Why the NBA is about to change its rules
When LeBron James and the Cavaliers take on the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night, the NBA has finally set the stage for a major change to the rules of the game.
In a league that has been dealing with some of the worst rule-breaking in recent memory, the league will be implementing a new set of rules that will make the games that matter — basketball and otherwise — less fun and competitive for fans.
The NBA announced the new rules on Thursday, with James and his teammates taking the floor to open the game against the Nuggets at 7:30 p.m.
The rules, which will be implemented after a three-day period, will change how the game is played in all 50 states.
For years, the game has been played on a neutral court that is also where players practice and compete.
The players wear a mask to protect them from contact from fans during the games.
This year, however, teams will be required to wear protective gear, which can include protective headgear, masks and gloves.
“It’s not going to be a lot different than what we have now, but the rules will make sure the players are playing hard and have their feet on the ground,” said Kevin Ollie, who covers the NBA for ESPN.
“We’re going to see a lot more contact and less of it being a fair fight.”
In the years leading up to the change, James has not been shy about sharing his feelings on the matter.
“I think this is just the most unfair thing ever, so I don’t know if I can really speak for everybody else,” he said at the 2015 NBA All-Star Game.
“But this is really a disgrace.”
James is not the only one speaking out against the changes.
“The NBA has gone too far, and the NBA needs to change,” tweeted NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
“This is a slap in the face to the fans and players.”NBA Commissioner Adam V. Katz said the league has worked closely with teams to make sure that the rules are fair, and that the new rule changes will ensure the integrity of the competition.
“We’re committed to bringing parity to the game and working hard to make that happen,” he added.
The changes are not expected to affect the current season, though they will affect players’ salaries and the overall value of their contracts.
Players can opt out of their deals in a number of ways, and in a few years, some of them could be eligible to re-sign with their current teams.