Did the NBA make a major officiating change during the season? There had been previous speculation about such a change, and commissioner Adam Silver recently confirmed the rumors, via Tom Haberstroh.

“Adam Silver conceded that the NBA made ‘a bit of an adjustment' to officiating midseason, and that it amounted to a reduction of ‘two fouls per team per game.' This is kinda huge,” Haberstroh wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

The NBA provided Silver's complete press conference, and he was asked about a recent decline in fouls.

“Our teams are very happy with the state of the game as am I,” Silver said. “And as I said, I think we're seeing fantastic competition on the court… When you look at the data for this season, it's true that as this season went on, foul calls came down roughly two fouls per team per game.

“That's what we're looking at, just to put it in context… As we've said now along the way… We get feedback from our teams, and we calibrate as we go in terms of how people view the game.”

Silver and the NBA listen to fans. They are open to criticism and feedback. The league wants to produce an exciting product that leads to competitive basketball.

“I think there was a sense earlier in the season that there was too much of an advantage for the offensive players,” Silver continued. “That was a point of emphasis on behalf of the league.

“We were transparent with our teams about that. Everyone can see what's happening on the floor and make their own judgments about the calls being made. Yes, there was a bit of an adjustment made along the way.”

Adam Silver, NBA's primary goal

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver talks to media during a press conference before NBA All Star Saturday Night at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The league is clearly open to change. Silver admitted that there was an adjustment, and the result has been fewer fouls for teams during games.

Fans have been vocal about their annoyance at the amount of free throws players often shoot. Certain players score no shortage of points from the free throw line. Fans want to see less free throws, which obviously means less foul calls.

It will be an adjustment for players. The NBA had gone into a phase of consistent free throw opportunities, so less free throws will lead to less calls, and that is something players will need to prepare for. Silver added that he expects similar results in the playoffs.

It will be interesting to see how the league's new adjustment impacts the postseason. Of course, if fans have any issues with this plan, Silver and the NBA will be open to listening to concerns.

That is not the case in all sports. Some sports don't have commissioners that truly address fans' concerns. Silver has been open to discussing just about every area of uncertainty in the league, though.

In the end, he wants to improve the sport in any way possible. That is why Silver and the NBA's primary goal is to create an all-around competitive product that isn't focused on any one specific facet of the game.

“Again, the context is two fouls per team per game,” Silver said. “The end result, most importantly, we think is a better game. And I think that now, despite what some people say, we don't measure success by the number of points scored, certainly. It's all about competition.”