Devil’s Advocate: Rule changes and flopping have made today’s NBA soft

In Devil's Advocate, Opinion

Calling the NBA soft nowadays is an understatement; In fact, it has become a common narrative among NBA experts, players and fans.

The NBA is fading away along with its competitiveness. Players are too friendly with each other and with that friendliness, comes a downtrend in both competition and rivalry.

Today’s players should not be showing up to games expecting to make friends. This is basketball. Each player should have that competitive edge ingrained in them every game from start to finish.

A lot of players laugh with each other and shake hands when they should talk smack and throw elbows. They should take notes from Rasheed Wallace, not LeBron James.

The league has changed and its physicality has declined in recent years. There is a huge difference between today’s NBA and the NBA during the days of Kobe and Shaq.

Back in the day, the game was much more physical. Players were hit hard and knocked down without a single foul called.

If that type of physicality happened today, players would get flagrant fouls called on them left and right, and most players would most likely get ejected as well. To top it all off, players get fined ridiculous amounts of money for getting a little physical with one another.

That brings up another major issue within the league, the officiating. The referees have been plaguing the NBA in recent years with such absurd foul calls that it has become a joke.

It is good to see that the officiating has gotten more strict but not to a point where it takes away the sport’s natural ruthlessness.

CSUF Basketball Video Coordinator Marcel Davenport said it is both good and bad that the officiating has tightened up a bit.

“It keeps players from getting hurt but at the same time, there has to be a balance. Like a tap on the wrist shouldn’t be a foul and a shove to the body, that should be a foul,” Davenport said.

Something else that has negatively contributed the NBA’s current image is flopping. Flopping is an intentional fall by a player after little or no physical contact by an opposing player, in order to draw a personal foul call by an official.

CSUF Director of Basketball Operations Omar Nasir said he sees it as an absolute insult to the game of basketball.

“I don’t like it at all,” Nasir said. “It takes away from the game because you’re selling things that aren’t happening and it’s essentially lying.”

Nasir also said that flopping needs to be handled carefully.

“I wish they could do something to get rid of it,” Nasir said. “It’s just hard to police.”

Basketball Hall of Famers Shaq and Charles Barkley have both gone on record saying that the league is going soft. It truly is a shame that the NBA is losing its integrity along with its aggressive nature.

A lot of people have forgotten that basketball is indeed a contact sport. Players need to learn how to play the game with that competitive mindset and not fear getting hit along the way.

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