Fanhouse blogger, Brett Pollakoff, recently posted this whiny, poorly thought out article about NBA officiating.
Rather than think the matter through, Pollakoff more than inferred that the League is merely coddling Kobe Bryant. However, the NBA got it right: it *is* a shooting foul.
Think about it.
Under the rim, if a shooter and a defender make contact, and the defender is straight up, the defender has “verticality” and should not be called for a foul.
Why would it be different away from the rim?
On the perimeter, if contact is made and the defender’s hand is held straight up over his own body, then the defender could claim verticality and it would be a no call (or perhaps an offensive foul), right?
But that isn’t what is happening. In virtually every instance, defenders are not holding their hands straight over their own body but are most definitely put their hand in the shooter’s space.
To blog that players should be entitled to do this is a “cheap con” that encourages lazy defenders to continue to think that they are entitled to just relax and stand there with their hand in the shooter’s space rather than play real defense.
I can see why a defender would want to bother a ball handler with a hand in his face, but what imbecile cannot pull his hand out of the way before the shooter raises TWO arms and a basketball?
Even the ancient Derek Fisher gets his hand back quickly enough to avoid fouls.
Given that Fisher, and pretty much everyone else should be able to retract their hand before a player can raise two hands and a ball to contact it, I have little sympathy for defenders who don’t bother to pull their hand from the shooter’s space and thus get called for the foul.
And apparently the NBA talked it over and agrees.
By the way, pinning this on Kobe Bryant is just propaganda, not journalism. Last season this was pretty much Kevin Durant‘s go to move, both in the NBA and in international competition.
While Kobe may be “among the most polarizing figures in the game,” Kevin Durant on the other hand is without question the NBA’s current media darling. So why not title the article “Kevin Durant will continue to get plenty of free throws?”
In just his third year in the NBA, Kevin Durant not only led the NBA in free throw attempts, but had 27% more attempts than the #2 guy: LeBron James (and 38% more FT attempts than Kobe Bryant).
Brett, as NBA game analyst, Mark Jackson would say: you are better than this.
And I’m glad the NBA talked it over and got it right.