Poll Question: Which Laker will have to adjust the most to the NBA's technical foul rule?
The NBA recently announced that technical-foul guidelines would be expanded to include "overt" player reactions to referee calls. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said afterward he thought such guidelines were already in place. Coach Phil Jackson recalled that such guidelines, announced before the 2006-07 season, were abandoned over the course of the season. The two responded with a shrug when asked whether the rule would affect Bryant's on-court behavior.
But there could be reason for concern. Bryant was called for 14 technicals last season (fourth highest in the league), 11 in 2008-09 and 15 in 2007-08. A player serves a one-game suspension after accumulating 16 Ts. So will Bryant have to make any adjustments?
"I'll tell Sasha [Vujacic] to shut the ... up, so I can stop having to go to bat for him all the time," Bryant joked.
There are surely some other players on the Lakers who may need to make adjustments. The team signed forward Matt Barnes this off-season in hopes his defensive intensity would infuse some energy. Some note, though, that he sometimes channels that passion the wrong way; he picked up 10 technical fouls last season with Orlando. Lakers forward Ron Artest could ostensibly suffer with this expansion of the guidelines, although he was tame last year, picking up six. And though Lakers forward Lamar Odom is known for his laid-back demeanor, he accumulated 11 Ts last season.
So with the new rule change, which particular Lakers do you think need to make the most adjustments? Or is this league mandate much ado about nothing? Feel free to vote in the poll below and share your thoughts in the comments section.
-- Mark Medina
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