The NBA Needs to Change the Charge Rule Because It Isn't Basketball

Los Angeles Lakers v Memphis Grizzlies - Game One
Los Angeles Lakers v Memphis Grizzlies - Game One / Justin Ford/GettyImages

The NBA lost mulitple stars on Sunday as Ja Morant and Giannis Antetokounmpo both fell down and got hurt. The best player on the team with the best record in the NBA hurt his back while the best player on the team with the second-best record in the West hurt his hand. While their injuries are different, they got hurt on the same type of play. Giannis and Ja were both driving to the basket when a help defender slid in front of them. The NBA needs to eliminate this from the game immediately.

Almost all the scariest moments in an NBA game happen on this type of play. It's not a normal basketball play. It's dangerous. It's not trying to play defense. It's getting in someone's way at the last second and falling down to try and draw a foul on someone who is actually trying to make a basketball play.

Help defenders should not be able to help unless they're actually trying to defend the basket. If you're guarding someone and sliding your feet trying to stay in front of them and they knock you over, okay. There are plenty of legitimate offensive fouls without this dangerous tactic being used.

Just look at the Morant play. Why is 6-foot-10 Anthony Davis, who blocked seven shots on Sunday, incentivized to try and take a charge from 6-foot-2 Ja Morant instead of going up and trying to actually play defense and protect the rim?

And the legality of these plays often come down to whether or not the defender's foot is on a line. Something has to change. Mark Cuban wants to move the randomly placed charge circle to a new random length from the basket.

I know I'm not alone here. SI's Chris Herring wants to get rid of the play. As does The Athletic's Zach Harper. To me it comes down to whether or not you would ever attempt this in a normal game of basketball. Can you imagine driving to the basket at the park and someone stepped in front of you to take a charge? These plays are just a league-sanctioned invitation to flop or get someone hurt. Hopefully, the NBA fixes this soon.