Report: NBA could eliminate Hack-a-Shaq strategy
The NBA is considering a rule change that will punish teams for employing the Hack-a-Shaq strategy, according to a report from Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently said that he expects the NBA to engage in "full-throated" discussions about the possibility of creating rules barring the practice of intentionally fouling bad free-throw shooters.
The practice was popularized when opponents would frequently "hack" 15-time All-Star center Shaquille O'Neal. This season, the strategy has been used on DeAndre Jordan and other players.
Berger notes that a possible rule change is already on the NBA competition committee's "unofficial agenda." From the report:
A rule change that would punish teams for intentionally fouling so severely as to eradicate the scourge from NBA games already is on the unofficial agenda for the competition committee's July meeting in Las Vegas, a league source told CBSSports.com.
The person, who is familiar with the discussions, estimated the chances of a rule change in some form being recommended to the Board of Governors, passed and implemented next season at about 85 percent.
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who used the tactic against Jordan in the teams' first-round playoff series, said Monday that he feels teams should be allow to use it.
"There will be a lot of discussion about the fouling, as there should be. But principle-wise, I feel really strongly that it's a tactic that can be used. If someone can't shoot free-throws, that's their problem. As I've said before, if we're not allowed to do something to take advantage of a team's weakness, a trade should be made before each game. 'We won't foul your guy, but you promise not to block any of our shots.' Or, 'We won't foul your guy, and you allow us to shoot all uncontested shots.' So we'd have to make a trade. On an intellectual or principle basis, I think you're on high ground. Now, visual-wise, it's awful. It couldn't be worse. I tend to side on the principle side where it's basketball, and we have a guy who can't shoot and it's an important part of the game, I should probably get him off the court. We'll see how it comes out. I'm sure the way it looks will be discussed very seriously by the league."