After years of being slammed for the "soft" and "game-breaking" modern trends, the NBA finally decided to take action in the summer of '21, implementing a series of new rule changes designed to discourage foul-baiting and flopping by offensive players.
Overall, the league has become a lot more physical this season and while some players (like James Harde and Trae Young) have spoken out against the rule changes, many fans consider them to be a major improvement to the overall flow of the game.
Knicks forward Evan Fournier seems to be among those who think the adjustments have been long overdue.
“Yeah. F— yeah,” said Evan Fournier, following Saturday’s win in New Orleans. “It was actually very frustrating for me. For years — I don’t like to compare anything — but coming from Europe we have guys that aren’t as physical, aren’t as athletic, and yet the game is more physical there.
So as a rookie, I kept fouling and fouling and fouling. And I was like, ‘What the hell?’ I’m skinny. I’m not strong. So I think the league did a great job, and we have to adapt and adjust. I think as a fan, it’s better. You don’t want to see guys just trying to trick referees all the time. … I like it, 100 percent.”
Of course, the NBA still has some work to do to improve the quality of their games. In fact, some people are calling for intentional fouling on fastbreaks to be eliminated as well.
For now, the end of the foul-hunting era is over, and that's good enough for the fans.
As for whether or not guys like Young and Harden will ever get used to it, that much remains to be seen. But something tells me they have more than enough intelligence and talent to figure something out...