During last night’s game versus Phoenix the Lakers got a taste of the NBA’s new rules involving technical fouls. After receiving a technical in the second quarter for leaving his hands in the air too long following a foul call, Lakers’ forward Lamar Odom received a second late in the game as the Lakers were attempting a comeback.
Odom felt he was fouled on a made basket, which would have sent him to the line with a chance to cut the Phoenix lead to one. Instead the technical was issued and Phoenix increased their lead and held onto the ball. It certainly impacted the outcome of the game, as it killed all momentum the Lakers had established.
After the game Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson expressed his displeasure with the call and rule, saying that Odom’s reaction was similar to what any other player would do. Jackson called his player’s response ‘normal.’
“Here’s what they said, they said, ‘We expect a normal reaction,'” Jackson said. “‘It’s a game of emotion, we expect a normal reaction but we don’t want continuing bantering.’ So [what Odom did] wasn’t continuing and it was a normal reaction, so that’s why I’m saying we expect better judgment in that situation.”
Jackson has been no stranger to criticizing officials, but this seems different. While the new rules involving technicals have been all over the news to start this season, this is the first time they’ve had a drastic effect on the outcome of an actual game. Whether or not the NBA will keep the rule is yet to be seen, but for now the players will have to adjust to the tighter whistles.