Boston Celtics

Dooling now teammates with opposition

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Dooling now teammates with opposition

WALTHAM Keyon Dooling loves the game of basketball. But he, more than any other Boston Celtic, understands it as a business due to his other role as a Vice President on the NBA Players Association's executive board.

Part of doing business was dealing with fellow NBA players who didn't necessarily like the way the executive board handled the negations of a new Collective Bargiaining Agreement.

Now, some of those opposed to him, are now teammates.

Paul Pierce was among the more vocal players who pushed for the union to de-certify - a move they eventually made, well after Pierce and several players pushed for it.

Dooling, acquired via trade from Milwaukee, doesn't expect there will be any issues with Pierce or other players who might have disagreed with some of the decisions made by the board.

"That's life," Dooling said. "Some people are Republicans. Some are Democrats. You may have a different view on things. But at the end of the day, when you have a common goal, you have to come together."

Dooling, who had his first practice with the team on Saturday, said he had a "great" conversation with Ray Allen (he too had some issues with some of the executive board's decisions).

"Our positions are a little different," Dooling said. "You just have to respect that. It is what it is. It won't be a problem or anything like that."

While labor issues dominated Dooling's life for most of the summer and fall, he's not a Celtic because of his beliefs.

He's with the C's because they believe he can help them in their quest at another NBA title.

Dooling's strength in the NBA has always been his ability to pressure ball-handlers.

On Friday, Rajon Rondo discussed how he likes his new teammates, but, "I especially love Keyon Dooling," he said. "You guys are gonna see him pick up the ball (defensively). And you'll start to see me pick up the ball more as well."

Rivers has tried to acquire Dooling on multiple occasions, only to come up short until now.

"I got some length for my position, so I really try and get after it," Dooling said. "Defense starts with heart and effort. I got both of those."

NBA adds 'Harden Rule' and 'Zaza Rule' for players' safety

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NBA adds 'Harden Rule' and 'Zaza Rule' for players' safety

NEW YORK - NBA referees will be able to call flagrant or technical fouls on defenders who dangerously close on jump shooters without allowing them space to land, as Zaza Pachulia did on the play that injured Spurs star Kawhi Leonard in last season's playoffs.

Officials will also make sure jump shooters are in their upward shooting motion when determining if a perimeter foul is worthy of free throws, which could cut down on James Harden's attempts after he swings his arms into contact.

The new rules interpretations are being unofficially called the "Harden Rule" and the "Zaza Rule". The Washington Wizards accused the Celtics' Al Horford of a dangerous closeout on Markieff Morris that injured Morris and knocked him out of Game 1 of their playoff series two weeks before the Pachulia-Leonard play.

Leonard sprained his ankle when Pachulia slid his foot under Leonard's in Game 1 of Golden State's victory in the Western Conference finals. After calling a foul, officials will now be able to look at a replay to determine if the defender recklessly positioned his foot in an unnatural way, which could trigger an upgrade to a flagrant, or a technical if there was no contact but an apparent attempt to injure.

"It's 100 percent for the safety of the players," NBA senior vice president of replay and referee operations Joe Borgia said Thursday.

The NBA had made the freedom to land a point of emphasis for officials a few years ago, because of the risk of injuries. 

Officials can still rule the play a common foul if they did not see a dangerous or unnatural attempt by the defender upon review. Borgia said Pachulia's foul would have been deemed a flagrant.

With the fouls on the perimeter shots - often coming when the offensive player has come off a screen and quickly attempts to launch a shot as his defender tries to catch up - officials will focus on the sequencing of the play. The player with the ball must already be in his shooting motion when contact is made, rather than gathering the ball to shoot such as on a drive to the basket.

"We saw it as a major trend in the NBA so we had to almost back up and say, `Well, wait a minute, this is going to be a trend, so let's catch up to it,"' NBA president of league operations Byron Spruell said.