When the NBA changed its foul rules this offseason in an effort to crack down on flopping, the decision was met with mixed reactions. Players such as James Harden and Trae Young were understandably frustrated because of how they exploited the previous rules, but other players have fully embraced the change.
Draymond Green, after playing just six games with the new rules, recently gushed about the new NBA and said it’s “satisfying” to watch games as a fan again.
The NBA is cracking down on flopping
The NBA has become an unwatchable product for many fans in recent years, and the biggest reason might be because of the fouls being called on defenders despite the offensive player initiating contact.
Harden, Young, Stephen Curry, and more took advantage of the foul rules by constantly jumping and leaning into defenders on their way to the hoop or on jump shots. Fans and players started to grow increasingly annoyed by the way games were being called, so the NBA finally made a change this offseason.
In July, the NBA announced new rules for referees to follow when calling defensive fouls. The league revealed an “interpretive change in the officiating of overt, abrupt or abnormal non-basketball moves by offensive players with the ball in an effort to draw fouls.” In other words, offensive players would no longer be bailed out for creating unnatural contact.
The new rules have been a rousing success thus far, and Green is thrilled by the results.
Draymond Green is a huge fan of the new foul rules
Many players have already spoken highly of the new rules, and Green has become the latest to speak out in support of the NBA’s newest experiment.
“Can I say how satisfying it is to watch the game without all those terrible calls?” Green told reporters after the Warriors’ 103-82 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday. “That guys (are) cheating the game and grabbing guys and getting the foul. I’ve been really enjoying watching basketball this year.”
Green said he couldn’t even watch other NBA games because of the fouls being called, but he’s back to being a fan.
“I kind of had stopped watching the NBA a bit because it was too much flailing and flopping and guys cheating the game to get free throws,” he said. “I think that’s been great and I would be (remiss) if I didn’t mention that. Because I think that has been fantastic.
“Kudos to the league and our referees. It’s been great basketball to watch and it’s better for our game.”
A noticeable difference
If you’re wondering how the new rules have affected offensive players this year, look no further than Harden and Young. Harden averaged more than 10 free throw attempts per game in seven of the last nine seasons. He’s attempting just 5.7 this year and scoring fewer than 20 points per game for the first time since the 2011-12 season.
As for Young, he’s averaging just 4.3 free throw attempts per game compared to 8.7 last year and 9.3 the year before.
The NBA made a great decision to finally change its foul rules, and the league is now a better product because of it.