Every year the debate over the block/charge call in basketball is sparked over some flashpoint that gets the basketball world talking. This year it happened early in the season thanks to Brad Davidson, the Wisconsin player that drew four charges against NC State in a tight Badgers win and was extremely fired up about it.
This led to the debate over the merits of the charge and whether players should be rewarded for jumping in the way of opponents and falling to the floor at the first sign of contact. There are those that argue it’s part of playing defense and there is skill involved in beating the offensive player to their spot. Others (including me) think it’s a rule in need of overhauling because it rewards standing in the way with your hands down rather than playing defense — the best alternative, in my mind, is to ask refs to look harder at offensive fouls and who is initiating contact when players are actually trying to play defense and stop a shot.
Still, one thing that is often overlooked in the great charge debate is the danger of taking the charge, both in terms of physical harm and irreparable emotional scarring that it can create. To illustrate this point I’d like to take you to Texas high school basketball, where 6’9 Adriel Linares, aka Bonez, plays for Sunnybrook Christian Academy. Linares is a very athletic big man, who also happens to wear RecSpecs, which takes his aesthetic to a whole new and wonderful level.
Playing against Linares are often a number of high school kids that are nowhere near his level of athleticism or size. These kids have likely been taught that taking a charge is a great neutralizer of this physical disadvantage they are at, but at no point are they warned of the real life consequences of trying to take a charge against someone like Linares in the open floor. Here are the consequences, played out in real life, courtesy of the good folks at Overtime: