It seems like the NBA doesn’t want its players to have any fun anymore. First they outlaw flopping, now this: a doctrine that says the players have a strict 90-second window between player introductions and tip-off. It could render a lot of fan-favorite pregame handshakes and rituals, like LeBron James’ chalk clap, extinct and it has quite a few basketball players in a huff. Better get over that huff quick guys, you only have 1:30 until tip.
The rule is the NBA’s attempt to limit pregame fanfare and just get the damn show on the road. If players don’t abide, they risk their team a delay-of-game warning, two of which result in a technical foul. According to NBA officials, these routines have recently been taking upwards of five whole minutes. And that’s just too much lollygagging for the guys in
black and white grey.
Since the NBA is a showman’s league, the “make haste” message this rule sends isn’t sitting too well with some of the league’s stars. One dude — maybe you know him, his name is Kevin Durant — is none too pleased. Via ESPN.com:
“I personally don’t like it,” Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant told The Oklahoman. “Every player in this league has routines they do with their teammates, rituals they do before the game and before they walk on the floor. The fans enjoy it. You see the fans mimicking the guys who do their stuff before the game. To cut that down really don’t make no sense.”
Still, some the NBA’s finest showmen haven’t taken issue with it — or at least it appears that way. Take Dwyane Wade, who seemingly has no problem with saving his flare for the dramatic after the gun sounds:
The Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade is one of the league’s most active players before tipoff, usually greeting fans on all four sides of the arena, doing pull-ups on the rim and having a series of handshake routines. He said he’ll have to adjust to the new rules.
“I’ll have to take something away for sure. I’m always going to make sure I show love to the fans,” Wade said Wednesday in Miami. “There’s so many rules, I can’t keep up. … There’s no reason to make a big stink. It’s their league, it’s their rules.”
Here’s how I see it, the league has a game to play and it wants to play it. It’s not as if they’re outlawing player introductions, which are integral in getting the fans hyped up, and still do much in the way of jacking up players. They’re only getting rid of pregame rituals that, while they’re fun to watch and serve some sort of purpose for players’ psyche, don’t do much in the way of making a tangible impact of the game.
What about you, dear readers? Will you miss your favorite players’ pregame routines? Could you not care less and just want to get to the basketball? Do you know what’s gonna happen to all that chalk now?
[ESPN.com, Getty Images]