Centers' Little Helper

Dennis Hans, unrenowned former adjunct professor of mass comm and American foreign policy, relentlessly exposed the Bush administration’s “techniques of deceit” BEFORE the Iraq war, when it could have made a difference (see links). For decades he has fought baseball’s discrimination against lefthanded infielders and promoted his ingenious clockwise solution. A lifelong advocate for a flowing, non-brutal, flop-free NBA, he now champions the cause of its second-class citizens: the centers.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Fear the Beard, Flunk the Fraud or Moon the Buffoon?
One way for the Oklahoma City Thunder or possible future 2017 playoff opponents of the Houston Rockets to rain on James Harden's fraud parade is to lobby the league to invoke the "Unsportsmanlike" clause, which is included in Basic Principle B, on page 58:

This is something I first advocated in 2000 with respect to another form of hoop deceit, flopping. In the current Rule Book it is Basic Principle B, on page 58:

To be unsportsmanlike is to act in a manner unbecoming to the image of professional basketball. It consists of acts of deceit, disrespect of officials and profanity. The penalty for such action is a technical foul. Repeated acts shall result in expulsion from the game and a minimum fine of $2,000.

In 2012 David Stern finally pulled his head out of the sand and, in his 28th year as commissioner, spoke up for the integrity of the game. He said the term “‘Flopping’ almost doesn't do it justice. Trickery. Deceit. Designed to cause the game to be decided other than on its merits.” Stern called for “the elimination of tricks . . . designed to fool the ref,” which “shouldn’t have a place in our game.”

After quoting Stern, ESPN’s Henry Abbott pointed out the NBA already had a rule (the one I cited in 2000) it could apply. “Deceit," he wrote, "is the issue in flopping, and the very first example in this list of unsportsmanlike conduct. The penalty is a technical. That's a start."

Couldn't agree more. It applies equally to Harden's bizarre arm swings that refs foolishly interpret as shot attempts. He's not playing basketball with those actions, he's playing to the refs, counting on them to have no understanding of the actual game but rather take a strict letter-of-the-law approach while disregarding that a shot without the ball in the shooting hand is not a shot. It's just a random swing of the off arm into an innocent defender. In other words, an offensive foul that is also fool-the-ref fraud.

p.s. Back in 2007 I penned a tour de force on NBA cheating for hoopshype, but the links to all my hoopshype essays prior to 2010 were wiped out thanks to a miscue by that site's techies. Fortunately, that essay lives on here: The NBA’s real integrity problem: Thirty years ago, Red Auerbach called out players and coaches who cheat. The league has yet to act.