The NBA’s charge rule has come under fire in the wake of injuries to star players Ja Morant and Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Dallas Mavs owner Mark Cuban has an idea for how to make the rule more effective.
“Move the circle further away from the basket. Taking it an extra foot away from the hoop would reduce to take charges on drives dramatically,” the billionaire Mavericks owner tweeted on Monday. “I’ve asked. Obviously nothing has changed.”
Both Bucks two-time MVP Antetokounmpo and Grizzlies superstar Morant were forced to exit their respective playoff-opening contests on Sunday after going down hard when opposing players sought to draw charging calls against them.
“The timing of the maladies called into question whether the NBA’s charge/block rules make sense anymore in a league where speed and athleticism are greater than they’ve ever been,” wrote Sports Illustrated’s Chris Herring on Sunday.
“The reality is they don’t; at least not as they are written for the moment. Too much is riding on the shoulders of the star players who make these sorts of plays possible in the first place. There shouldn’t be an incentive for defensive players to position themselves in a way to invite that sort of highly risky contact several times per game.”
Although the clearest way to explain a charge is “when a defender establishes himself in the path of an offensive player prior to contact occurring and before the offensive player shoots the ball,” according to league officials, there’s often confusion about what actually constitutes a charge.
Moving the circle further away from the basket as Mavs’ Mark Cuban suggests could also be an interesting and potentially helpful change.
But with both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Ja Morant going down with injuries that could affect their teams playoff chances, the league should seriously be considering changing the rules to protect the players.
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