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Top 5 Weirdest NBA Rules You Probably Never Knew Existed


Not so long ago, veteran coach Jay Triano surprised everybody when he decided to run a sideline out of bounds play that would literally make Tyson Chandler commit an offensive basket interference in order to get a last-second win against the Memphis Grizzlies, but the fact that the call was upheld was even more surprising.

See, apparently coach Triano knew that the goaltending rule didn’t apply for sideline out of bounds plays, but kept him to himself for as long as 15 years until he finally had the chance to make the most out of that kind of knowledge.

Controversial as it may seem, it’s still a valid play, and the Suns wound up taking the W there. Other than that, over the course of history, there have been several similar situations that make everybody shake their heads in disbelief, as there are some pretty weird rules in the NBA, and today we’re going to let you know about them.

5. Playing with more than 6 fouls

Some players are pretty much sent to the hardwood to just commit personal fouls, while others are just naturally dirty or hustle a bit too harsh, constantly piling up personals and eventually being disqualified from the game after racking up their 6th.

Nevertheless, if a basketball team has all of their substitute players injured or disqualified and they only have 5 players but one of them also gets ejected due to a 6th foul, that player can stay in the court anyway, as no team can have less than 5 players. Still, every time one of those players commits another foul, the team will be assessed with a technical foul and team foul (including offensive fouls).

4. You can’t get ejected for shattering the backboard

Back in the day, basketball players were known for their backboard shattering abilities, with guys of the likes of Darryl Dawkins constantly demolishing rims and the glass, forcing the league to make adjustments regarding the materials they used to build them.

So, after fixing the backboards to prevent beasts like Shaquille O’Neal to break them once again, the league established a policy where players wouldn’t be penalized if they broke them during warmups. Nonetheless, if the backboard breaking happens during the game, the player would be assessed with a technical foul, but still can’t be ejected for that matter under no circumstances, and the foul won’t count for a player total for that game or throughout the season.

3. Don’t spend much time before shooting your freebies

Most basketball coaches will tell a player that he needs to focus and get in peace with himself before shooting a free throw, trying to block all outside noise and focus mainly in the rock and the rim, but players should do it quickly if they don’t want to be penalized as well.

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Actually, basketball players have as much as 10 seconds after they set foot in the free throw line to make the actual throw. If he fails to do so, no points would be scored and the defending team would receive the ball as a baseline out of bounds regular inbound.

2. Lining up correctly during jump balls

Even though the jump ball is one of the most common situations basketball fans can witness during an NBA matchup, there are several things that may go wrong, and if the referee notices one or both players are lined up incorrectly prior to the jump ball, some penalties may be enforced.

See, during the jump ball, players have to be correctly aligned towards the basket they’re going to score on and if they’re not, referees can call a foul on one of the teams if he notices so before 24 seconds have gone by. If the referee notices it after 24 seconds have passed, they will just go on shooting to that basket and change sides later in the second half as usual.

PS. Road teams decide which basket they want to score on first before the game.

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1. Be sneaky and line up 6 guys

Back in the day, basketball coaches were quite sneaky and managed to send an occasional 6th man to the hardwood without referees noticing, and what’s funnier about this rule, is the fact that points scored will count if referees never notice there were six players in the court before one of them is called back to the bench.

Nonetheless, if the referee does notices one team has one too many players in the court, the violating team will be assessed with an unsportsmanlike conduct technical foul, but that hasn’t stopped the San Antonio Spurs or Philadelphia 76ers from doing it recently.