Dwight Howard Says Private School Prepped Him for New Technical Foul Rule
While the NBA Players Association was planning to take legal action to stop implementation of the new rules, Howard did not seem overly concerned.
"I went to a private school growing up. They had a lot of crazy rules, rules you didn't agree with, rules you didn't necessarily think were right, but you just had to (live by them),'' Howard said after the Magic/Bobcats exhibition game. "They want us to cut down on talking to the refs, as hard as that may be. We've adjusted to everything else that's put out there. So we'll adjust.''
In each of the last two seasons, Howard finished with 15 technical fouls, one shy of the maximum allowed before he was hit with a one-game suspension.
The NBA has told players that officials this season will be calling quicker technical fouls for gestures that are deemed unsportsmanlike, even if they aren't directed at officials, and for running up to officials to contest calls.
The league also doubled the fine for technicals, from $1,000 to $2,000 for the first five a player receives in a season.
Billy Hunter, head of the players association, said in a statement Thursday that the players were not consulted before the rules changes were made, calling them "an unnecessary and unwarranted over-reaction,'' by the league.
The new technical foul rule was highlighted by Wednesday night's game between the Celtics and Knicks when four technical fouls were called in a 16-second span. Celtics star Kevin Garnett was ejected after picking up two for arguing a call.
Howard didn't play in Thursday night's game, but he did not receive any technicals in the first three exhibition games.
"We've all got to make adjustments,'' said Charlotte guard Stephen Jackson, also among the league leaders in technical fouls last season. Jackson received a technical foul in the third period of Thursday night's loss. "I've just got to be smarter about what I say, and what calls I want to talk about, and not get techs. It's part of the game.''
Veteran Bobcats coach Larry Brown endorsed the new rules, believing they will lead to a better-looking brand of basketball and better looking sportsmanship.
"The intent is great. We've got kids watching us. I think anything you do to respect the game is good,'' Brown said. "I think players will adjust. The bottom line is we've got a responsibility to do the right thing. I think the referees will get a feel for it, and the players will get a feel for it, too.''