• U.S.

Basketball: Lew’s Still Loose

2 minute read

First there was the Wilt Chamberlain Rule, designed to force him away from the basket by widening the “3-sec. zone,” in which an offensive player can remain for only 3 sec. at a time. Next came the Bill Russell Rule, which forbids blocking a shot when the ball is on its downward course. Now there is the Lew Alcindor Rule. College basketball’s rules makers decided last week that players may no longer “dunk” or “stuff” the ball by ramming it through the hoop from directly above.

The no-dunking rule was frankly aimed at Alcindor, the 7-ft. ¹⅜-in. U.C.L.A. sophomore who averaged 29 points a game this season while leading his team to a perfect 30-0 record and the N.C.A.A. championship. Lew does indeed dunk on occasion. But the bulk of his baskets come on tip-ins, lay-ups, jump shots and hook shots—all of which are still perfectly legal.

Many experts believe that the new rule actually will hamper shorter men—who use the dunk shot as a means of combating taller defenders such as Alcindor. In fact one of the most prolific dunkers in college basketball last season was Niagara Freshman Calvin Murphy, who stands only 5 ft. 10 in.

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