Players and Basketball Rules Changes

Players and Basketball Rules Changes:
Several basketball  (external link) players had such a physical advantage and were so dominant in their play that they caused the rules of the game to be changed. These players were George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain and Lew Alcindor ( Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ). The rule changes were supposed to reduce their dominance, but they actually made these players better in their play. It shows that being forced to learn new skills can lead to better performance.

George Mikan

George Mikan was the first National Basket Association (NBA) "big-man" that at 6-10 had the coordination and skill to dominate the game during his time. He developed a deadly hook-shot with either hand while in college. In the NBA, he controlled the area around the basket to such a degree that the league widened the free throw lane and initiated the 3-second rule to give other players a chance. The 3-second rule states that an offensive player cannot be inside the free-throw lane for more that 3-seconds.

The rule changes resulted in Mikan using his hook more, making him a better all-around player.

Wilt Chamberlain

When Wilt Chamberlain was in high school, he had a unique way of shooting free-throws. He would stand at the top of the key, throw the ball up toward the basket , take two steps, jump toward the rim and jam the ball through the net. Doing this resulted in basketball rules to state that a player cannot cross the plane of the free-throw line when shooting a free-throw.

Chamberlain had problems shooting free-throws throughout his career. The rule did not really improve is already dominant game.

Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)

When Lew Alcindor started playing basketball in college for UCLA, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) officials felt that he was too dominant a player--one who could dunk the ball at will. They felt he would be unstoppable, so they changed the rules to forbid dunking in college games. This was called the "Alcindor Rule."

After he graduated from college, the rule was rescinded, and players were allowed to dunk again. (It makes you wonder about the qualifications of those NCAA officials.)

As a result of the rule, Alcindor developed a good hook shot, which he used effectively during his playing days in college and the NBA. He later changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Summary

These three great basketball players caused rules of the game to be changed in order to prevent a talented, tall player from dominating the game. In general, the rule changes actually helped to make the player more well-rounded. It shows that being forced to learn new skills can lead to better performance.

By Ron Kurtus (16 March 2006) for School for Champions  (external link).


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