ABC analysts say new techs policy is too harsh

Posted Oct. 19, 2010, at 3:10 p.m.
Last modified Oct. 19, 2010, at 9:43 p.m.

NEW YORK — Chalk up two more complaints about the NBA’s new stance toward complaining.

Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson, ABC’s analysts on national broadcasts, both said Tuesday they have problems with league’s plan to call more technical fouls. Jackson even believes the NBA may have to back away from it at some point.

“I don’t think that it’s something they’re going to keep in the long run,” Jackson said on a conference call. “I think at the end of the day they will chip away at — I would hope that they take a step back from this rule. I think it’s a little too harsh, just watching early on.”

Officials have been instructed to call techs this season when players make an overt gesture, linger too long to debate a call, or other actions that don’t show proper respect for the game.

Van Gundy, a former coach, said the league has good referees who can take care of themselves.

“They don’t need uniform rules for when to give a technical,” Van Gundy said.

The NBA toughened its policy in part because its research showed fans feel the players complain too much. While Van Gundy agreed with that, he doesn’t believe it affects the game.

“I don’t think our players’ constant complaining and whining — which is overboard, without question it’s overboard — have detracted at all from the fans’ enjoyment,” he said. “And I think more free throws is never the answer.”

The players association has threatened legal action over the new point of emphasis, which is costing the players more money. The fine for technical fouls was doubled this season, with players and coaches docked $2,000 apiece for each of their first five.

NBA executive vice president Stu Jackson said all the griping after calls was slowing down the game. But Van Gundy argues that more technical fouls only exacerbates the problem.

“I think if we’re going to call these technical fouls, we should just give them the point, not make them shoot a free throw,” Van Gundy said. “Just give them the point and move the game along quicker.”

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