Basketball fans by and large hate when teams employ the “Hack-A-Shaq” strategy. While there are plenty of people who enjoy it because it stresses the importance of hitting free throws, most fans hate that games will slow to a painful halt because a guy like DeAndre Jordan or Andre Drummond are getting purposely fouled due to their inability to consistently hit shots from the line.
There have been calls for years for the NBA to clamp down on this, and on Tuesday, the league did that…kind of. The NBA announced that it will go through a rule change that will expand on a handful of existing rules with the hope of making “Hack-A-Shaq”-ing opponents slightly less prominent.
So this isn’t a super-expansive change or anything like that, but few things suck more than watching basketball games limp to the finish line during the first three quarters because one team won’t stop fouling an individual player. Thanks to these rules, there is still some strategy involved in how teams will approach teams that try to “Hack-A-Shaq”, but they also make it so the final few minutes of each quarter will flow a little more smoothly.
This sentiment was articulated by Kiki VanDeWegh, the NBA’s Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, who basically said that this is the happy medium between eliminating the practice entirely and ignoring that it makes games unwatchable for a lot of fans.
Hopefully, this makes watching games with dudes who shoot worse than 50 percent from the free throw line a little easier to watch. Odds are the league will never totally get rid of the practice, so if this is the best that we’re going to get, then so be it.