NBA memo: Jumping on players’ backs can be called as flagrant foul

Tuesday February 16th, 2016

The NBA issued a memo to teams Tuesday advising that instances of players jumping on each others’ backs to commit intentional fouls can be called as flagrant.

These types of fouls have occurred this season, typically during free throw attempts, to send a poor free throw shooter standing at the block to the foul line. Commissioner Adam Silver expressed concerns during his press conference on Saturday at All-Star weekend about these sorts of fouls, calling it a “dangerous move” and hinting at the potential of flagrant fouls being assessed.

“We have recently seen instances during games in which a player, in order to commit a deliberate foul, jumps on an opponent’s back during a free throw attempt,” Kiki Vandeweghe, the NBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations, wrote in a memo. “This is a potentially dangerous play against a player in a vulnerable position.

“Please be advised that the referees have been instructed to evaluate such plays under all applicable playing rules, including the rules relating to Flagrant Fouls.  Players remain free to commit deliberate fouls during free throw attempts, but such fouls will be assessed as Flagrant if they meet the applicable criteria. (See this memo of October 26 for the factors used in determining and classifying Flagrant Fouls.)”

Silver said Saturday that no new rules would be implemented this season regarding the controversial “Hack-a-Shaq” strategy, but it appears the league is moving toward some type of proposal, with the usage of hacking fouls up 5.5 times from last season to this one, per the commissioner.

- Jeremy Woo

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