San Antonio Spurs News

Commissioner Adam Silver Looking To End Hack-A-Shaq

June 2, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks to media before the Golden State Warriors play against the Cleveland Cavaliers in game one of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
June 2, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks to media before the Golden State Warriors play against the Cleveland Cavaliers in game one of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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NBA commissioner Adam Silver is seeking a rule change that would eliminate the Hack-a-Shaq strategy.

If you have been living under a rock you may not know what the Hack-a-Shaq rule is. Well luckily for you, we will define it. It is a strategy in which players intentionally foul poor free-throw shooters to get a team leverage to get back into a game when they are losing.

On Thursday, Silver stated at a press conference that he wants to find a way to cut the strategy down significantly as research has shown the fans hate it.

“Not only is that something that is bad for our network partners, but for all of the fan research we have shows that the fans hate it,” Silver said, according to ESPN. “There may be a compromise in there where we can cut it down significantly.”

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The research which was conducted has found that the use of the tactic has increased by 16 times over the past five years and by 2 1/2 times since last season. Last year Silver was undecided about the issue, but as it continues to increase, he now is looking to make a change.

One team in the league that benefits or utilizes the Hack-a-Shaq strategy is Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs. Popovich is not too keen on the strategy.

“I hate it. It’s ugly, but I’m gonna do it,” Popovich said. “You don’t want me to do it anymore? Learn how to shoot a free throw. I don’t think about it much other than I hate the look of it. It just seems like it’s wrong. In your gut, you know that there’s no place for it. But on the other hand, you’re competing, and you take advantage of things: weaknesses of the other team.”

There are other teams around the league that have jumped on board, but Popovich is a strategic genius and when it is available and can give his team an edge, it will be done.

In the 2008-09 season Popovich had a little fun when the Hack-a-Shaq rule was getting a lot of attention. When the Spurs hosted the Phoenix Suns, it took just 5-seconds for Popovich to go to the dreaded strategy, and he got a nod from one Shaquille O’Neal and Pop’s reaction was great.

The classic Popovich reaction. Fans may hate it and teams may as well, but if it is out there why not use it? This is what makes Popovich so great. He knows how to strategically take a team out of the flow of the game and give his team a chance to battle back.

If the rule is replaced or altered, an option for the new rule could award the team that is intentionally fouled with one shot and the ball, as is currently the case in the last two minutes of a game.

Next: 5 Changes Spurs Need To Look At To Improve

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