If I were an NBA player writing this, under the new rules to be implemented this season, I would probably be given a double technical and ejected for complaining. This season the NBA has instructed the referees to crack down on 'complaining' and gestures such as 'punching the air' and 'laughing' at a call. Are they serious? Whining is not exclusive to the NBA, it is displayed at every level. It’s part of the game and competitiveness of players. Kind of makes you wonder what other natural and spontaneous reactions the NBA will want to remove from the league? In my time following the NBA I have never seen such a ridiculous rule come into effect. Even the infamous 'dress code' rule initiated by Stern was understandable – I didn't agree with it, but I understood it.
Basketball is an emotional sport. And yes, I have seen some players take their complaining a little too far but is this what it's come down to? Are we just meant to play the game as robots without emotion? When a player is striving for that ultimate goal, it takes years of hard work to reach that goal, how is a player not going to get emotional when things are not going his way?. Respected journalist Stephen A Smith echoed similar sentiments on Twitter,
"How in the hell can you expect guys to work as hard as they do and bust their tails, then DON'T REACT when they believe their efforts are being minimized by officials"
Where do we draw the line at aggressive gestures? Did a player look at a referee the wrong way? Perhaps he shook his head in disgust as he walked away? The very definition of aggressive is subject to interpretation. Each referee may perceive something to be a little more offensive than others. Some may be more 'whistle happy' than others and give out techs for minor issues.
“You’re going to have guys get emotional during the game, clap their hands, yell and scream. As long as they do that in a professional way I don’t think it should be a tech, but we can’t do that anymore. From what we’ve seen, we can’t have that much emotion”, said Denver Nuggets Carmelo Anthony.
How the hell do you rid the game of emotion anyway? All this is going to do is get guys more techs, teams wil shoot more free throws, it'll slow up the game and fans will be upset. Excessive complaining should be stamped out but a simple raising of the hands or a cry of "Come On!" is an initial feling of frustration. So long as that player does not continue the protest then let it be. Show me a player who does not get emotional and I'll show you a player who does not care about winning.
I don't pine for the days when a player could dunk on your head, hang off the rim, grab his nuts and taunt you while running down the court but let's use some commonsense here and just let them play ball, as it was intended to be played. With emotion.