Get The Photogs Away From The Baseline

That’s a great shot of Indiana Pacers point guard Darren Collison clutching his sprained ankle. 

You know how this guy got such a great shot?  Because Collison sprained his ankle on the photographer sitting next to him.  And that’s one injury too much for me.  It’s time for the NBA to get these guys out of there and protect the players that make their game so great.  

Sure, it seems kind of funny to see guys flying into the cameras… or guys tripping into the front row… but that’s an insanely dangerous play.  Especially when you consider the size and speed of these guys.  If someone is coming down on a fast break and gets fouled from behind, he’s only got a few feet to stop himself.  And if he’s off balance, he’s got no chance. 

Take a look at this video from the 1986 Celtics-Hawks playoff series.  Tell me how weird the baseline looks.

I understand that there is seating that hugs the court now and, quite honestly, I’d love to even push people off the sidelines by a few inches but there is no need to have that many photographers on the baseline.  All you need is one still photog on each side, and one video photog on each side. 

In the media, there is something called the “pool.”  That means when there is a large event, rather than have a million members of the media jamming into something like a courtroom, or small press room… one person goes in, and then that person shares the photos/video with everyone else. There is no reason why the NBA can’t designate a pool photog underneath the basket and then have everyone share the photos.  Clear some space… give the players somewhere to go.  And even if it’s right at the photographer, it gives the photographer somewhere to go.

Indiana won’t beat Chicago.  So having Collison or not having him won’t make a HUGE difference. But he was playing well and giving the Bulls trouble.  There’s no reason why the Pacers shouldn’t have him at their disposal.  But because this was Collison and not, say, Derrick Rose, there won’t be much outcry for changing how things work.

The NBA needs to do something.  These guys are flying down the court at ridiculous speeds.  They are risking enough injury playing the game they play.  They don’t need to be getting hurt by the people covering the game.

Photo credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images