NBA To Cut Down On Pre-Game Handshakes

Apr. 18, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (left) and guard Russell Westbrook celebrate prior to the game against the Phoenix Suns at the US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Many people joke that NFL stands for the “No Fun League” but that mantra could now be coming to the NBA. The league has installed a new policy that cuts pre-game handshakes and rituals down to 90 seconds.

In the past, teams have used their pre-game rituals to engage fans and build excitement for the game. It has also been a chance for the league’s young stars to allow their personalities to shine and show unity with their teammates. Now, the players will not be able to have that same pre-game freedom.

One of the players who had become accustomed to an elaborate pre-game routine was Kevin Durant. As you would expect, Durant is not happy with the league cutting down on the fun.

“I personally don’t like it,” Durant said. “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.” What adjustments will Durant make? “Maybe I’ve got to go a little quicker,” Durant said. “I’ve got to make sure I acknowledge all my teammates before I walk out on the floor. That’s just how I am. That’s how we are as a team, guys do their thing, their handshakes. I do the tying (of) the shoes, the praying. I’ve just got to speed it up.”

This may not seem like a big deal on the surface but it is limiting payer personality and the young stars do not appreciate the new rule. But hey, it sure is nice to see the NBA tackling the big issues.

Here is the Oklahoma City Thunder’s routine that will now have to be dramatically shortened to please David Stern.

Topics: NBA

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