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Interesting ESPN article on the new rules

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by BDJ, Apr 13, 2001.

  1. BDJ

    BDJ Member

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    I found this article by Dr Jack Ramsay on the ESPN NBA site. I've edited it a little bit, but I think its true spirit remains. Give it a read and you just might come around to his way of thinking on the new rules.

    Changes will result in better team game
    By Dr. Jack Ramsay
    Special to ESPN.com
    Editor’s Note: ESPN NBA analyst, Hall of Fame coach, and spooky white octogenarian Dr. Jack Ramsay was on an 11-member committee that met March 20-21 in Phoenix and endorsed ways to improve the game, including the use of zone defenses. Also on the committee, headed by Phoenix Suns owner Jerry Colangelo, were Theo Ratliff, Jerry West, Rod Thorn, Dyan Cannon, Stu Jackson, Benny the Bull, and the corpse of Bob Cousy.

    The committee unanimously recommended to eliminate the illegal defensive guidelines because of the inactive offensive game that they fostered. There were too many isolations on one or two offensive players while the others stood on the opposite side of the floor pointing out to officials what they perceived to be illegal defenses of the opponent.

    Basketball is supposed to be a five-man game; isolations make for an inactive and unattractive product that doesn’t involve all five players. Watching Vince Carter dominate a game doesn’t give fans the opportunity to see Charles Oakley, Alvin Williams, Keon Clark, or Tracy Murray perform, and that’s a real shame.

    In addition, there has always been a cloud of uncertainty among players, coaches and officials about the rules regarding illegal defense. Plus, the fans have no clue. Most don’t understand what is or isn’t legal. And anything that is difficult to understand, like law, physics, or medicine, must be no good and should be eliminated. The term “illegal defense” is gone after this season.

    There are two other worthwhile changes: a defensive three-second count, in which a defender cannot be in the lane for three seconds without guarding somebody, which means an arm’s length away from an offensive player; and an eight-second count in the backcourt, instead of 10. It will speed up the game and also invite trapping defenses – trapping players to speed up the game makes perfect sense. I only hope that we can increase dunking next year by raising the basket to 20 feet.

    The NBA was the only league to put a limit on the kind of defense a team could play. No other level of basketball requires a team to play its defenders in certain parts of the playing area. In the Cuban Basketball League, for example, defenders are allowed to play anywhere as long as they stay on the island – make sense to me.

    So then why did the NBA prohibit zone defenses in the first place? The league banned the zone defense in January of 1947, halfway through its first year of its existence. I was coaching a game between the Pittsburgh Ironmen and the Pawtucket Fightin’ Irish at the time. Both teams used zones and the score was 13 to 9, with sharp shooting Orville McGee leading the way with 4 points. League commissioner Colonel Eli Pounds spoke with me after the contest about cutting my salary back to $22.50 for lack of attendance. He said that the league was in trouble and that he was considering changes to the game, including banning zones and allowing Negroes to play. I told the Colonel that I would be happy to take $22.50, but I’ve regretted those changes to this very day.

    Most of the fears about zone defense are groundless. Great players have thrived against zones for years in the collegiate ranks and those same players will now be able to display their talents in the NBA, including Calbert Cheaney, Corliss Williamson, Ed O’Bannon, and Bobby Hurley.

    The rule change will certainly not hurt anybody. A team can put two defenders on Allen Iverson and play three on the rest of the team, but why would they? There’s no way three men can guard Dikembe Mutumbo, Eric Snow, George Lynch, and Tyrone Hill – there’s too much offensive firepower there. Larry Brown will figure out a way to make it happen – he’s one of the best point guards in the league.

    I was talking to Lakers coach Phil Jackson on Wednesday night, and he was worried that teams would put three defenders on Shaq under the new rules. I told him they probably would, and if Shaq stands still, he will have a problem. But if Shaq moves the ball around and his teammates are aware of what’s happening, Shaq will kill the defense. Then Phil said, “We aren’t paying Shaquille $20 million a year to pass the damn ball, you stupid, old fool!” And that was my point exactly, I think.

    I have high hopes for the changes to have a positive impact on the game. It’s been a long time coming. The game should be very interesting and appealing to watch now that we’ve removed all of the crazy hoopla, wacky shenanigans, and other flim-flam that just get the young people all riled up anyway. I am very sleepy, so I will go to bed.
     
  2. ROCKETBOOSTER

    ROCKETBOOSTER Member

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    Dyan Cannon and theo Ratliff were a part of this committe? You've got to be fawkin' kidding me!!

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  3. ROCKETBOOSTER

    ROCKETBOOSTER Member

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    Im starting to hear rumors about who some of the other memebers of this committee were. Besides Dyan Cannon...Samual .L Jackson, Spike Lee, Jack Nichlosan, and Bill Murray were also said to have been involved. Unbelievable!

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  4. DrNuegebauer

    DrNuegebauer Member

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    Yeah, it's ridiculous that they would ask fans what they thought would make the game better, and have on that same comittee both players current and past and coaches - unbelievable!

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  5. Vengeance

    Vengeance Contributing Member

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    I thought this part of the article was a bit interesting. I'm certain I'm taking this out of context, but I thought it was interesting.

    The comissioner advocated "banning zones and allowing 'Negroes' to play". The change was made, and Dr. Jack Ramsey "regrets those changes to this very day". Does he regret Negroes/African-Americans being in the league?

    I'll give Dr. Jack something to zone . . . the skin on my middle finger! [​IMG]

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    "Up and down, inside out, outside in, some you lose some you win"
    -- DMB -> "Sweet Up and Down"
     

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