Al Horford has committed a foul or two in his life. Often, he commits them in the first quarter, which was the basis for a season-long storyline in Atlanta about Larry Drew benching Horford for absurdly long stretches after said foul issues. You can argue that it worked, since he didn’t foul out last season. But you can also argue that the tactic was a little over the top.
So it comes as no surprise that Horford would, if he could, change the way fouls affected the game.
“I’d eliminate fouling out. You’d have to have some sort of penalty, because otherwise the game would become too aggressive; you don’t want guys fouling whenever they want. I don’t know if you make every foul after six worth two free throws and the fouled team gets the ball, but we could come up with something. Maybe you have a penalty box like in hockey. Or you get more free throws after a certain number of fouls. But it’s crazy that a team is unable to play its best players the entire game if that’s what the coach wants to do.”
Another thing you can do, Al, is not foul guys as much.
It’s a fun thought, especially for a guy like Horford who has intimate knowledge of rules infractions. But the ensuing chaos would kill the game. If the early foul trouble just resulted in a few extra free throws, you’d (a) grind the game to a halt due to the parade of free throws and (b) eliminate the strategy of getting to the bench or attacking the guy in foul trouble. And that’s just to start. But because the notion is so silly, I’m going to stop expounding on it.
It makes for a fun headline. We can all snicker at Al and mumble our “of course HE wants to eliminate it.” And hey look, we didn’t even mention that thing that’s going on right now. I don’t want to say it, but it rhymes with shmockout.