The NBA rules that govern whether a player has committed a charging foul are under scrutiny lately. Losing two of the biggest stars in the league will do that. Ja Morant and Giannis Antetokounmpo both missed pivotal Game 2’s in their respective series after both were injured during serious tumbles. The reason they fell? Defenders attempting to draw a charge near the basket ended up undercutting both players, causing injuries during their falls.
Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks claimed on Twitter that in the past he’s asked the NBA to make changes to the charging rules, but to no avail:
Move the circle further away from the basket. Taking it an extra foot away from the hoop would reduce to take charges on drives dramatically. I’ve asked. Obviously nothing has changed.— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) April 17, 2023
It’s a good suggestion by Cuban, and hopefully the NBA takes it under consideration this offseason. Some have advocated for getting rid of the charge call altogether, but that’s taking it a little too far. There has to be something to prevent players from just bulldozing their way through defenders.
Despite all his flaws, Cuban has constantly sought to make the NBA’s brand of basketball more competitive and entertaining. Cuban has been vocal in making sure the NBA’s refereeing is consistent and as transparent as possible, as well as key making Mavericks games not just a basketball contest, but a fun event for whole families.
Beyond games being better with players actually defending instead of attempting to just stand still in a spot and hoping they get run over, adjusting the charging rule will help keep players safer. Players attempting to draw charges often put themselves and other players in dangerous spots, as seen with Morant and Antetokounmpo. Making sure superstars are available to play in the postseason is something the NBA needs to prioritize. Hopefully Cuban can convince them of that this offseason.