We have never talked about this subject on Detroit Bad Boys before, ever, so for the purposes of original content and posterity, let's hear what Adam Silver had to say about changing the rules that are currently written to benefit those who break them while picking on the handful of players whose games and brains are not suited to be good free throw shooters.
"Historically, my position has been that I haven't been anxious to change the rule," Silver said today. "Having said that, we agreed at our competition committee last summer that we needed to continue to study and look at another season of data. And obviously, the trend is significantly up this season.
"You know, we hear from our fans. We know it's not the most attractive basketball to have guys out there shooting free throws for long periods of time during the game, so it's something that we have to look at closely. I'm a bit on the fence, personally." ...
Silver said that as teams utilize the off-the-ball fouls to target specific players more regularly, fans often express to him in person or via email that it isn't "a desirable part of the game."
"From a fan's standpoint, it's something we may have to looking at changing," Silver said. [...]One element working in favor of traditionalists: The NBA gets minute-by-minute television ratings of all games and the practice of targeted fouling has not affected viewership, Silver said.
"So it's not as if people are tuning out," he said. "Having said that, I'm trying to balance the aesthetic of the game -- ultimately, this is an entertainment product -- with the fundamentals.
"At the same time, as I've said before, I continue to hear from high school coaches and junior coaches -- not just throughout the United States, but all around the world -- who say that we've got to emphasize fundamentals in this game. So we've got to strike the right balance."
Ultimately, Silver and the competition committee will have an interesting decision to make on what's more important to the game of basketball: potentially bringing games to a standstill and/or risk seeing one of his league's All-Stars not playing in key parts of games OR continue to let teams benefit from breaking the rules while sending a cruel, boring lesson to a handful of players that they need to emphasize their free-throw shooting, like they're not already practicing them.
We'll see what comes of the offseason meetings.