NBA Announces Baseline Rule Changes Clearing More Space For Player Safety
The NBA is "expanding the area that must be clear behind the basket and cutting the number of photographers along the baseline in an effort to improve player safety," according to Brian Mahoney of the AP. The new regulations call for an "extra foot of open space on both sides of the basket stanchion." NBA President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn said that "clearing the congestion behind the playing area was planned even before" Pacers F Paul George broke his leg when he "crashed into the stanchion last month during a USA Basketball exhibition game." Thorn: ''The conversations about this topic preceded Paul's injury by several years. ... But of course when an injury occurs like the one to Paul, it reaffirms the changes we have made and the need to continue to evaluate our policies." Mahoney noted "only 20 camera positions, 10 on each baseline, will remain, down from 24 last season and 40 during" the '10-11 regular season. Each baseline can have "six photo spots on one side of the basket and four on the other, and dance teams or other entertainers cannot be stationed along the baseline" (AP, 8/26). In San Antonio, Dan McCarney noted Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has been among the "more vocal critics of the NBA’s congested baselines." Popovich became upset last preseason when Spurs G Tony Parker "jammed his finger on a camera while spilling into the baseline crowd" (MYSANANTONIO.com, 8/26).