Thursday, November 30, 2006

Nate Robinson on changes in NBA

Nate Robinson, the 2006 NBA Slam Dunk champion, writes in his blog on recent changes in the league. We cite the full story below:

"There are two new changes in the NBA this season that are having an impact on the league. One is the new basketball which is a synthetic material, while the old one was leather.

A lot of players have complained about the new ball. But it’s fine for me regardless of which ball we use. I’m only in my second year in the league, and in college, every school had its own ball, and they were often different from what we used at Washington.

So it doesn’t really matter to me. The new ball is not that bad, it just feels different, and a lot of guys loved the old ball. I loved it as well. Everybody wanted an NBA ball growing up as a kid.

But in the long run, I don’t think it will be a big deal, and the criticisms will quiet down. It’s not like the players are going to go on strike because of the ball.

The other change this season is a crackdown on complaining to the referees. They just don’t want players carrying on and whining a lot. But it seems like they’ve really gone too far.

I’ve received three technicals this season, and each one cost me $1,000. The first T came in our first game of the season. A guy hooked me, and I told the refs “they’re hooking me.” And I got a T for that. I thought to myself “wow, they’re not playin’.”

Then, in another game, I blocked a shot and they called a foul on me. I jumped up and said “WHOA!”, and they called a technical on me. I didn’t swear, I wasn’t in the ref’s face or anything.

I saw that Carmelo Anthony got T’d up twice and kicked out of a game for throwing his headband to his bench. And Quentin Richardson got a T for throwing his headband off once.

It’s just different this year. They’re taking so much away from the game, focusing on every little thing you do. You can’t react to calls so we just have to adjust as players.

I think (and I hope) that eventually this will quiet down a little bit. I think the refs will eventually ease off a little bit. You have to let guys react with emotion as long as they’re not going crazy with it.

The players will also adjust and tone down their acts. In the meantime, they’re making a lot of money off of those technicals!"

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