DimeBag: The Weekly Dime Mailbag, Volume XVI

By: 01.13.12

DimeBag (design. Ryan Hurst)

HOW TO SUBMIT: E-mail dimebag@dimemag.com with your question/story/idea and include your name and hometown.

It’s DimeBag time. Let’s get to it.

Daniel, Chicago:

What NBA rule would you institute/change/eliminate?

Because I’m feeling extra adventurous, let’s do all three!

Institute: One-and-one free throws at five fouls, two free throws at eight.

Okay, so this is more of a “change,” but we’ll count it as “institute” just because. How much more drama would there be in end-of-game situations? While DeAndre Jordan could no longer ignore his free throw woes. LeBron would find new ways to choke in the fourth quarter. Kevin Harlan would burst at least 19 more blood vessels. Realistically, five fouls over 12 minutes is hardly enough. The NBA can’t call ticky-tacky fouls and keep the penalty threshold low. This is the middle ground.

Change: “Any player whose contact with the basket ring or backboard causes the backboard to shatter or makes the ring unplayable will be penalized in the following manner:
(1) Pre-game and/or half-time warm-ups – No penalty to be assessed by officials.
(2) During the game – Non-unsportsmanlike conduct technical foul. Under no circumstances will that player be ejected from the game. The Commissioner will review all actions and plays involved in the shattering of a backboard.”

First of all, the NBA can choke on some saffron risotto with butternut squash for pretentiously referring to the rim as “basket ring.”

Secondly, part two of this rule is deplorable on so many levels. If you break the backboard, you should get seven points, a seven-year contract extension and the right to curse out David Stern for eight minutes straight. Then slap him in the face, skip all postgame press conferences after a loss and receive a lifetime pass for berating officials on Twitter. No NBA play surpasses a great dunk. Shattering the backboard is the pinnacle of dunking achievement. Somewhere Shaq is nodding his head as he picks the glass out of his arm.

Eliminate: Charging

The premise of the rule is sound: No offensive player can run over a defensive player who stands his ground. Except this has morphed into “I can’t play defense so I’m going step in front of you and not move while you’re flying at full speed.” It’s also the only reason why guys like Brian Cardinal can sustain 29-year careers.

At the very least, no one over 6-5 should be able to take a charge. Yes, I’m looking at you, Anderson Varejao. If a four-year-old runs into you on the street, you can’t flail backwards, land on your ass and scream at her mom for her child’s violation of your personal space. You can laugh slightly (too much laughter is uncomfortably inappropriate), say excuse me and go on your merry way. Although sometimes I wish busy street corners had refs to determine who ran into whom – and then that ref would come running in while blowing a whistle and waiving his hands in the air, stop, point and assess blame. This would probably end my delusion that everyone on the street runs into me.

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