‘Theo Pinson Rule’ now mainstay of the NBA:Former SEG Falcon/WES Trojan and UNC Tar Heel stirring the pot in the big league

‘Theo Pinson Rule’ enforced in Lakers-Suns preseason game
from Sean Keane, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com
(We remember watching this kid(Theo Pinson) play for the Southeast Guilford Middle School back in the day, and now he is stirring things up, in the NBA.)

The NBA has vowed to cut down on bench celebrations this season.

New “points of emphasis” for referees this year include new guidelines that forbid bench players to stand for extended amounts of time, to walk out onto the court, or to stand behind players and yell as they take three-pointers in front of the bench.

We saw this in effect during the Lakers-Suns game in Las Vegas, when the Lakers’ Thomas Bryant wandered onto the court celebrating a Damian Jones dunk, and subsequently received a technical for “bench encroachment.”

The new guidelines are colloquially known as the “Theo Pinson Rule”, after the Dallas Mavericks reserve who kept incurring fines for his assorted bench antics. Those included a lot of standing, plenty of wandering onto the playing court, and, most notoriously, dressing in the opposing team’s colors and calling for the ball at the sidelines.

Pinson continued to wear the opposing team’s colors and refused to change his shirt for the rest of the Warriors-Mavs series, and the Mavericks racked up $175,000 in fines during the playoffs.

The bench decorum rules do make sense to a degree – players can celebrate without walking onto the court, after all. But these do seem like guidelines that stifle the joyful spirit of basketball. Should getting excited about your team’s success really cost you a technical foul? Bryant learned the hard way that this season, it does.