NBA commissioner Adam Silver has spoken openly this week about the possibility of implementing a rule change that will clamp down on the 'Hack-A-Shaq' tactic.
The strategy, named after Shaquille O'Neal, sees teams intentionally foul those players known for their poor free throw shooting. The player isn't even in possession when the foul is committed and the aim is to limit the opposition's scoring.
Silver has previously been noncommittal on the issue but, with the 2015-16 season seeing the increased use of the tactic to the annoyance of fans, he appears to be moving towards a rule change.
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Speaking to the NBA A to Z podcast, the commissioner said:
"I’m increasingly of the view that we will be looking to make some sort of change in that rule this summer."
"Even for those who had not wanted to make the change, we’re being forced to that position just based on these sophisticated coaches understandably using every tactic available to them...It’s just not the way we want to see the game played."
Per USA Today, the number of 'Hack-A-Shaq' fouls is closing in on 300 before the All-Star break, and has already far surpassed the 164 total for the 2014-15 season.
Whilst the strategy has achieved its goals at times this season, it has also led to frustration in the stands. A point Silver is keen to address:
“At the end of the day, we are an entertainment property, and it’s clear that when you’re in the arena, that fans are looking at me, shrugging their shoulders with that look saying, ‘Aren’t you going to do something about this?’"
The big man trio of Dwight Howard, Andre Drummond and DeAndre Jordan have been the most targetted by opponents - the Houston Rockets star alone has been the 'victim' of a remarkable 34-percent of the fouls.