Washington Wizards small forward Kyle Kuzma voices his approval of the NBA’s new restrictive rules on foul drawing, citing how much it’s changed the game.
Ballers who have mastered the art of the flop won’t be able to show their artistry in the 2021-22 season.
That’s because the NBA has finally implemented new rules to “limit non-basketball moves used to draw fouls”, a change that The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported during the offseason.
In October, fans are finally seeing how the rule change is affecting the game. Drawing fouls, some of which are the staggering “flops” LeBron James and others have made famous, permit players to exaggerate contact during play in order to draw a personal foul penalty.
In regards to this particular rules change, the fouls that are being restricted are ones where a shooter attempts to draw a foul from a defender when attempting a jump shot.
For an idea of what this looks like, look no further than James Harden’s recent attempts to draw a foul during his 106-93 loss to the Miami Heat on Oct. 27. ESPN went so far as to aggregate Harden’s attempts in a minute-long supercut titled, “James Harden’s old foul-drawing tricks won’t work this season.”
Harden may not approve of the rule change, but Wizards small forward Kyle Kuzma is already a fan. Kuzma voiced his approval over Twitter, saying that the league’s recent rule changes are “the best thing the league has done in recent history.”
NBA rule changes 2021, explained
Referees are no longer rewarding players for hunting foul calls. This includes leaning into jump shots.
Although Harden appeared unaffected when asked about the rule changes in a recent press conference, Nets coach Steve Nash referred to Harden as the “poster boy” for the rule change. Harden laughed and agreed with that sentiment.
“I’m not the type to complain about it,” Harden said. “I just ask every official [if] they see a foul just call a foul. Sometimes I feel like coming into a game it’s already pre-determined or I already have that stigma of getting foul calls but, I just ask for officials to just call what they see.”
This season will be drastically different for Harden and others whose strategy relies on foul drawing for free throw attempts. Harden has led the league in free throw attempts six times since 2013.
Even if Harden has been limited by the rule change, he and his teammates still came out with a 104-90 win over Kuzma’s Wizards on Oct. 25.