In fact, it has discouraged a number of quality foreign players that I've spoken to, many of whom have shopped their services to other leagues overseas.
In Japan, the overwhelming majority of Japanese players are point guards and shooting guards and some small forwards, and that limits the opportunities for import players from those positions to get playing time. Forget for a moment the unwritten rule of coaching -- put the most competitive team on the floor possible -- and recognize the negative impact the import quota rule has had.
Not only is the bj-league, which has expanded way to quickly (from six teams in 2005 to 21 for this season) guaranteeing that a smaller range of import players will be on the floor for large chunks of all games, this rule has also affected the mind-set of general managers and team presidents, who are signing fewer and fewer foreign guards as well.
Japan has failed to qualify for the Olympics since 1976 in men's basketball and has struggled mightily in Asian and international competitions, too. One of the biggest factors for these major setbacks is this: All Japanese men's hoops teams (and this extends to the NBL, which has also adopted a lousy alternating quarter import quota rule, and the NBDL, the revamped JBL2) need more competition against quality foreigners, as many as possible as often as possible. Quality competition - not quotas - helps elevate a player's and a team's level.
One of the top foreign guards to play in the bj-league over the past five years, a guy who excelled in high-pressure games and a man who has played for a championship team, dished out this insight the other day:
"I understand they want to get the Japanese guys more playing time seeing as how most of the Japanese players are guards. I hate it though. I played only two quarters all season last season.
"That rule hurts our value to a team. Alternating is bad....keeping it at one number throughout the game is a much better solution."
The player, who requested anonymity, said he is looking at other leagues to play in for the 2013-14 season. Blame it primarily on this rule, which seems destined to be in place for years to come, but should never have been OK'd in the first place.