Kevin Durant said it will be difficult to adhere to the rule but understands why the NBA informed players they risk a fine if they stand while on the bench.
Numerous complaints from fans in NBA arenas across the country led to the announcement earlier this month that an existing rule will be strictly enforced.
"People behind us pay good money to see the game,” Durant said. "But on our end, it’s exciting to see a teammate dunk or make a big shot. It’s tough for us, especially for this team. Your reaction is to jump up and cheer them on.”
The rule states players are required to remain seated on the bench while the ball is live except to walk to the scorer’s table to enter the game or "spontaneously react to a notable play, but must immediately sit down on the bench afterward.”
The rule stipulates players are not permitted to stand at the bench while the ball is in play. That includes the final minute of a game. The rule prohibits players standing until the home team scores its first point, a Ford Center tradition.
Last year, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ bench players stood a lot. The previous season, the Boston Celtics were notorious for standing to cheer teammates.
"Sometimes teams get criticized for not showing enough emotion,” said Thomas Jones, who had second-row seats for the Thunder’s preseason game vs. Miami in Tulsa. "You like to see your team get excited. But if I paid big bucks for all 41 home games, I’d probably be a little upset.