Report: NBA advancing toward harsher penalties for bench impropriety

The Mavericks got fined over and over and over for bench-decorum violations during the playoffs – and kept pushing the line. Dallas just accepted the fines as the cost of having enthusiastic camaraderie.

The price might be higher next year.

The NBA’s competition committee is recommending harsher penalties for bench-decorum violations to the Board of Governors, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:

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Another modification the committee will submit to the BOG for approval will be enforcing proper bench decorum by issuing stiffer penalties, sources said. One of a few principal matters on decorum are players standing up at the bench for extended portions of the game, obstructing the view of fans sitting behind the bench, sources said.

Fans have lobbed complaints at the league, expressing how they’re purchasing expensive seats with a blocked vantage point, sources said.

Of course this isn’t about ensuring the 10 players on the court are actually the ones deciding games. It’s about protecting the fans who buy expensive tickets.

Which is fine. The NBA exists to make money. The league should care about its customers, especially the highest-spending ones, having good experiences.

We’ll see how the league changes the rule. But as the Mavericks showed, after-game penalties go only so far. The league would get better results by calling technical fouls that can affect the results of games.


Haynes also reports the NBA is also advancing toward effectively eliminating take fouls by awarding a free throw and the ball to the fouled team – another welcome change.

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