I understand the point of the NBA’s new crackdown on excessive complaining to the referees by players: every call upsets half the players on the court and creates to opportunity to gripe.
And if you’ve watched the NBA over the last few years you could see that the complaining is getting out of hand.
But the NBA’s attempt to punish any-and-all reactions from a player takes it too far to the point of being ridiculous. You don’t perform surgery with a hacksaw. That’s what this rule does.
Here’s what the NBA should do:
Leave it up the to referees’ discretion.
Discussing a bad call is entirely acceptable. It provides the necessary feedback for the referees to do a better job. You cannot remove this feedback and hope to improve the game.
Unacceptable behavior is obvious and doesn’t need to be explicitly described in a rule. A referee knows the difference between being outright disrespected and when a player is unhappy with a call and wants to make his case.
David Stern needs to fix this error before it becomes an embarrassment.