“Hack-A-Shaq” banned from next season
In the upcoming season will come on the scene changes of technical rules in the NBA league. The most significant change that will occur is related to the so-called “Hack-A-Shaq” strategy, when the team that falls behind intentionally fouls opponent players who performed poorly free throws. The league decided that the said strategy, which is named after the legendary Shaquille O’Neal will not be able to be used, at least not when it matters most.
Namely, according to the new rule, in the last two minutes of each quarter, every foul on a player without the ball will be characterized as a technical foul, which will be sanctioned with one free throw and ball possession for the team whose player was fouled. This decision aims to reduce obstruction of game, but also acceleration, because uncertain finals by rule last too long, and with this kind of strategy, from now on outlawed, some teams have usually tried to stop the opponent’s dominant centers, which mostly perform free throw in poor percentages. Even though this strategy will not completely eliminate, there is a significant step towards the protection of players who have problems from the free throw line.
Following these changes proclaimed and Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner and one of the initiators of this campaign, who said that this decision is not perfect but the league is trying to find the ideal solution for this increasingly common problem.
However, there were those who criticized the introduction of the new rule, like Mark Cuban, Owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and Kobe Bryant, who has sharply criticized the changes, saying that players who are earning millions of dollars must learn to hit free throws.
As of next season will come into force yet another rule concerning flagrant foul. The flagrant foul rules will be used to protect against any dangerous or excessively hard deliberate fouls. In particular, it will presumptively be considered a flagrant foul if a player jumps on an opponent’s back to commit a deliberate foul. Previously, these type of fouls were subject to being called flagrant but were not automatic.
Basketball continues to evolve, as the style of play, and in terms of the rules. From introducing the so-called “Mikan rule”, over the shot clock, to the introduction of the three-point line, basketball is in constant development. Many teams, but players will have to get used to the new basketball rules, which may soon be adopted also by FIBA.