Changing the Rules, Part II

Last week, Samantha gave us her ideas for some rules changes to help make the game of college basketball better. She continues her suggestions in this newest entry.

Here are a few suggestions to make the game better, Part II:


Media Availability of the Losing Team

A couple weeks ago, LeBron James finally got his hardware. The nation watched as LeBron and Dwayne Wade hugged, and Chris Bosh fully emerged himself in champagne.

But amid these images of celebration, the nation also watched a very private and personal moment between Kevin Durant and his family.

Many people across America applauded CBS for capturing such a poignant moment. It apparently made viewers feel better to watch someone break down and cry. People said it was “beautiful” and “touching.” But it just made me uncomfortable.

Durant is a 23-year-old kid, who worked his assoff to reach a goal he’s dreamed about since he was young – and the cameras were there to capture his reaction to having failed at it. Anyone who loses a National Championship/World Title/Gold Medal should be entitled to immediately vacate the premises, find their mother, and cry.


As in “without cameras in his face and millions of people watching at home.”

Imagine you just got fired. How would you feel in that moment? Would you think of all the people you let down? Feel ashamed for not being able to do better? Now imagine that instantly after you’re told, someone sticks a camera in your face and asks you how you’re feeling. And everyone in the world is watching your reaction.

If there were ever a rule that I really care about changing, it is this one: the players/coaches of the losing team of a title game are not required to speak to the media until 24 hours after the game has ended, and cameras are not allowed to shoot them once they have stepped off the court.

The majority of media members, and millions of the viewing public, feel as though it is their right to be able to look in on these moments.

It isn’t.

Everyone knows that people say stupid things when they are upset. And it is usually those stupid things that are said right after a tough loss that get replayed over and over and examined under a microscope.

Let’s just stop this. Everyone deserves a right to privacy, especially in moments like this.


Stop With the Hacking

This is such an obvious and easy rule change, I’m still surprised it hasn’t been added yet.

If the only way you can win a game is if the other team can’t make their free-throws, than you don’t deserve to win the game at all. Sorry if that was harsh.

Even the man who utilizes this strategy that most, Greg Popovich, hates it. But as he puts it, “It’s something that’s available, so we use it.”

Basically, “it’s technically not against the rules…”

Here’s the thing about fouling in basketball: afterwards, the team that commits the foul gets the ball back. In other words, yes, there is some punishment inflicted, but there is also some reward gained.

And there are defiantly some instances where the benefit outweighs the cost.

The fix is this: When a player is fouled, the team has the option of sending that player to the free throw line or taking the ball out-of-bounds. Really, it’s that simple.


Bring Back the Regional Draft

Besides the horrible decision that was “The Decision,” part of the reason that people were so upset about LeBron leaving Cleveland was that he was from Cleveland (or Akron, which is like 5 minutes away).

America loves the idea of a “Home-Town Hero.”

It is especially evident in college recruiting. Locals idolize homegrown stars and make them legends when they play for the local college. However, these same players are villainized — and sometimes ostracized from the community — when they decide to play for a different school.

The same thing happens with coaches. It’s only okay in the public eye to leave a successful program if it’s for your alma mater or hometown team. If it’s any other program, you’ll always be branded as disloyal.

NBA teams like to argue that they are only successful in ticket-sales if they have a star player that the public likes to come out and see. However, I think that having a player on the roster that’s from that team’s city or went to college within a designated radius of that city would also give fans someone to identify with and cheer for.

To that end, I propose the idea of a revamped regional draft option.

Each franchise is allowed to claim a “region.” How far a team’s region size outside of their city goes is in direct relation to its population. The bigger the city, the closer the radius stays to that city and its suburbs. The Knicks’ franchise radius would not stretch past Long Island. The Pacers would be able to regionalize as far north as West Lafayette and as far south as Evansville.

The Bucks could claim the entire state of Wisconsin, while Miami could not go further than Lake Okeechobee. Both teams in Los Angeles would have the same region, and parts of the Nets regional radius would intersect with that of the Knicks.

The rule is this: Every five years a team has the option of forfeiting their second round draft pick and select a player in that year’s pool that either went to college or has lived in that team’s radius for at least ten years of their life, regardless of their draft position.

If a situation came up where both the Lakers and the Clippers (or the Nets and the Knicks) where able to claim a “region player,” the team with the worst record would get the first pick.

The same would apply for a player that grew up in one city and went to college in another: the franchise with the worst record the previous season gets first dibs.

Seriously, how much fun would that be?


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