The NBA seems to have changed quite a lot over the past years, with many ups and downs in the time since. We’ve seen different stars, games and even rules as the NBA has changed over the years. Here are some of the top ways that pundits may not have noticed.
Hand Check Rule and its Effect
Most fans will remember when the hand check rule came into place back in 2004. It’s arguably the biggest change to have happened to the NBA in the last 30 years and it’s changed a massive amount within the game itself. From being able to touch another player to block them to no contact was a massive shift to the game.
The hand check rule was arguably much needed however, as there were people violating what a touch constituted. Holding or extreme contact was not allowed, but this didn’t prevent this kind of violation happening often. This made it much more feasible for shorter players to be stars in the game, as prior to this taller players could use contact to block them easily.
Commercialization and Spin Offs
The commercialization of the game as a whole has been major in the last decade or so. Shoes, accessories and clothes are some of the biggest money makers in the industry and stars have more earning power than ever. With famous players like Michael Jordan paving the way, superstars can be made within the game.
Spin off and games for the whole family are also common. Getting kids and women involved in the game has become much more prevalent in recent years. Spin offs that blend bingo and basketball can serve as an introduction to the game itself.
The Promotion of Free Agency
Back in the 1970s, basketball players started to question why they didn’t have as much choice over where they are employed as others do. This led to the 1998 Collective Bargaining Agreement, which gave players this choice and flexibility. While they still can be stuck in situations or contracts, they are the ones that agree to them.
This has had both positive and negative effects, as some players do use it as somewhat of a bargaining chip with their team. If they’re disgruntled with management or a particular decision, they have the ability to threaten departure. This becomes less effective the more the player relies on it though, so it can’t be overused or it won’t work.
Whether this is a pro or con depends on the individual player and how they choose to use this additional power that is offered to them.
Changes to Taller Players
At one point, tall players that could easily be up to 7 feet tall were everywhere. Because of the aforementioned hand check rule, this all changed as the playing field was somewhat levelled. It seemed that they covered all bases on the court, with form and physique giving them the edge over other players.
This is no longer the case though, as it’s no longer about how tall you are, it’s about how well you play.
The NBA has undergone some pretty large changes, with most of them creating a better game. There has been controversy over the years, but on the whole the game is better for them. Weigh in with your thoughts and let us know whether you think these changes are pros or cons.