Metta World Peace Praises Bad Change Affecting James Harden

Before the 2021-22 season, the NBA approved a rule change that seeks to avoid a frustrating move that some of the league’s stars had used to pinpoint violations.

The change restricts players from using “abnormal, abrupt, or overt movements” to make mistakes, as Monty McCutchen, who oversees NBA referees, put it.

These include an unnatural or non-basketball move, including leaning back or sideways, faking and then launching into a defender, kicking out a leg, abruptly straying from the path, or hooking a defender with an off-arm. These would now either be called offensive fouls or go as no-calls.

In the latest podcast “Posted Up with Chris Haynes,” Metta called on World Peace officials to wait to answer these kinds of calls.

“These are people making rules who have never played the game before, so it takes them seven years to change the rules,” World Peace said on “Posted Up.” “They should be required to play full-court games. If you work in basketball, you should at least put on shorts and sneakers, go to Equinox and hit a ball. I know 80 year old boys who play ball at Equinox.

“So take that suit off, untie that tight knot around your neck and put on some T-shirts, put on some shorts and go play that damn game. It shouldn’t take you seven years to find out.”

Trae Young responds to a phone call with his hands up by his head and an expression of disbelief on his face.
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young is frustrated by the NBA’s change to limit the kinds of mistakes offensive players can make. (G Fiume/Getty Images)

Many set up Brooklyn Nets as guard James Harden and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young as the models for this rule change.

Harden led the league in free-throw attempts in the 2019-20 season with 800, while Young was fourth with 559. Last season, Young averaged 8.7 tries per game (fourth) and Harden averaged 7.3 (seventh).

During Monday’s games, Harden and Young each averaged 5.3 tries per game (15th in the league).

Young has spoken out about the change, saying it is “frustrating” and that “there are a lot of missed calls.”

World Peace, a former Defensive Player of the Year who played for six NBA teams over a 17-year career, took it a step further and suggested that umpires should currently be playing basketball to maintain a sense of the game.

He also pointed out that when fouls are not consistently correctly whistled on the floor, it affects how all players play.

“If that’s the case, disable that line if you’re not able to call on time. If you can’t call consistently, it shouldn’t be a good call,” World Peace said on “Posted Up.” “And then you let everyone know, ‘Hey, all the players, we’re no longer executing this rule,’ because some players think they’re playing by the rules, but the umpires don’t want to slow the game down, so players play at different sets of rules.”

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