Originally Posted by AboutBuckets
The clear path rule was made so that a 'regular' non-shooting foul on a fast break wouldn't just create a stoppage of play and inbound. If the ball carrier is already in a shooting motion, it can only be a shooting foul (or a flagrant but you know what I mean).
Righto. The essence of the rule is to discourage someone from immediately and intentionally grabbing a player before he has any opportunity to get into the open floor.
I kind of feel it was the NBA's way of preventing players from stopping showtime plays or at least advantageous ones without those defenders having to commit any sort of energy or skill. Chase him down and stop the dunk? Sure. Turn the ball over but then just stand and grab him right as he hits half court? Not so much.