Kobe Bryant thinks the officiating in today’s NBA has made the game less physical than European basketball.
During a conference call for his ESPN show “Detail,” Kobe said the NBA should reintroduce more physical forms of defense, including body checking and light hand checking.
What rules would you change in today’s NBA?
Kobe: “I’d allow for more physicality in the game. I’d allow for hand-checking, things like that.
“I feel like European basketball is more physical than the NBA is right now. I think the NBA needs to be more physical.
“Not to the sense of the way the Pistons were playing where guys are literally fearing for their safety when they’re up in the air, not that kind of basketball. But something where you’re not getting called for a body check or light hand check or things like that.
“I think just makes the game ridiculous. It trickles down to NCAA. I could barely watch some of these games in the NCAA because, like, a player touches a guy with a thumb and it’s a foul in a situation where it’s costing them the game.
“That type of stuff drives me crazy. That would be the first thing I’d change.”
You think the lack of physicality is taking away from the experience for fans?
Kobe: “I think it needs to be more enjoyable. It’s more enjoyable if there’s a certain level of physicality. You get to see players go mano-a-mano a little bit instead of, Oh, my God, he put a hand on me, it’s a foul. That’s got to go, man.
“It challenges players to improve their skill level, too. If you can hand check, things like that, you really must be fundamentally sound, you really must be able to handle the ball to get past defenders.”
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