PHOENIX SUNS

NBA spotlights Kevin Durant in crackdown of ‘rip through’ move

Oct 9, 2023, 9:26 AM | Updated: 1:06 pm

Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates during the second half of Game 3 of an NBA basket...

Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates during the second half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball Western Conference semifinal game against the Denver Nuggets, Friday, May 5, 2023, in Phoenix. The Suns defeated the Nuggets 121-114. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

The NBA is apparently cracking down on the infamous “rip through” once again with Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant serving as the example of a player who initiates the move simply to draw a foul.

At the beginning of every NBA season, the league’s officials and referees are presented with new “points of emphasis” and part of this year’s lesson plan is Durant and his “infamous” move.

Bringing a focus to the rip-through move is nothing new. In 2011, it was also a point of emphasis and the language back then eliminated the move and corresponding foul being called. Before 2011, the call was most likely considered interfering with player’s attempt to shoot the ball and most times two-shots from the free-throw line were rewarded.

Suns fans will also remember the “rip through” as one of Chris Paul’s signature moves. Some players still used it and got to the line because they would save it for a moment after the team was in the penalty (foul shots after any foul).

While the move can still result in a foul, according to the NBA’s point of emphasis, if the player isn’t facing the basket, it might not get called at all.

“A new addition to non-basketball moves this season is the rip through. Specifically in regards to the offensive player either moving the ball upward while facing away from the basket, or moving the ball upward in a direction away from the basket,” said NBA head of referee development and training Monty McCutchen.

Durant’s use of the move in last year’s playoff’s matchup between the Suns and Clippers was specifically highlighted.

“The offensive player, Kevin Durant, abruptly swings his arms through the right arm of his defender, Nicolas Batum, to initiate contact. But, since Durant moved the ball upwards while he was facing away from the basket, this will not be considered a legitimate shot attempt, but instead a non-basketball move,” McCutchen said.

Unfortunately for Durant, the Suns and the team’s fans, a similar play this season will likely be just a loose ball.

“And the ruling here would be a no-call, and a play-on situation,” he said.

Other rules that are “points of emphasis” heading into the 2023-2024 season include traveling, screens, transition take fouls and bench conduct.

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