Get one of your friends. Stand still. Then let your friend get a five-step running start and plow into you. Remember, you can’t flinch. You can’t move.
Sounds like a lot of fun, huh?
Thunder forward Nick Collison leads the NBA in taking charging fouls. It’s not a play listed in box scores, but it’s a play valued by teammates and coaches.
"It looks like it doesn’t hurt,” said coach Scott Brooks. "It looks like you can just get up and go. But it hurts. Even if a point guard comes at you full speed, knee-to-chest, it hurts. Tough guys come up and take them. And you don’t ever want to show your opponent you’re hurting.”
Collison has taken more than three times as many charging fouls as anyone on the Thunder’s roster.
"It’s a good play for our defense,” Collison said. "It’s better than a blocked shot because you get the ball back, and you get a foul on someone on the other team. On a block, you might get the ball back, and you might not. And you don’t draw a foul.”
There’s an art to taking a charge. Arrive a little late and it’s a blocking foul. Your opponent receives two free throws. A player also must be above the semi-circle under the basket, or a referee can’t call an offensive foul.
"It’s a feel thing, whether I think a guy is going to stop and I can get there in time,” Collison said. "If he’s under duress, attacking the basket, I feel I can draw the charge.”
Kevin Durant said he once injured his knee in high school, which made him hesitant for several weeks to jump in front of an on-charging opponent. His rookie season in Seattle, he once hit his head falling backward. Another time, he injured his elbow when he landed hard.
"It’s something that’s not easy to do,” Durant said.