Definition of Concepts
FIBA is an international organization that is bestowed with the responsibility of overseeing international basketball. FIBA sets the rules and regulation relating to international basketball events such as in world championships and the Olympics. This organization also regulates and monitors the transfer of players from one country to another as they are recruited in clubs such as in the NBA. FIBA is also responsible to overseeing basketball matches between different nations, and making sure that nations uphold a certain standard of basketball infrastructure and basketball finance management
NBA of the other hand refers to major league basketball in the United States. Different clubs from different cities around the United States compete for the national cup in basketball. Some of the well-known teams in the NBA include Miami Heats, San Antonio Spurs, Celtic, and New York Nets among others. Recruitment into these clubs is highly competitive and also involves the recruitment of players from other nation. Despite NBA being under FIBA, NBA does not follow all the rules outlined by FIBA. This topic and the controversy arising from this handling of issues by the NBA are going to be discussed later in the paper.
This paper seeks to explain how FIBA as an international organization challenges NBA. First of all, as an international organization FIBA sets the rules and regulations about the required standards and code of ethics that should be adopted at a national level. This means that FIBA is instrumental in influencing the standard of affairs in the NBA. NBA has to follow the guidelines that are laid out by this international body in terms of recruiting players, financing rules and regulation, and the criteria of selection of players to represent the United States in international events such as the Olympics. Therefore NBA has to benchmark with the rules and regulations that are set by FIBA in order to meet international standards. This is in itself a challenge because the managers of clubs in the NBA have to vigilant about the state of affairs in their clubs in terms of management of finances and recruitment of players both domestically and internationally (Jozsa 118).
Second, FIBA is established on the principal of world cooperation and cohesion through sports. Sports are one of the ways in which players from different nations, races, and creeds can come together and work like a team. This requires players to be disciplined and appreciate the cultural diversity and talent that the world has to offer in sports, and in this case in the game of basketball. FIBA challenges the NBA to in cooperate players from other nations into their clubs as a way of building international cooperation and unity. This is evident in the current composition of clubs in the NBA that have players from the entire world.
Fourth, the rules that are formulated by FIBA have in many cases differed to those that are used in the NBA and the NCAA. There key notable differences between the rules of FIBA and those of the NBA. In terms of the shot clock, there is a difference in how basketball is handled in the United States and the rules that are stipulated in FIBA. The NCAA for example has 35 seconds for a shot for men engaging in the sport, while women are timed using the 30-second clock. This is contrary to rules of FIBA which only provide for 24-second clock for both men and women (Beloff 31). NBA has over the years struggled to follow this rule by FIBA. In addition, there is a difference in the shape of the line between the line for fouls and the basket area. In the case of FIBA which is the body that is bestowed with responsibility of governing basketball across the world, this line is in the form of a parallelogram. However, the NBA does not follow this rule, instead this lane which is between the foul line and the basket area is rectangular in shape and wider compared to the standards that are set by FIBA (Beloff 35). This begs the question of what should be the conventional shape of this area. Considering that FIBA is the international organization that has the responsibility of making the rules in the game of basketball there is a need for the NBA to follow the standard rules that are used by FIBA. The use of different rules by the NBA shows that there is tension between the organization and FIBA. This is because FIBA as the international organization makes the rules of the game and the United States as member of FIBA should follow these rules both at national levels and at club levels.
In addition, it is important to note that the duration of the game according to FIBA rules should be 40 minutes. However, NBA does not honor this rule. The NBA has created a different game where the total duration of the game in the NBA is 48 minutes. This is contrary to the rules and regulations that are set by FIBA about the rules of the game of basketball. The handling of the ball in the NBA is also different compared to the rules that are set by FIBA. In the case of FIBA when a ball goes out of bound, the players can quickly pass and inbound the ball without having to give the ball to the referee. However, this is unacceptable in the NBA; the referee has to handle the ball before giving it to the players once the ball goes out of bound. In addition, players are allowed to touch the ball when it is on the rim of the basket according to FIBA rules. However, this is considered to be a violation in the case of the NBA (Nafziger 139). This difference between the rules of the NBA and those of FIBA presents a challenge to players from the United States when they engage in international matches. This is because during international events FIBA rules and not those of the NBA apply (Jozsa 51). In addition, the different basketball rules that are used by the NBA also present a challenge to players from other continents and parts of the world that are recruited into the NBA. This is because these players have to transition from the rules of FIBA which there are used to and are forced to take up the rules of the NBA that are a bit different compared to those of FIBA (Kurlantzick 44).The infighting between NBA and FIFA regarding the rules of basketball is likely to be extrapolated in the future because the NBA has opened about 10 offices in Europe with aim of expanding its influence in the European continent (Thomsen 1). Due to the tension between NBA and FIBA, emanating from the fact that NBA does not follow all the rules made by FIBA, the expansion of the NBA to Europe would mean that other nations in Europe would begin to use NBA rules and disregard FIBA’s rules. This is because NBA aims at creating basketball infrastructure in Europe, which are same as those of the United States. This means that the relative power and influence of FIBA on member countries especially those in Europe would decline if the NBA invests in the European continent.
In recent years, FIBA has adopted a system of qualification to the world championships which are almost the same as that of FIFA, the international soccer federation. Under this system, teams are expected to participate in various international matches that are used as a qualification bases to the world FIBA championships. In the field of soccer, nations are forces to adjust their schedules for the national leagues so as to ensure that players playing for clubs are allowed to join their national teams for FIFA world cup qualifiers. However, the NBA is a sport that is the interest of many in the United States. It is difficult for the fans to adjust their schedules so as to allow the US basketball national team to participate in international qualifying matches. Critics have argued that this new method of qualifiers to the FIBA world championships has adverse effects to the NBA, and if it is not contained it might kill the NBA for good. This is because players would not be willing to risk to lose their contracts in the NBA on the grounds that they are going to play for their countries in the FIBA international qualifying matches (Ziller1).
In conclusion, FIBA challenges the NBA through the fact that the organization sets the rules and standards of basketball in the world. However, NBA does not follow some of the rules set by FIBA therefore creating a sense of competition between the two organizations. In addition, the recent changes in the qualifying system to the FIBA world championships present a challenge to the NBA because some of the international matches are held when the NBA is in session.
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