Stop Fining Players and Coaches for Criticism
Fining complaining is one of the dumbest things the NBA does is to stifle valid criticism of officiating. Allowing the stakeholders involved in the process the freedom to call out flaws as they see them is a critical first step towards identifying thematic problems.
If you literally can’t vocalize a problem, it’s awful hard to solve them.
This policy by the NBA is an odd legacy of the David Stern era endowed with the mistaken belief that an honest self-assessment of the NBA’s product that is put into public ecosystem will suppress fan interest and trust.
To the contrary, allowing the fans visibility into what players and coaches see as a flaw will generate more interest and debate on their part. Allowing officials the freedom to respond would bring every voice to the discussion which would allow the media to have more informed and engaged discussions in a way that ultimately makes for a better product and builds better trust in the Association.
This is an easy change to make and the NBA should do it immediately.
No Phoenix Suns have been fined recently to help anchor this argument locally, but for all the immaturity of the players, maybe if Igor Kokoskov wasn’t worried about professional repercussions he would start arguing more – which cannot hurt as his team is regularly on the wrong end of calls, detrimental to the team’s ability to succeed.