League to enforce "90-second rule" to get games off to faster starts.
By SAM AMICOFS Ohio
The NBA wants games to tip off quicker following player introductions, and now, the league plans to enforce an old rule to make sure it happens.
In an effort to keep pregame routines to a minimum, players will have 90 seconds from the time of the final introduction to be standing at center circle and ready for tip-off.
If teams aren't in position after 90 seconds they will be whistled for a delay-of-game warning. Two such infractions during the same game result in a technical foul.
Sacramento was the first team penalized for the infraction -- with the Kings receiving a delay-of-game warning prior to the start of their preseason game against visiting Golden State on Wednesday.
The guideline has always been in place, but has gone largely ignored, particularly in recent seasons. Instead, some NBA players have gained notoriety for elaborate pregame rituals involving handshakes, hugs and high-fives. Some players even spend time before the game acknowledging the crowd.
While those actions are still permissible, league officials are advising players to speed up the process, or face penalties.
"The rule has always been 90 seconds," NBA spokesman Tim Frank told FOX Sports Ohio. "It's just a more thorough enforcement of an existing rule."
Teams will be reminded of the 90-second rule with the sound of a horn 30 seconds following player introductions. Referees will also signal to teams when the time to take the court is drawing near.