NBA Rants: Why So Many Charges?


The debate we're going to have today isn't about flopping. Not at all, actually. It's about a frustration I have with basketball officials at all levels and their obsessions with offensive fouls.

Don't keep reading this if you haven't watched the video above. Please go to the 0:08 mark where the referee makes the showman move that they all make where they throw their arms up wildly waving off the basket and then jumping forward a couple steps before throwing their arm out to signal the play is going the other way.

Go back and watch it a couple more times. Please. I hope you're pretty disgusted by what you see.

The worst part about the crazy amount of offensive fouls called in basketball these days is you can almost see them coming. As soon as Greg Oden takes a dribble you can see Marc Gasol get into his position (which he doesn't hold very long) and you don't even need to look. Officials can't get enough of their fancy charge calls.

When was the last time you saw an NBA game without 5-10 offensive fouls? It doesn't matter if a guy has a defender all over him and there is some natural separation. The defender falls back a bit and an offensive foul is called.

One of the worst things the NBA has done is to put that silly charge circle so close to the rim. I can't tell you how many times I've moaned after some official has been baited into a call by some guy sliding in underneath a player in the air to win a call.

With the height and speed of the players in the NBA, it is so sad to see players jump in underneath them at the last second but because their feet are "outside the circle" they get the call.

Take a look at this garbage foul on Paul Pierce. Actually, the best part is the ref. Why is he so into it? It seems like in the biggest moments their crazy charge call act gets even more noticeable. Would the spotlight be on them as much if they were to make a blocking call? Maybe it's because you can't make a blocking call as emphatically?

FOR GOODNESS SAKE. That is three giant hops while waving his arms by the ref before jumping again to finally make the call. A bit much, perhaps?

At every level of basketball that I've ever played, you're taught as a defensive player that first off if you have your feet clearly both set and an offensive player charges through you, then he will get assessed the foul.

It's funny though how no referee follows that rule anymore. They simply look to see if an offensive player hit someone in the chest at all, or just how far back a defender fell. But the thing I look for every single time is how his feet were. It's comical how many times the defender has neither (or maybe one) of his feet set and gets the call. Whenever good old Hubie Brown and Mike Tirico are debating a charge vs. block call on replay sometime just take a look at the feet of the defender. It's that simple.

What is this, Joey Crawford?


These 50/50 calls have trended to close to 80/20 offensive fouls over recent years and I'm fed up with it. I've noticed it in college, high school and the NBA.

Think about it for a minute. When you see Kyrie Irving drive to the basket sometime next year, don't watch his drive but instead watch the defense the whole time to see who has a chance to slide in late and bait the referee into doing his favorite obnoxious call.

I don't get why there has to be so many offensive fouls in every basketball game anymore. But I do firmly believe that plenty of it has to do with referees wanting to make a specific call a couple of times every game even if the defender is by no means in front of the player driving.

I admire umpires in baseball who simply make a strike three call without being noticed. The same goes for calls at first base. When it is a tight game in the late innings an umpire will throw his fist out like he's delivering a knock out punch to make a simple call at first base. What happened to being cool, calm and collected while just putting the fist up to signal an out before just turning around and walking away?!

Might the thought of doing this cause this umpire to call more borderline pitches strike three? I have no idea, but it sure makes me think.

Next time you watch any type of basketball game, pay attention to the amount of charges vs. blocks. I guess I don't remember if it was this bad ten years ago, but it just seems to me that offensive fouls are almost as common as dunks in NBA games and that is a horrible thing for the league.

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