NBA Commissioner David Stern railed against teams intentionally fouling poor free-throw shooters (see: Howard, Dwight), saying it’s “ludicrous”. Mark Cuban thinks it’s an important part of the game, that evens the playing field to a certain degree. Per Fox Sports: “Under the current rules, intentionally fouling a player who doesn’t have the ball in the last two minutes of a game leads to two free throws and that ball out of bounds. Stern wanted that rule applied for all 48 minutes. ‘I would have liked to have seen the rule changed to make the last-two-minute rule the whole rule,’ the commish said. ‘It was getting to a point last year where first period they were just grabbing players. I think that’s ludicrous. We tried to change it to any time in the game because last year, I guess, it was everyone was fouling Tiago Splitter early on, and the committee didn’t want to do it. And so that’s just the way it is. Because the reality is that there are a lot of basketball purists — and I understand that point of view — who say, ‘Hey, why don’t you learn to shoot foul shots? You’re supposed to be a pro.” Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban isn’t for the rule change for basketball reasons from the professional level on down to little leagues. ‘It sends the wrong message to kids every where that it’s OK to not pay attention to basketball fundamentals,” Cuban said. ‘In addition, intentional fouls humanize the game. There are 10 year olds who are watching these amazing athletes who have problems with free throws thinking that they can do something an NBA superstar can’t.’ […] ‘You can’t give a player an advantage or reward them for failing to do something that is a basic fundamental basketball skill,’ Cuban added. ‘When a guy can’t shoot a jump shot, whether you are in a church league or the NBA, you do what you can to make them shoot jump shots. If a guy can’t shoot free throws, you should do the same thing. Do what you can to send them to the line.'”
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