Discussion

Hollinger's Gems: May 12, 2009

Observations on the Atlanta Hawks and the Most Improved Player award

Updated: May 12, 2009, 3:31 PM ET
By John Hollinger | ESPN.com

1. The NBA came out on Monday saying it needed to provide more education on the flagrant foul rule. Certainly that's part of the problem -- I can't tell you how many announcers I've heard say something like, "Well, he wasn't making a play on the ball," when that has no bearing on whether a foul is ruled flagrant or not.

Alas, that's about 2 percent of the issue. As harsh as I've been on Stu Jackson and the league's discipline office, about 98 percent of the problem is the rule. It's defined so vaguely that no two people could possibly walk away with the same interpretation of what is a flagrant foul and what isn't, something that becomes very obvious when three of the league's top officials watch a replay and rule a foul is a flagrant foul 2, and then the league downgrades it to a flagrant foul 1 hours later (as happened with the Ron Artest foul on Pau Gasol in Game 3).

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