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NBA Must Abolish the 10 Foul Rule for Summer League: Fan's Opinion

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NBA Summer League

As a fan of the New Orleans Hornets, I have never been as excited for the start of NBA Summer League action as I was this year. I couldn't wait to see Austin Rivers in a Hornets uniform as he began his acclimation to the point guard position. Instead, Rivers has been beaten up so badly that he's had to sit out the last two Summer League games.

I believe the NBA Summer League is being ruined by the ridiculous rule that players aren't disqualified until they've committed 10 fouls.

Nolan Smith

The scariest injury so far in the 2012 NBA Summer League was suffered by Nolan Smith of the Portland Trail Blazers. With under a minute left, Smith was fouled by Donatas Motiejunas of the Houston Rockets. The force of the contact sent Nolan Smith head-first into the goal support. The game was called as he was immobilized and carted off.

Motiejunas only had one foul prior to his hard hit on Nolan Smith. So I'm not claiming the 10 foul Summer League rule directly caused Smith's injury. What I am saying is that knowing it's almost impossible to foul out of an NBA Summer League game is causing players to play much too aggressively.

10 fouls

Normal NBA rules dictate that a player is disqualified after six fouls in a 48-minute game. In the Summer League, players foul out after 10 fouls in a 40-minute game. This is ludicrous. Since NBA Summer League games are shorter than normal games, players really should foul out after five infractions like in 40-minute college games.

From a fan's perspective, these NBA Summer League games are almost unwatchable. I imagine the 10 foul rule is in place to ensure that players can stay in the game and get their work in without fear of being disqualified. But I believe that Summer League players don't learn the art of playing aggressively while avoiding foul trouble.

The NBA must abolish the short-sighted 10 foul rule for Summer League games. The 10 foul rule creates a dangerous atmosphere for Summer League players and indirectly leads to bad habits when the regular season begins. Summer League players should foul out after five or six fouls, not 10.

Endnote on 10 foul rule

This article is a discussion of the 10 foul rule that exists in the Las Vegas NBA Summer League. In the Orlando Summer League, players never foul out! That rule is so incredibly terrible I wouldn't even know where to start in writing an article about that.

Patrick Michael was born in New Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. A loyal New Orleans NBA fan, Patrick was a diehard New Orleans Jazz fan and now cheers for the Hornets. Patrick was in attendance the night the Hornets were one win away from the Western Conference Finals. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.


"Portland Trail Blazers at Houston Rockets,"

"Orlando Pro Summer League 2012,"

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