NBA Rumors: Could Adam Silver End Hack-a-Shaq?


May 5, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) misses a free throw against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the third quarter in game one of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Could the days of DeAndre Jordan enduring so many nightmares at the free throw line be drawing to an end? Adam Silver has announced that the hack-a-Shaq rule (or hack-a-jordan, for those who are new to the game) will be discussed this summer. So even though the playoffs are normally a time we forget about NBA rumors, this is a case that could actually have an impact on the game.

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It may help teams if they’re lucky enough to face a 39.7 percent free throw shooter like DeAndre Jordan, but the hack-a-whoever strategy kills the speed of the game and ruins all entertainment value for players, coaches and fans alike. Unless you’re one of the few people who enjoys laughing at the fact that Jordan gets paid $11 million a year to play basketball and still hasn’t mastered the free throw.

Despite the flaws of hack-a-Shaq, if a team is desperate enough and wants to abuse an opponent’s weaknesses, they’re going to employ it in a game. That’s why the strategy has survived since the days Shaquille O’Neil was breaking backboards and clanging free throws. It may be used rarely, especially during the regular season, but as we’ve seen during this year’s playoffs, hack-a-Shaq has been as blatant as ever. However, NBA commissioner Adam Silver may be putting the distasteful game plan to rest in the coming months.

Silver has made the following comments about the issue, per’s Tim MacMahon:

"“It’s something that I’m on the fence about. My thought used to be that we should definitely change the rule, and then having sat through several general managers meetings, competition meetings and having heard from some of the game’s very best, the view is the players should hit their free throws. That’s changed my view a little bit.Having said that, when I watch some of these games on television, frankly, it’s not great entertainment for our fans, and that’s important as well. What I’ve said is we have another general managers meeting coming up in May, we have a competition committee meeting in June, and I’m sure it’s going to be a hot topic of discussion.Then, we have an owners meeting in July, so I think at all three of those meetings we’re going to be having full-throated conversations about what the right rules should be going forward.”"

Silver won’t be alone in the argument to remove hack-a-Shaq if he chooses to do so, either.

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has also voiced his dislike of the tactic, regardless of his decision to use it against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first round of the playoffs this year. Here’s his opinion on the matter, per’s Nick Friedell:

"“I hate it. I think it’s awful. I hate doing it. Seriously. I think it’s a pain in the neck, fans don’t like it, I don’t like it, nobody likes it. It disrupts the flow of the game. If there’s an equitable way to get rid of it, I’m all for it.But it’s part of the game. It’s part of the rules now and if you think somebody can’t shoot a free throw you might as well take advantage of it. If you think somebody can’t shoot you don’t guard him the same way. So [the strategy is] fair, it’s just kind of ugly I think.”"

This opinion is probably shared by other coaches around the league, too. They know that no one enjoys it, but if it can help earn their team a win and it’s still in the rule book, they’re probably going to go ahead and hack away regardless.

That being said, Silver has proven to be an excellent NBA commissioner so far. We’ll have to just wait and see in the next few months whether this discussion materialises into a permanent change.

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