This past offseason, the NBA implemented its new rules against foul-hunting. Fans, pundits, and players alike had long requested this change. Many saw the act of baiting the opponent to draw a foul as cheating the game. After the results of the Summer Olympics, the league relented and made changes. The results have shown a shift in pace, among other things. Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr echoed his approval of the new NBA rules in a recent press conference.
“I love what I’m seeing. I think the officials are doing a great job. The game has more of an authentic feel. You’re seeing some player try to draw fouls that maybe they would have gotten in the last few years and the’re not being rewarded for that. There’s a purity to it. I think it’s great.”Steve Kerr
Kerr also briefly talked about the take fouls in transition, saying he believes the NBA will etch those out next. Over the last few years, the league has seen offensive players flourish under the old rules. With foul-hunting quickly going out of the fray, it should present a greater demand for those players to utilize their skill.
With the new rules in place, some players have hit somewhat of a slump trying to readjust. In his comments during the press conference, Steve Kerr referenced Stephen Curry trying to adjust. That said, no player has taken a bigger hit than Nets guard James Harden.
The superstar scorer has gotten off to a relatively slow start this season. A large part of his momentary decline has to do with the crackdown on foul-hunting. Harden has become synonymous with that tactic over the years as it has undoubtedly played a role in his dominance as an offensive player in the last decade. He recently discussed the rule changes and how it affects his game.
This will take some extra time for him and the rest of the league to adjust. Fortunately, he has the surviving skills to sustain him.