After years of complaints by fans and rivals, the NBA has finally decided to put an end to one of its players' most controversial practices. Stars like Trae Young, James Harden, and Stephen Curry often lean into their defenders to draw contact, forcing referees to call a foul.
More often than not, there's literally nothing that the defender can do. They stay vertical, they try to avoid contact, and sometimes they're not even looking at the offensive player. Yet, they get the call every single time.
Now, the NBA has made this a point of emphasis ahead to next season. That's why Curry and Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr shared their thoughts on this rule after watching it firsthand during the preseason.
Stephen Curry Says The New Rule Will Bring Some Confusion
“There was a play against Milwaukee — two guys guarding me at the same time,” Curry told The Athletic. “I changed directions. I think (Donte) DiVincenzo came behind me. They used that as one of the examples. They said that wouldn’t have been a (defensive) foul (and actually an offensive foul). I’m sitting there watching the video, like, uhh, I’m still confused on how that’s not a (defensive) foul.”
“There’s going to be some confusion to start, for sure,” Curry added. “Any emphasis they put from one year to the next, the changes, it takes some time to adjust. I’m sure there will be some antics early … Like that (stepback) traveling thing a couple years ago, refs are trained to look at a certain thing, but there’s a lot of other things going on. They have to get adjusted too.”
Steve Kerr Thinks This New Rule Will Be Good For The League
“The game needs it,” Kerr said. “I say the same thing all the time. If we’re making calls in the NBA that would literally start fights in a pickup game because they’re so egregious and non-basketball-related — in other words, if I come off a screen in a pickup game and literally hook your arm, flail my arms and then go up for a shot and call a foul, a fight is going to ensue. My whole thing is if we’re making those calls in the NBA, the greatest league in the world, when we couldn’t get through a pickup game, then we’re doing something wrong.”
“That’s something they’re emphasizing. If the players have to feel it first to get comfortable, the preseason is the place for it to happen. Usually what happens is they call a ton of fouls in the preseason to set a tone and then cut back in the regular season," the coach concluded.
At the end of the day, the great scorers will still find ways to hurt their rivals, trick them into fouling them and get their trips to the line as per usual. This change was long overdue and will be for the best.