Wednesday, March 3, 2010

NBA's Dirtiest Players Can't Hide from the Cameras

A Sports Illustrated Poll this week announced the dirtiest players in the NBA.

Top of the list is Reggie Evans of the Raptors with 21% of the vote, far ahead of Ron Artest of the Lakers with 13% .

No argument here, Reggis Evans is definitely the dirtiest player I have watched. Ron Artest has a been a little subdued since his move to the Lakers, but he is an aggressive defender and gets in opponents faces and has played dirty in the past.

Playing aggressive defense is very different from playing dirty. There is absolutely no reason for dirty play of the likes that can be seen in the video of Reggie Evans below.

Video Analysis can be used in different ways and reviewing dirty plays is one other. Thankfully the number of TV broadcast cameras covering every inch of the basketball court ensures that no dirty play can be missed.

In European soccer, video replays of fouls and off the ball incidents can be reviewed after the game and players can be fined and/or suspended based on the video evidence.

Here is a video of Reggie Evans dirty play against Chris Kaman in the 2006 playoffs. He was not suspended for this action although he was fined.

The NBA however is not generally dirty. There are very few occasions when it would be necessary to review the video and suspend a player.

But, did Evans really expect to get away with this, when there are 3 or 4 camera angles focusing on the play. If the cameras and the notoriety of playing dirty and being seen by millions cannot prevent this type of play, then perhaps the NBA should employ a similar strategy to soccer and suspend players for dirty off the ball incidents.

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