Adam Silver the NBA Commissioner said he will take out his “bully pulpit” in an attempt to force through reform to end the tactic of intentionally fouling poor shooters of free throws, which has been dubbed Hack-a-Shaq.
Silver spoke prior to Game 1 of this year’s NBA Finals in his annual address. He added that he remained on the fence with regard to the issue.
However, he added that there was an increase of two and a half times in intentional fouls during this season compared to last year. Silver added that research by the NBA showed an increase of 16-fold in those types of fouls over the last five years.
Silver explained that intentionally fouling, except late in the game is bad for network partners as well as for the fans who do not like it as it slows down the flow of the game. Silver hopes there is some type of compromise available that will cut it the Hack-a-Shaq strategy significantly.
One option is making the intentional foul one shot plus possession of the ball, as it is during the last two minutes of play.
The league’s competition committee is able to recommend changes in rules during the summer, but they must pass a majority of two-thirds of the owners to be approved.
Without saying any names, Silver said the fouls primarily affect just three NBA players – Andre Drummond, DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard – and he will need to lobby a few owners to get the majority he needs.
Some owners feel that a rule change, which favors just the star players of a few teams, is not fair.
Mark Cuban the owner of the Dallas Mavericks said if Silver wanted to eliminate Hack-a-Shaq he is wrong.
Silver also spoke on Thursday about the All-Star Game of 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina, saying a final decision on it being played there or not would be come before the end of this summer.
The NBA is not in agreement with the new law in North Carolina regarding transgender usage of bathrooms.
Silver also strongly defended the use of the last two minutes reports related to the game’s officiating. He said studies by the league show that officials get close to 90% of their calls correct and he was satisfied with the number, although he added the league always wants to make improvements.
One team has said that with the changing patterns of the game and its speed that a fourth official might be needed and he added that he would study that possibility.