Walden: MLB has loads of silly 'unwritten rules;' NBA apparently has but one, which is one too many – Salt Lake Tribune

Don’t flip your bat. Don’t admire your home run — especially if you’re not usually a home run hitter. Don’t not retaliate if one of your teammates gets hit by a pitch, even on accident. Don’t get near the pitcher’s mound while running back to the dugout. Don’t bunt to break up a no-hitter. Don’t bunt to beat a shift. Don’t steal a base late in a blowout if you’re ahead — or if you’re behind. Don’t wear your cap backwards. Don’t wear a T-shirt during batting practice. Don’t wear eyeblack in the opposing team’s stadium.

OK, that last one I made up, just to see if you found it any less plausible than Major League Baseball’s other “unwritten rules.” They’ve sure got a lot ’em. And of late, they’re getting pretty universally mocked — even by MLB itself — for being, well, pretty universally ridiculous.

The National Basketball Association, meanwhile, has been having its own discussion about “unwritten rules” lately in the aftermath of the Nuggets-Celtics game last Monday.

The NBA, as it turns out, doesn’t have “unwritten rules,” it has “unwritten rule,” which falls along the same lines as MLB’s base-stealing no-nos — don’t blatantly score or stat-chase late in a game where the outcome is decided.

Denver’s Jamal Murray had blistered Boston for 48 points. The Nuggets had the ball in the waning seconds of what would be a 115-107 victory. The Celtics clearly expected their opponents to dribble out the clock. Except that Murray, finding himself thiiiiiiiiiis close to the fabled 50-point plateau, hoisted up a deep 3-pointer just before the triple-zeroes went up.

That he missed was of no consolation to Kyrie Irving, who heaved the ball into the stands and labeled the play “bull—.”

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