a STRIKE Against that RULE and Should REVOKE David Stern WHO IS A FAG!! Who is ruining NBA…

  28. Shawn says:

    1. Don’t make this about the refs. They are very, very good, and refereeing basketball is challenging at most any level, even more so when you consider the size & speed of NBA players (bigger players means the court is effectively smaller and thus the players have less room to work — meaning there is always contact, and the refs have to figure out which contact matters and which doesn’t )

    2. DO make this about the players. I love watching the game, and I love intensity. I hate watching Tim “Palms Up” Duncan or KG moan and complain about calls. And this notion they “Can’t manage their emotions” is utter garbage of an excuse – Dennis Rodman was as intense & emotional as they get, and when his team needed him NOT to get a dumb T he somehow managed to walk the other way with his mouth shut even though he was hoppin’ mad about the call.

    3. DO make this about Stern, and his heavy-handed management style. If he’d dialoged with the NBPA to start with “hey guys what do you think about focusing more on _playing the game_ instead of _griping about calls_?” he coulda got somewhere WITH the players.

    KG is a ****#### and there’s been probably 100 or so T’s he deserved but *didn’t* get over the years, but watching the tape the ejection looks pretty bogus in this case.

    • Mudy says:

      Yo Shut UP Shawn!! I cant tell you never played ball you NASCAR watcher…. Basketball is an emotional sport and Every player has differnt personalities some are intense player who bring energy to the team and some are like TIM Duncan and that what makes Basketball unique … Its who you approach the game with Intensite to win the game you can never win a Basketball game without Emotion NO WAY!!!!!!! May be NASCAR Race!!!

  29. iomotol01 says:

    There is already a perception (realistic or not) that the refs have a hand in deciding who wins a game – not the players on the court. This new rule will intensify that perception, because, if a star player on one team is sent off the court because he reacted to a ref’s call, and the other team wins, we all know that everyone will believe that ref bet on the game.
    Now let’s place this scenario in a play-off series, with one team facing elimination. The ref makes a bad call (by mistake), and the star player reacts (he is human – he will react to a bad call when his team is facing elimination). The ref calls a technical foul – the player is even more upset – so he shows it and gets a second technical foul and is ejected from the game. His team (that was winning at the point of the technical fouls) loses the game and is eliminated from the playoffs.
    How will the NBA live this down. There will be calls for the ref to be fired, there will be people checking into everything the ref and his family does, and, if they ever go to Vegas or Atlantic City on vacation, the entire world would know it.
    Does Mr. Stern really want the NBA referees to be placed under this type of scrutiny? Does he really want ESPN reviewing the calls that causes a player’s ejection? Let’s face it – at least 50% of those calls could either be totally wrong or at least could go either way (call or no call). When the world sees it on ESPN in slow motion (a benefit the refs don’t have) and it is an obvious mistake, it will damage the image of the NBA much more than any whining the players display.
    The refs already have the authority to call a technical foul if they feel threatened by any player – that should be enough. They don’t need this rule to enforce or defend – because they will find themselves defending it far more than they want to, and Mr. Stern will find himself defending their calls and player ejections too. He should take this opportunity (the players union displeasure) to back down on this rule.

  30. Jay says:

    I am so tempted to write the NBA. This is such a shameful way of increasing the NBA’s revenue because that’s all this move is about. Every single sport is emotional and to take and/or curb the enthusiasm, energy and emotions of a Charles Barkley or Dennis Rodman or Rasheed Wallace is ashame. I love to see teams and players who care about every single play and every single call whether they’re directly involved with it or not. Whether they’re on the court or on the bench and rescinding a player’s 2nd technical the next day after they’ve been ejected from a game, after their team has lost is ridiculous and insulting. David Stern has been the commissioner for decades, maybe it’s time for a change.

  31. DanBowhers says:

    Look- the NBA refs are a disgrace. They bet on the games and make it fake. The NBA is soft and fans see it.

    What makes basketball enjoyable is the personalities. The Tim Duncans VS KG. People can be polite, people can be intense- I like seeing the different approaches to the game. However you simply can not rape basketball of that fire. Take away the emotion, take away the fire and you are left with something like golf- but those guys can swear and get upset with their performance/other events that take place in their sport.

    Basketball is a contact sport, let them make contact. Allow players to get fired up so long as they are not physically hurting people. No one in the NBA is trying to kill anyone (save maybe Mr. Arenas last year…but thats an exception not the rule). Sure, fighting shouldn’t be encouraged and people are responsible for their actions, but fining players for words? Kicking players out for CARING ABOUT THEIR WORK? This is insane.

    This is a players game, not a refs and not the officials making this league what it is (and sadly isnt).

    Commissioner Stern is a dictator and a mad man. He gets credited for saving the NBA (thanks for Bird and Magic) in the 80s- the golden ear of basketball. Lets get back to that- where people were nuts and would give it their all. If Kevin McChale had that legendary finals take down last year? Man, he’d be kicked out of the league. Thats a damn near defining moment of a series that could have gone unseen.

    There is plenty of talk about sports stars not caring- please don’t provide another reason for complacency.

  32. dboyfresh313 says:

    wow, this is crazy and it shows how times are changing and in life the glass sealing is still there no mater if you make millions, there is something wierd about a man that makes more than half the people living but stiill wants total control, david stern has shown me that he is what you call greedy, greedy for power and greedy for control, he couldnt stand it when players dressed up wearing thier own cloths and jerserys so he made a dress code for that in which no body sees nba players but in thier jerserys, the biggest showing of greed is when this man out of all the things to do tried to change the nba ball to make more money, know here it is as a former basketball player of the game, i have used nba basketballs and college and never have i seen a guy so greedy that he would stoop to trying to change the ball for his gain, because those that have ever played and no how important a good rock is know you dont go and change the spauldings, the wilson or the jets, and then this he is so pissed lebron left cleveland and he couldnt do anything about it and his league is truly out of his hands this was the greatest way to get back at the leagaue, make players pay for thier actions, in which the games have been horrible and it is just preseason, but he makes me want to boycott the league just because he sucks as a owner with this power struck postion that he is own. twll me how this is going to make the game better? the fact of the matter is that the league is tainted with the ref that bagged on the nba and its officals and he has to cover up alot of holes so this is the only way, waht fan pole did he send out stating this data in order to change a rule like this, stern for were ever he is at i hope this e-mail slips to the cracks and reaches him, you are tearing up the game of basketball, the micheal jordan era and before that in which i have seen may of basketball games has had just about the same or more emotions to the game and beyond, so stop with the power trip, everybody knows your the boss, but this is not making the game fun

  33. yabo316 says:

    Kevin G’s techincals were bad but the worse was the Suns vs. Raptors one a few days ago. They got kicked out for slapping each other on the butt!!!!!
    http://dailymotion.virgilio.it/video/xf3oqs_reggie-and-grant-ejected-oct-6-2010_sport

    • woooooooooowwwww i just watched that…..this keeps getting worse by the day….this is gonna be a long season unless something is done about these refs// or the puppets

  34. RJ says:

    You just gave the refs more leverage to fix the games…….CONGRATULATIONS. Now all we have to do is bet on the teams with most heart and passion for the game to LOSE instead of win. Great job Stern!

  35. RJ says:

    Final point on this issue:

    - Has anyone noticed that the NBA is the only professional sporting league that goes through this level of scrutiny? I wonder why hockey players are allowed to fight and still continue to play? Why are NASCAR racers allowed to do doughnuts on the track after they win a race? and why the h3ll do they allow baseball players to curse the umpire out, kick dirt on them and stay in the game? All a basketball player has to do is sneeze funny and he gets a technical.

    This rule takes away from the intensity and the excitement of the game. YOU CAN NOT PLAY BASKETBALL WITHOUT EMOTION…….you cant even play CHECKERS without emotion. I agree that there should be some form of penalty for excessive emotion, but I think that the really need to REFINE their definitions of excessive. You cant enforce business style behavior in sports……I wouldnt even be upset if the players decided to strike over this……its just not a fair rule.

  36. RJ says:

    I actually supported Stern when he enacted the NBA’s dress code policy. I thought that it needed to be done because players were getting out of hand with their off-court appearance. But giving more authority to the refs is only going to make the game tougher to play and even harder to watch. This new rule (in particular) does nothing but give the refs more control over the outcome of the game.

    Just like any other sport, basketball is passionate and emotional. And if anyone thinks that increasing the criteria for techs and raising the fines is going to stop these players from being emotional then they are in for rude awakening. The number of techs and ejections this year are going to be at an all-time high.

    The bottom line is that you cant put a leash on passion and emotions…..especially in the heat of the moment. IT IS A PART OF BEING HUMAN.

  37. lebron james says:

    These new rules are crap. Go union!

  38. [...] season has yet to even begin! — that the body in charge of representing them is prepared to file a “legal challenge” to have them [...]

  39. Bob says:

    The only ones who were angry in the Celtic/Knicks game were the refs and the fans who bought the tickets and were robbed of seeing the product we came to see over nothing. Stern….you need to stop it and stop it now.

  40. bigboy11 says:

    who do the players complain to when the refs make a bad call???????? and they do make a lot . can the refs get fined too when they make too much bad calls

  41. bigboy11 says:

    stern is giving the refs too much power, it is so easy for them to change the out come of a close game with theses mickey mouse rules

  42. AndreyB says:

    Sure the NBA needs better use of the “warning concept”. Same as the “delay of game warning” for a team, there should be warnings to individual players first in most both complaining and many other technical foul situations. It could be either a rule or just a practice. The number of such warnings could be limited, say at one per quarter per team and they should be used mostly in “so-so” situations like this new “complaining” issues. It would make it more fair and less detrimental to the game by preventing multiple game stops which make the fans watch free throw contests instead of basketball.

    • RJ says:

      Little by little I can see that he too thinks that the NBA is full of “thugs and hoodlums” just like the international players that are afraid to compete over here. Thats why he is trying to change the image…….this perception makes him look bad so he is changing the game so that HE has more control over the players through the refs. He is basically saying to the players “if you dont play nice, I promise you will lose.” Just ask Boston about the finals last year……..FIXED!

      Soon, they will all be playing in cages……I know Stern will consider it.

      • Law064 says:

        RJ that was well put, Stern wants to be the puppet master and have all the players on strings. If the NBA expect to have fans support they can’t have ridiculous rules such as these. Emotion is a part of the game, how can a player/team play without emotions witch is a part of having heart. The NBA would become the least watched sport event. I think the ref’s have already been dictating the outcome of games. This would really kill the league I don’t think i’ll watch the NBA or go to any Bulls games because of these silly rules.Let the players play 2009-2010 playoffs was the worst officiated post season I ever seen. Not to mention that phoney game 7 of the finals–FIXED

  43. Jesse says:

    “The league office has said that fan research suggests that NBA players complain too much” It really annoys me how they try to hide behind the fan’s like that… it’s pretty obvious that the majority of the fans do NOT agree with the new rules, the majority of the players don’t agree with the new rules, and I’ve heard several Sports Casters express their distaste for the new rules as well… what happened during the Boston-New York game was a perfect example of it, 4 T’s in 16 seconds and a fight didn’t even break out? That’s flat out pathetic on the refs part. Refs in the NBA already take a lot of fire from the fans, all these new rules will accomplish in doing is making the fans and players dislike the refs even more.

  44. Mike says:

    Emotion fun to watch… emotion gets you a T and cost you money, you stop showing it… no emotion, no fun. No fun, no product. No product, no fans. No fans, no money….

  45. Shawn says:

    “the ejection of Celtics star Kevin Garnett”

    Sounds like the rules are working *EXACTLY* as designed!

  46. RL says:

    Go for it. I don’t like the rule change. It stifles the energy of the players. In fact, other nba fans I talk to don’t like rule at all.
    I much prefer the heated physical games that we used to see (Knicks and Pacers going at it, Bulls and Pistons battle it out). Now, the moment we get a hard foul, the refs “takes control” of the game. What a shame.

  47. zzanzabar says:

    Of course they are upset, they can see where this is all headed, all they have to do is look at the NFL. More in more the ‘suits’ are trying to de-emotionalize the NBA. When the PERCEPTION was that the league was full of thugs and gangsters, they said that players on the bench now had to ‘dress-up’ and wear suits. Now that they believe that the League is going ‘international’ they now want the APPEARANCE of an emotionless game of precision play (read ‘civilized).

    But it wasn’t emotionless precision play that propelled the USA past taller, precise international players, it was athletic prowess combined with emotional play. Nor was it the USA team that had a bench brawl where chairs were used as weapons, but notice that the NBA players involved were NEVER sanctioned by the NBA even though they have a standing policy to discipline players for actions ‘detrimental to the league’. And while the international bloggers (and some media) where referring the USA players as ‘savages’, Stern is busy trying to incorporate FIBA rules into the USA game.

    Now he wants to give the refs the power to fine and ban players for any ‘untoward’ emotional response. As others have said, I do not want to spend $200 for a ticket to watch my favorite player walk to the locker room because he frowned at the wrong time. This is the spot I’ve come to love over the years and it is a shame what those who want to ‘clean-up’ the game have done to it.

  48. Michael says:

    Here’s to the players union. Stern has overstepped himself.

    Emotional players aren’t an NBA issue, the issue is officials taking center stage and deciding the outcome of games.

    • RJ says:

      Amen……Some of these games are so poorly officiated that they look like they are being fixed…….but I dont see Stern stepping in on that either…..I actually doubt he knows anything about basketball (as ironic as that would be).

    • dj says:

      Agree totally Michael!! The officials already have too much power to control the outcome of the game! Which may be the same for Stern!! How boring would any sport be without emotion!! Obviously the fans don’t like the rule!!