The new NBA season is due to start in October and teams have been given new rules to get used to ahead of then. Introduced and quickly approved by the NBA board of governors this week, the two new rules have been in-place for the 11-day NBA 2K24 Summer League currently underway on the UNLV campus, on a provisional basis.
The decision was made unanimously by the NBA Competition Committee, which is made up of players, coaches, referees, union reps, team execs and governors. Now the rules have been confirmed to be introduced in the full NBA season, but what are they and what impact could they have?
In-Game Flopping Penalty
Flopping is where a physical act takes place that appears to be intended to cause the officials to call foul on another player. This could be falling to the floor or pretending to be hit by the team in possession of the ball to impede their progress.
It’s an unsporting act designed to cheat and this new rule is designed to prevent players from trying it. So far it has been used in exhibition games, with Golden State’s Lester Quinones and Oklahoma City’s Jaden Shackelford falling foul of it already this summer.
It was an increasing problem last season,with Warriors coach Steve Kerr calling for the NBA to take action: “The entire regular season is about gamesmanship and trying to fool the refs,” he said. “It’s up to us as a league. Do we want to fix this?”
When an official calls a flop, the player found guilty of it will be charged with an unsportsmanlike technical foul. This would be punished by giving the opposition a free throw attempt. Any player who was in the game when the technical foul was awarded can take this throw.
The player who flopped will be safe from ejection and referees won’t need to immediately stop play for a flopping violation but will wait for the next neutral opportunity to do so.
One thing that isn’t changing is that the NBA can review flops post-game, though the punishments for this have been tweaked to resemble those of other technical fouls. Fines will start at $2,000, rising for persistent floppers.
So far the flopping penalty is being used as a one-year trial, but if it has the desired effect of stamping out this behavior it may well be here to stay.
Expanded Coach’s Challenge Usage
The other rule being changed is how Coach’s Challenges work. From this season onwards, if a team is successful in a Coach’s Challenge situation, they will be awarded a second Challenge to use in that game.
They’ll still need to use a timeout to be able to trigger a Challenge, so this second opportunity only applies if the team still has a timeout to use.
This has been helped though by another tweak, which says that they can still use the timeout that triggered the successful first Challenge, which makes it easier to be able to use the second one (though they don’t get the keep that timeout, even if the second Challenge is also successful).
Written and distributed by Chat T Sports.