In N.B.A., ‘Flagrant’ Is a Matter of Interpretation

A nagging question is dominating the N.B.A. playoffs. The question: When is a flagrant foul not a flagrant foul? The answer: When it is changed the next day.

Comments: 11

  1. This is the inevitable result of a process that started many years ago where basketball went from a non-contact sport to a full contact sport, I guess to complete with football. The finesse necessary to play the game in days gone by has made me a non-fan

  2. "It's something we've got to live with and try to play through."

    Wow, y0u've really got to feel sorry for the heavy burden these guys have to carry. My heart bleeds for what these guys have to put up with--and for mere millions/year. Almost makes a guy want to quit his job, and become a banker.

    Of course, "flagrant" is a matter of interpretation. Hasn't it always been, everywhere.

  3. Increased on field/court assault in pick your favorite; basketball, football, baseball, etc. coincides with the advent and propagation of ESPN which sold itself by describing all sports as if professional wrestling. Instantaneous athletic feats are amazing but the rest of the game is mundane; hardly sufficient to enrapture and keep captured (for the sponsors) the audience. So ESPN adds visceral inflection. Games becone subjugated to descriptions and descriptors. And the athletes lose respect for each other, for sport history and tenet; for all other than five seconds of top ten play footage.

  4. There are rules in the NBA?

  5. The fact that the rules are bent during playoffs makes it all a joke. The Kobe Bryants can do whatever they want, when they want and to whom they want. I'm losing my love for basketball because of this.

  6. Sixteen flagrant fouls? You call that an issue? What has really changed the game is the lack of calls for traveling and other lesser violations, as pointed out by a recent poster in your blog a few weeks ago. As I've been watching the playoffs the last few weeks, I've been amazed at how so many guys, even the superstars who certainly have the skills and don't need the help, can get away with so many steps without dribbling. Look at some replays and watch them take five, six or more. And nary a whistle.

  7. There are no rules in pro basketball. It looks more and more like pro wrestling. If you reviewed Michael Jordan's layups, he would lose half his points for traveling. The NBA could probably add a stat for rushing in the key. What used to be called cupping or over and under is a standard dribble in the NBA. A shooter's arms and shoulders of seem to be fair game, while the face or cutting out the legs may draw a foul. The bottom line is that the commissioner and refs have changed a sport into a four round rumble. Kids on the street play a cleaner game than the pros. That's it, lose the refs.

  8. "When is a flagrant foul not a flagrant foul?" Good question, but there are others. When is four steps not a "walk?" When is plowing through a stationary opponent not a "charge?" When does "continuation" begin somewhere between the half court line and the head of the key (ref. the "4-steps" question above)? The answer to all three questions seems to be dependent upon the salary and public profile of the player in question. It's not a game anymore. It's a circus, showcasing the obvious physical talents of these athletes. But a "game" is played according to consistent rules, and that simply is not the case in the NBA anymore.

  9. when i was younger, i became a basketball official...took exams, was rated after each game, but was happy working my way thru point: every violation we were taught to call when we saw it is rampant, not called in today's nba...seems the refs have selective memory and what amounts to favoritism...I GAVE UP WATCHING YEARS AGO....

  10. they should not be reviewed the next day or changed if it was wrong so be it

  11. Hi Guys,

    Basketball is a fantastic game, you'll learn teamwork, presence of mind and the ability to withstand the others...Today's finals is a little bit boring, i'm just wondering if ever cleveland won the game...just try to think of a KOBE V.S LEBRON match-up...!!!it's really a " BIG GAME " to watch right???...I think the reason why Lebron James was so mad when they've been defeated is because he really wants to face Kobe Bryant...but unfortunately they've lost the game, it's another season to wait for, and for the comeback of " KING LEBRON "...