Via Mike Prada:
In an attempt to speed up games, the NBA will begin cracking down on the extended high-fives and pregame rituals that have become increasingly common over the years. The new policy will include a timer that begins at the end of the introduction of the starting lineups, and failure to finish everything else in the allotted time before the start of the contest will result in a delay of game, NBA spokesman Tim Frank told ESPN's Brian Windhorst.
"There's a 90-second countdown, it is placed on the clock. At 30 seconds, there's a warning horn and alert by the refs. At the end, teams need to be ready to tip off or face a delay-of-game warning."
The NBA is concerned about games beginning well after their listed start time. Several recent games have taken more than five minutes to begin after the introduction of the starting lineups, according to Windhorst. Players were told about the changes during an annual meeting with officials.
Yeah, basically, the NBA wants to make more money, and when games go on for 2-3 minutes too long, then viewers might go to bed early in the middle of a fourth quarter battle because 9:23 PM is so much later than 9:20 PM. Gimme a break. Or, worse yet, it's making the NBA cut down on one or two commercials during the game.
Kevin Durant is not pleased with the development, as told to the Oklahoman and re-iterated by Mike in his article.
"I personally don't like it. Every player in this league has routines they do with their teammates, rituals they do before the game and before they walk on the floor. The fans like it. The fans enjoy it. You see the fans mimicking the guys who do their stuff before the game. To cut that down really don't make no sense. Why would you do it? I really don't agree with it, but I don't make the rules."
Of course, the Thunder are infamous for their pre-game routine, and it's been chronicled admirably by Royce of Daily Thunder. So it's natural that Kevin Durant would be somewhat cheesed about the whole ordeal. And it's worth noting that KD doesn't normally criticize decisions made by higher ups, even casually, so it's clear that this decision struck a certain cord with him.
It's not a huge deal wither way, but it's just another one of those things that the NBA's doing. You know, those things that just make you go, "Why?" I mean, think about it. Has any NBA fan liked the decisions made by the NBA over the past couple of years? How about ads on NBA uniforms? Making it harder to take a charge? Making it so a player has to waste a year playing in college? Locking out the players? Locking out the refs?
Realistically, the NBA is a business, and it's all about making that green. But at the same time, it feels like they're nitpicking the players to death. Sometimes, you just need to step back and let things go, because micro-management never got anybody anywhere.