Okay, the Cavs lost to the Lakers. Breathe in and forget about that. Now focus on the obscure rule that came up at the end of the game.
In case you missed it, Robert Sacre picks up his 6th foul late in the 4th quarter. But the Lakers have no more healthy players on the bench. Enter the obscure rule. Robert Sacre is allowed to keep playing with the additional handcuff that any foul he commits is both a regular foul and a technical foul. Reports make it sound as if the decision to keep playing Sacre was Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni's decision.
Stop and think about this for a second. Is this the craziest rule in all of sports?
Chris Kaman had already fouled out. Could the Lakers have had him come back and play with the same handcuff or is order relevant?
The Lakers had Jordan Farmar leave with leg cramps. Steve Nash was out for rest. Just rest. Nash actually went back to the locker room and suited up but the Lakers were allowed to decide he wasn't going to play and keep Sacre out there. Jordan Hill was out with a strained neck and headaches but wasn't forced out by the concussion policy. The Lakers thought about activating him and having him stand in the corner before they knew about the rule.
There is no way to prove rest is necessary for health. There is no way to prove cramps mean a guy can't go at all. You can just make these things up.
This rule might be more prime for abuse than any other rule in major sports. Come playoff time, why would you not declare all of your players outside of your core 8 or 9 man rotation out? Then, depending on the game situation, the coach can make the call if it is worth bringing in a new body or keeping a star with a handcuff. Teams could completely avoid benching players for foul trouble, keep playing them, and just see how the game goes with the knowledge that they will never be absolutely forced to lose their guy.
If you are the Heat would you really sit LeBron instead of letting him play with the harsher foul condition?
This seems wildly open to me. It turns a hard rule into a soft one. What do you all think?