NBA puts 90-second on clock for pregame rituals
The NBA is putting a 90 second countdown following players’ introductions. Apparently, it is an effort by the league to speed up the game by forcing teams to eliminate or cut down on pregame rituals and elaborate antics that can famously take up to five minutes after the starting lineup is announced.
However, the crackdown on pregame ritual distinctly smells of corporate greed and the pushy guidelines by television executives who’d pileup on the television timeouts per half rather than letting the teams put on a show for their fans.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank stated that the 90 second rule has existed across the NBA’s guidelines over years but the league has failed in its the stringent enforcement. However, Tim Frank finally envisions pre game rituals changing with a “more thorough enforcement of an existing rule.”
With the time being set to 90 seconds on the scoreboard, players will be required to assemble for the jump ball within the time limit following the lineup introductions. A horn will go off with just 30 seconds on the clock to remind the players to take their positions. However, if a team fails to take its positions within the 90 seconds time limit, they will face a delay-of-game warning according to the policy implemented this season. Upon a second delay-of-game warning, the team will be awarded a technical foul.
Pregame rituals are not only a highly entertaining feature of the game for fans, but the routine handshakes, high fives, powder tossing and over the years elaborate skits have been a motivational factor for teams pumping up their spirits before the opening tip.
The Oklahoma City Thunder, who go through a series of extensive handshakes with teammates before meeting up with their opponents, have one of the longest pregame rituals in the NBA . Naturally, the Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star Power forward Kevin Durant was a bit irate with the NBA’s 90 second policy.
"I personally don't like it," stated Kevin Durant regarding the pregame ritual time-limits. "Every player in this league has routines they do with their teammates, rituals they do before the game and before they walk on the floor.”
“Guys do their thing, their handshakes. I do the tying (of) the shoes, the praying, added Kevin Durant, who also besides saying a prayer at the padded support shakes hands with teammates and fires himself up in front of the scorers table. “The fans enjoy it. You see the fans mimicking the guys who do their stuff before the game.”
Miami Heat’s MVP LeBron James too could potentially be deprived of his famous powder tossing pregame ritual, which he hopes to revive after the gap in the playoffs.
"I won't change it, I'll be able to work it in," LeBron James stated regarding the 90 second rule. "We'll figure it out."
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade also has one of the busiest pregame rituals: performing pull-ups on the rim following a series of handshakes with the teammates and greeting fans in all corners of the arena.
" I'm always going to make sure I show love to the fans…(Still) there’s so many rules, I can’t keep up,” said Dwyane Wade. “There's no reason to make a big stink. It's their league, it's their rules."