SAN FRANCISCO -- NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Friday that he expects the much-maligned "transition foul" to come with harsher penalties next s
Silver hopes the rules regarding the game, when a defender intentionally fouls to stop an opposing team’s transition opportunity, will change this summer. It’s been something the NBA and its competition committee have been studying for several seasons.
Momentum has been building for several months towards a change, one that now seems likely to happen at league meetings in July.
“I am confident that we will see a change,” Silver said in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday. “I wouldn’t say I’m too confident it will be the last change, although this is a rule we’ve been experimenting with in the G-League for the last four years.”
Example of how it is currently sung
The way such fouls have been officiated in the G League since 2018 is as follows: When a defender commits a foul, which is one where no play is made with the ball but it doesn’t rise to the level of a foul with the way clear, the fouled team retains possession and is awarded a free throw before play resumes. Instead, the foul committed with the opponent’s path clear results in two shots and the ball.
According to FIBA rules, which govern international basketball, the penalty for committing fouls in transition is two shots and the ball.
“I think fouling should be abolished as soon as humanly possible,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said earlier in these playoffs. “I coached at FIBA the last few summers and FIBA has a rule that basically eliminated it completely. It’s so penalizing when they ask you to have all the coaches teach their teams, don’t do it. That is what we have to do as a league. … You just have to get rid of it, improve the game, open the game, and hopefully that’s what will happen this summer.”
The G League and Summer League are the NBA’s traditional testing labs before rule changes or policy changes. Among the rules that began at those levels and eventually made their way to the NBA are managers challenging certain plays, as well as resetting the shot clock from 24 seconds to 14 seconds in offensive rebounding situations.
The transition foul, Silver believes, is about to be added to that list.
“I always tell people, even about this possible change in transition fouls, that if there was one thing that was obvious, it would have happened a long time ago,” Silver said after the dedication of a new NBA Cares Live, Learn or Play. Center to help the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco. “There are pros and cons to everything we do. This is a change I’m very much in favor of, and based on all the research we’ve looked at, it’s something our fans want as well.”