With 5:31 left in the first quarter of the Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs game Wednesday night at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas Spurs guard Gary Neal was called for a technical foul for tying his shoe. Yes that’s right, tying his shoe was the reason for the technical foul.
Now anyone who’s played basketball before or even any sport know that things like this, for instance tying your shoe during a game can happen no matter what the situation is.
For example at the time Toronto Raptors point guard Jarrett Jack sat at half court holding the ball in one hand while tying his shoe as the remaining seconds in the third quarter came to an end. As for the Chicago Bulls defense, the team that Jack was playing against coincidentally just stood there and respected it as they didn’t go for the steal or anything as seen in the video here below.
However, back to tonight’s game. After being called for the technical foul for tying his shoe, Bulls guard Richard Hamilton would shoot the technical free throw and as a result he would miss. And after he missed, ESPN broadcaster and former coach Jeff Van Gundy said “The basketball gods must have made him miss that one” hinting the old phrase “ball doesn’t lie.”
Though regardless if Hamilton missed the free throw because of the basketball gods, the ball not lying, or just simply because he missed it, the fact of the matter is that he should never have had the opportunity to shoot that technical free throw. Reason being is that tying your shoe shouldn’t be a technical foul and it’s not really implied under any of the technical foul infractions.
According to the NBA’s rule book which is posted on the league’s website, NBA.com, Section II- Delay of Game, which was the section of the technical foul that was called doesn’t have anything about shoe tying or anything near it listed under there infractions as they are listed below:
(1) Preventing the ball from being promptly put into play.
(2) Interfering with the ball after a successful field goal.
(3) Failing to immediately pass the ball to the nearest official when a per-sonal foul or violation is assessed.
(4) Touching the ball before the throw-in has been released.
(5) A defender crossing the boundary line prior to the ball being released on a throw-in.
(6) A team preventing play from commencing at any time.
(7) Any player, coach or trainer interfering with a ball which has crossed the boundary line (Rule 8–Section II–f).
Though giving the officials the benefit of the doubt lets just say that tying your shoe during a game falls under one of these infractions. Saying that, the technical foul still shouldn’t had been called as the first penalty for breaking one of these infractions is, a warning.
“The first offense is a warning. A technical foul shall be assessed with each successive offense and charged to the team. An announcement will be made by the public address announcer. The 24-second clock shall remain the same or reset to 14, whichever is greater, if the violation is assessed against the defensive team. The offensive team shall be awarded a new 8 seconds to advance the ball if it is in the backcourt. If repeated acts become a travesty, the head coach shall be noti-fied that he is being held responsible,” reads the penalty section from NBA.com.
So all in all of course we can’t go back and change the call as it’s already been made and the game is over, however what we can do is address the problem now and make sure that in the future it won’t happen again.