David Stern is changing things so that he can change things.
The new Competition Committee being created by David Stern is made up of two owners, four general managers, three coaches, and a representative from the NBPA. The first members were announced as Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, Warriors owner Joe Lacob, GMs Bryan Colangelo (Toronto), Mitch Kucphak (L.A. Lakers), Sam Presti (Oklahoma City), and Kevin O’Connor (Utah), and head coaches Lionel Hollins (Memphis) and Doc Rivers (Boston). The NBPA representative hasn’t been chosen yet. The competition committee used to be made up of 30 GM’s.
So this seemed like an interesting wrinkle, but passed by without much consternation. Then the New York Daily News reported Saturday that Stern was behind the changes, and for a specific purpose:
“Stern is looking for more control,” said a source. “He hasn’t been able to get some things done because he’s had to deal with 30 general managers and he can’t control them. But now he has his people on the committee.”
Stern’s new committee is expected to work on two major rules changes right away: Adopting the international rule for goaltending, meaning that balls could be legally knocked off the rim or backboard that now would result in a basket; and penalizing “floppers.”
You have to admire Stern’s willingness to do what is best for the NBA.
The goal tending rule isn’t something that bothers me or has bothered me by any means. In fact, watching the Olympics, it seemed to just confuse American players. My fear in changing the rule is that we may see scoring taking a hit…again. We may also see less players taking charges and more attempts to bat the ball off the rim. Hard to say. I can probably live with whatever the results are and whatever the rule is or becomes.
Flopping is something that bothers most everyone. I watched some of the Champions League final over the weekend, and was reminded once again what I like least about soccer: the flopping. It’s unbelievable how bad it is. And how bad it looks.
The NBA is nowhere near at bad. But, it does look bad to see stars like LeBron, Wade, Kobe, and Durant flailing wildly to get a call. It’s even worse when post players can’t take a bump to the chest. Now how exactly you take flopping out is a challenge that I am unsure of the answer to. Fouls? Penalties? Fines? Suspensions?
All of it seems so opinionated and undefined. Do the referees attempt to handle it? Or the league office?
I think Stern, and the league’s intentions are good, but they must be delicate in how they handle it. Fans will be watching closely, and let’s face it, we all are critics.