Kiki Vandeweghe Rumors
One day after the Golden State Warriors forward vented at the league for its handling of his latest leg-flailing flagrant foul call, telling reporters “I didn’t know the league office was that smart when it came to body movements,” vice president of basketball operations and former player Kiki VanDeWeghe came to the defense of himself and his fellow competition committee colleagues. “Our rules are for every player,” VanDeWeghe told USA TODAY Sports. “We want each play judged according to the rules, as best possible, and the rules applied fairly across our whole league. That’s very important to us. We don’t make exceptions for players. They are applied to everybody. In Draymond’s particular case (against the Houston Rockets on Thursday), he had an arm flail which struck the player (James Harden) in the neck-head area. And then in addition to that, he had a kick up above the head of the defender. As he brought his leg down, his heel hit him in the face. It wouldn’t matter what player we’re talking about (it’s a foul).”
“We spent a long time over two meetings looking at what I would just call unnatural acts,” VanDeWeghe said. “What came out was looking at, ‘What’s a natural movement in basketball? What’s a natural reaction in basketball?’ And then looking out for the safety of our players. Is an arm flail or a leg kick a natural act? And they were judged by not natural acts, depending on the severity, the angle, things like that. And is it an appropriate (reaction) to a foul or a fall, or things like that? Most of these are done to draw the attention of the referees. We noticed an uptick in these last year, and they needed to be addressed by the competition committee.”
Officially, Lopez has played for Nets coaches Lawrence Frank, Avery Johnson, Lionel Hollins and Kidd, as well as interim coaches Tom Barrise, Kiki Vandeweghe, P.J. Carlesimo and Tony Brown. Asked recently to go through his mental Rolodex of coaches, Lopez struggled. “L-Frank,” he began, attempting to name them sequentially. “T.B., Kiki, Avery, J-Kidd… No?”
“This is a way more efficient way of doing this. Instead of having somebody run it out, it’s available right there in almost real-time,” VanDeWeghe told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s just the next natural step. We have the technology to do it. Teams are excited about it. They make these type of suggestions. We announced it at the coaches’ meeting. They were all in favor of it, and I think it will be great for our players.”
The league informed teams of this measure in a memo sent on Thursday. “This enhanced file sharing ability will enable coaches, players, athletic trainers and medical staff to make more informed decisions in real time,” NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe wrote in the memo.
“In looking at the data and numerous potential solutions to combat the large increase in deliberate away-from-the-play foul situations, we believe these steps offer the most measured approach,” NBA Executive vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe said. “The introduction of these new rules is designed to curb the increase in such fouls without eliminating the strategy entirely.” Silver said “our projections are that with the rule changes we put in place, we’ll reduce roughly 45% of the incidents of the away-from-the-play fouls right now.”
Teams can still utilize Hack-a-Shaq, but these rules are an initial attempt to reduce the number of times it happens during the season. “I’ve said it before, for example, when Hack-a-Shaq (is) done something like more than roughly ten times a game, it adds about 15 minutes to the length of the game,” Silver said at his NBA Finals news conference. “Not only is that something that is bad for our network partners, but for all of the fan research we have shows that the fans hate it. So there may be a compromise in there where we can cut it down significantly. It still remains an advantage for those teams that don’t have one of those players or, said differently, a disadvantage to those teams.”