A man whose confidence has been abundant since adolescence, whose words usually match whatever swagger he shows on the court, whose middle initial of “J” has always seemed perfectly appropriate, will no longer shoot a basketball. And he won’t say why. “That’s a great question. I can’t answer that for you,” Rivers said when asked about his dwindling shot attempts. “If I say something, I’m gonna get in trouble. [I’ll] figure it out. I’m gonna have to figure it out.”
June 14, 2021 | 7:58 pm EDT Update
The NBA’s Competition Committee met Monday to further explore rule changes to restrict the unnatural motions surrounding jump shots that players are using to draw fouls, sources told ESPN. The league wants to limit the ability of players — including crafty stars like James Harden, Luka Doncic and Trae Young — to lean backward and sideways, for example — to initiate contact and get to the free throw line.
The NBA has shared a video compilation of player examples with the 30 teams that outlines a number of motions deemed unnatural that were used to draw fouls. The NBA and the Competition Committee will drill down on specific plays with the league’s GMs next week to target examples that’ll be recommended to owners to vote to eliminate next season, sources said.
There’s growing belief that many of these maneuvers are contributing to a game that’s slanting too much of an advantage toward the offense. While the concentration of these issues is often focused on star players getting much more usage and exposure with the ball, the league sees this as a universal problem throughout lineups and rosters — not only an issue for star players.
The NBA and Competition Committee — comprising a select group of owners, general managers, coaches, players and referees — largely believes there’s a framework of rules that allows offensive players too much free time to initiate contact in what are deemed unnatural and awkward ways.