The NBA finally stood up for fans rights. The league sent word that bench players are required to sit down unless they’re reacting to a specific, exciting play.
I made this suggestion early last season after noticing the Cleveland Cavaliers bench stood up for the entire fourth quarter of a Nov. 8 game at the United Center. The benchwarmers were caught up in a Cavs run early in the quarter, fine. But then they kept standing and standing -- most with arms folded, starting blankly at the action on the court.
All NBA players should know there are people behind them who paid more than $100 a seat for the privilege of attending a game and contributing to their salaries. I think that’s covered in rookie orientation. In my book, standing for an entire quarter has nothing to do with supporting your team, it’s just being a jerk.
There were several angry responses to my original column – probably from Cleveland, though I have no proof – but credit the league office for responding to the many complaints.
The Cavs were far from the lone offenders. I’m sure the Bulls’ bench was guilty of needless standing at times.
I know someone with tickets near the tunnel whose view is completely blocked when players on the visiting bench stand up. He said the worst offender last season was Lakers scrub Adam Morrison, who not only stood for long portions of the game, but spread a towel above his head to block the view of even more paying customers.
I wonder how Morrison reacted when told of the new “sit down” rule? I won’t say it, that’s too easy.
HANDSHAKES STILL OK
The NBA also sent out an instant press release Thursday refuting a note in the Boston Herald, which suggested the league asked players to refrain from handshakes this season. The supposed reason was to cut down on the chances of a swine flu epidemic among NBA players.
Anyway, the league insisted that’s not true. But I know some people, who don’t even qualify as germophobes, wouldn’t mind eradicating the handshake from everyday life entirely.
So I suppose it’s not an irrational thought for a sports league to suggest dropping the practice. Like I said, the league denied it.