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Should the NBA adopt FIBA rule on goaltending/basket interference?

Brazil's win over Greece in World Cup competition brings up an important question for Adam Silver and the rest of the NBA. Should the NBA adopt the FIBA rule on goal tending and basket interference? Brazil's Bruno Caboclo ended the game by swatting away a third free throw by Greece's Kostas Sloukas as the ball hovered above the rim giving Brazil the 79-78 win.



The NBA and FIBA rules are the same on a ball in downward flight towards the basket. A player can not block the ball when it is in downward flight. The difference in rules comes with a ball above the cylinder.

FIBA: Once the ball strikes the rim, any player can play the ball (i.e. swat it away or tap it in) No blocking a ball in downward flight towards the rim.

NBA: An imaginary cylinder exists that has the basket as its base. Touching the ball while any part of it is in this cylinder (and still has a chance to go in) is a violation

Flash back to Game 7 of the 2019 NBA Eastern Conference Semi-Finals pitting the Toronto Raptors against the Philadelphia 76'ers. Kawhi Leonard's last second game-winner seemed to hover above the rim forever. Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol, Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler were literally standing around waiting to snag a rebound if the ball ever decided to come away from the rim. The ball finally went through the net, and Toronto moved on to the Eastern Finals.





According to Wikipedia, the goal-tending rule was adopted because of 6'10" George Mikan. Then came the no-dunk rule in play in the NCAA from 1967 to 1976, reportedly because of 7'2" Lew Alcindor. I personally hated the no-dunk rule and was glad to see it go.

My vote on the adoption of the FIBA version of the goal tending/basket interference rule is to go with it. Caboclo's last-second swat above the rim was electrifying. And what if Ibaka or Gasol had been able to jam that indecisive ball home, or if Harris or Butler had legally swatted the ball away? I am all for it. It's time!

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel and @CausewayStreet



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