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Jayson Tatum picked up a technical foul against the Orlando Magic on Friday, and NBA fans didn’t seem to agree with the call.
Tatum didn’t agree, either.
The Celtics superstar forward received the technical for hanging on the rim after a dunk late in the second quarter. The NBA recently made it a rule that players cannot hang on or pull themselves up on the rim, “unless they are doing so to avoid injury to themselves or another player.”
There are certainly times when hanging on the rim becomes unsportsmanlike, as the NBA pointed out in its video analysis of the rule. However, there is a lot left up to interpretation on what could be dangerous for players.
“That’s a rule that they just implemented that, quite frankly, I don’t think makes any sense,” Tatum said after the game. “Anybody that’s ever played or dunked the ball, you know your momentum … just trying to make sure you’re stable when you land and make sure nobody’s underneath you.”
Tatum did hang on the rim and pulled himself up by it. However, it seemed he did so to slow down his momentum after cutting hard toward the basket and rising up for the dunk. Tatum also had a pair of defenders behind him when he made his move, so it’s very possible he wanted to make sure they were out of harm’s way before landing.
At the end of his dunk, Tatum could be seen looking toward the ground to confirm his landing space was cleared.
“Maybe they want me to just let go and fall on my back,” Tatum said.
Technical fouls carry significant consequences as well, particularly when piled up over time. A second technical during Friday’s game would have gotten Tatum ejected, and 16 over the course of a season can lead to suspension. NBC Sports Boston’s broadcast team noted immediately, though, that the NBA could rescind the technical on Tatum following a review.
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