After Golden State Warriors power forward Draymond Green made hitting opponents in the groin pretty much a hobby during the 2016 playoffs, the NBA recently made a mandate to its officials to crack down on what it calls ‘unnatural acts.’
One of a number of things the NBA wants its referees to crack down during the 2016-17 season is calling foul on hits to the groin area. At the preseason meetings and training camp held earlier this week, the league also said it wants officials to closely monitor traveling on the perimeter line and freedom of movement away from the ball.
The Golden State forward’s 2016 postseason saw a lot of him hitting opposing players in the groin. Although he went scot-free the first few times, Green was finally punished in the Finals and was suspended for hitting Cleveland’s LeBron James and missed game 5 with an accumulation of flagrant fouls. Cleveland won the title against Golden State in seven games.
The NBA senior vice president of referee operations, Joe Borgia, said players are no longer allowed to just flail their arms in an attempt to draw a foul when taking a shot. “Now all of a sudden legs are coming out in different directions at weird times, they’re coming higher,” he said. “Well, for the protection of the players, we’re going to stop it.”
Critics have also long complained that traveling isn’t called enough in the NBA, and coaches shared their sentiment with officials at their meeting. Referees will now monitor players who spot up behind the three-point line looking to shoot but when they are chased off by a defender and they begin their dribble, they often get away with an extra step.
Finally, officials manning the Review Center in New Jersey will continue to have the great responsibility when it comes to replay reviews. They will rule on all reviews except for the ones involving fights and flagrant fouls.
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