From the current issue of Sports Illustrated:
So why do I care about this?
Four years ago, I said the same thing in a blog post called "Basketball is an awful sport. Here's why." If you don't want to read the whole thing, I will summarize.
Basketball is the only sport I can think of where a team can be rewarded for breaking the rules. Specifically, by deliberately fouling and opponent's weaker free-throw shooters, a team that is losing can catch up when the weak free-throw shooter misses and the team that is losing gets the rebound.
All of the fouls and free throws plus the seemingly unlimited number of timeouts that each team has result in the last two minutes of the game taking 20 or more minutes.
To me, it's unwatchable.
Pertinent to Van Gundy's comments is that Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond, who will play in the All-Star game, set an NBA record by missing 23 free throws in a single game on January 20.
This was part of a deliberate strategy by the Houston Rockets who were losing the game by nine points at the start of the third quarter. Houston's K.J. McDaniels fouled Drummond five times within nine seconds and the team fouled Drummond on seven straight Piston possessions. During that stretch, Drummond made 5 of his 16 free-throw attempts.
It must have been quite an exciting couple of minutes of play.
The All-Star Drummond had to be taken out of the game in the fourth quarter so that Detroit could hold on and win the game.
Yahoo Sports reporter Eric Freeman said: "While it's a little inexact to say that sending a player to the line over and over again 'isn't basketball' given that the rules allow it, it's downright enervating to watch and not an ideal product for a league that ultimately sells entertainment above all else. Intentional fouling is also increasingly common, with seemingly each team having at least one player who gets sent to the line in opportune moments."
He suggested that NBA commissioner Adam Silver is going to have to do something about the issue.
Here's what I've done about it. For the last few years, I haven't watched basketball.