Blogtable: How would you fix the ‘Hack-a’ strategy?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

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VIDEOAdam Silver addresses ‘Hack-a’ fouls

> You were just named to the NBA’s competition committee. Top of the agenda for your first meeting: “Hack-a-Shaq.” You have the floor for two minutes. Go.

David Aldridge, TNT analyst: “I know you and your teams are paid to win. And I know you’re all smart people, and will figure out ways to maximize Hack-A every chance you get. But basketball is a game of movement and flow. Hack-a is the antithesis of flow; it destroys a game’s momentum. We are a sport, but we are also a business, and both from a business and entertainment standpoint, asking fans who may get to go to one or two games a year to sit through Andre Drummond or Rajon Rondo or whoever it is shooting 20-plus free throws or letting games creep toward three hours is not fair or smart. I do not want to eliminate Hack-A, but I want to make it less beneficial for your teams to use and abuse it. So I propose these two rule changes: any off the ball foul before a team reaches the penalty–fouls one through five in a quarter–will result in a technical foul against the fouling team. You can still use Hack-A to get to the bonus, but it may cost you five points. Then, after the fifth foul, you can use Hack-A on the sixth and seventh team fouls in a quarter, just as you do now. But on the eighth and subsequent fouls, the current under two minutes in the fourth quarter rule will apply–one free throw plus possession for the deliberately fouled team. You can use Hack-A after the bonus begins, but only in limited fashion. And then, we go back to playing basketball. Thanks for your time.”

Steve Aschburner, I’ve been “won” over to the gotta-fix-this side of things and by that I mean tweaking rules, not relying on a half dozen or so lousy foul shooters to get in their respective gyms and somehow swiftly get to 70 percent. All sorts of rules have been altered through the years in pursuit of a better game — they no longer remove the ball from the peach basket and jump it up after each field goal, you might have noticed — and it’s time for the league to treat the away-from-the-ball fouls, for 48 minutes, the way it does for the final two: one free throw and possession. It’s grueling to see this tactic played out repeatedly in a game — that’s the only way we see it, over and over, never just a one-and-done move — grinding momentum in lockstep with fans’ molars. There’s always the opportunity to embarrass bad free-throw shooters when they do touch the ball, but Hack-A-Whomever is just gamesmanship without artistry, skill or watchability. That’s not what the NBA is selling.

Fran Blinebury, “Make your damn free throws. Now you, Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan can spend the next 1:55 practicing them.”

Scott Howard-Cooper, “We can’t change our rules because of four or five players. I get it. Hack-a-Shaq is boring. But the league is getting record TV ratings, right, so how much can fans really be hating it? Or maybe they understand that for all the attention the issue receives, it’s not a common occurrence. Again: four or five players. My suggestion is a slight compromise that could make a big difference. Take the current rule about increased penalties for fouls away from the ball the last two minutes of the fourth quarter and the final two minutes of each overtime period and eliminate the time element. Make it for the entire game. The coach of the team that was fouled gets to pick anyone on the court to take the free throws and then the team gets to retain possession. If the other team wants a lot of guys with five fouls in the second quarter, great. It doesn’t happen that often, though. It’s four or five players.

Shaun Powell, “Gentlemen, at any time in a game, if you intentionally foul away from the ball, the other team shall shoot two free throws and retain possession of the ball. Any objections? Good. What’s for lunch?”

John Schuhmann, I’d go to the intentional-foul rules we had when I was in high school. Any foul that’s judged to be intentional is penalized with two shots and possession for the opponent. That could be an intentional foul away from the ball or an intentional foul meant to stop a fast break (I’m looking at you, Pablo Prigioni), so that you can get rid of the silly, confusing and time-wasting clear path rule at the same time. To avoid the extra penalty, you have to make a play on the ball, going for a steal or a block or trying to draw a charge. But the officials could give the fouler a little leeway when he’s trailing in the final minute and fouling to get the ball back.

Sekou Smith, ) “Listen, we’re not going to waste any more time on this issue than is necessary. We’re not changing anything. No way, no how. Tell your poor free throw shooters that they obviously have plenty of work to do this summer. Next item of business.”

Ian Thomsen, NBA.comThe rule as currently written is unjust, because too often it punishes the victim of the foul and rewards the fouler. We ought to be throwing the rulebook at the perpetrators of these fouls. They are the ones who need to be punished. If your intention is to exploit a loophole that violates the spirit of the game, then your cynicism should be penalized instantly and with compelling authority. (The coaches themselves would agree: As much as they don’t like it, the current rule forces them to violate their own principles in order to win the game.) From now on, the team that is fouled away from the ball may designate which of its players will shoot the free throws while retaining possession thereafter. Henceforth these violations will be treated like technical fouls – crimes against the game itself. In order to break outselves of this ugly hack-a-habit we need to understand two things. First, the moral is not that players should be able to make their free throws. I mean, who didn’t know that already? No, the real lesson here is that the spirit of the game is under attack. Second, this is not to be addressed from the commercial point of view. It is not about TV ratings or drama. The issues here are ethics and fairness. The fans need to know that nothing is more important than the spirit of the game.

Lang Whitaker,’s All Ball blog: I am against changing any rules to protect players who are bad at their jobs. That said, it’s clear when players are sprinting into the backcourt or out of bounds to hack someone that they are also taking advantage of the rules. So we don’t make any major rule changes, we just start calling intentional fouls as intentional and make the penalties more strict for that.


  1. Dennis says:

    I would prefer rule that allow the team being hacked the option to either shoot free throws or inbound the ball.

  2. Joe says:

    Any player can shoot free throw some just don’t see the reason to practice it. In my 7 years of basketball ( 8th grade 4 years of high school and 2 years in a semi pro league) I missed 1 free throw in 8th grade. I hold the record at my high 176/176 over 4 years. It’s not hard 100 free throws everyday. Next thing you know your being a smart Alec with your friends and shooting them with you eyes closed.

  3. Monet566 says:

    It is wrong to use the term hack-a-shack, he is retired and should be left out of this!

  4. Monet566 says:

    He is my two cents opinion, if you practice hard enough you can learn anything. Are centers not professional? Maybe their should be a monetary fine for non professional centers like technical fouls.

  5. OldCelt says:

    lol Oh ffs … I could make about 80% of my FTs when I was 7 years old. And I don’t even get 12M$ a year for that. Everyone who is a hard worker and stays to do some FTs after the main practice eventually becomes at least a 75% FT shooter. Anything below that is just lazy.

    Apart from that, what other guys here said … when a player without a ball is fouled just send a guy with the ball to a FT line.

  6. Mike says:

    What about this: the player with the ball shoots free the free throws regardless of the player fouled.

  7. TOdoubleD says:

    I actually enjoy watching a frustrated player missing more than half of his free throws. How about if your player misses four free throws in a row – you have to bench him for 2 minutes.

    I can’t dribble that well and I’m only 5’11” but I’d love to be in the NBA. We could make some rules about not stealing the ball from me or blocking my shots and the coach may actually play me.

  8. Randy says:

    Add 3 points to the opposing teams score any time a sub .50 free throw shooter is put into the game.

  9. Randy says:

    I say make it harder for a horrible free throw shooter to remain in the game. When a hack-a occurs go back to no second free throw if they dont make the first. Also, don’t even charge the hacker with a foul. Bad free throw shooters should be forced to get better if the want to earn their millions.

  10. Justsayin says:

    Ian you are my new favorite editor. Nice to hear ethics mentioned for once.

  11. Stanley A Murdock says:

    They should give the team that’s fouled the option to shoot free throws or get the ball with a new shot clock and when in the bonus allow coaches to choose who they want to shoot free throws…. In the last two minutes of the game and the last two minutes of ot normal rules should apply because the hack-a strategy works and is a good strategy when trying to comeback late

  12. The Basketball God says:

    Shaq won 4 rings whilst being hack-a’d.
    Lifetime lakers fan here, quit your whining.
    Bench the grown man who is paid millions to play a game and still can’t shoot a free throw until the 2 minute mark.
    It’s 100% on the coach, if he doesn’t take the guy out, and the game runs past 3 hours.
    It’s a game.

  13. Morris Ramsay says:

    The player should hire somebody who knows, to be with him and practice,practice,practice.
    That somebody should have a broad knowledge of the process of developing the right muscle memory to achieve the desired results.

  14. Nilo says:

    Woooow. is censoring comments with no vulgarity, simply because of astute points being made about how this rule change delegitimizes the sport.
    Shame on you moderator.

  15. Fractured Life says:

    One of the all time stupidest arguments ever. If your team has a bad Free Throw shooter and the other team is taking advantage of this, GET HIM OFF THE FLOOR.

    Or make sure they LEARN to hit Free Throws. Noah could have easily become a ‘Hack-A’ target…what did he do? He learned to shoot the free throws at a 70%+ clip. Problem solved.

    Do we talk about removing the 3pt shot because its unfair that there are 4 or 5 Lights Out 3pt shooters who can score an extra point per shot? Nope.

    NBA needs to wise itself up and stop trying to change just for the sake of change. There are many issues they could look at right now instead of talking about the few players who somehow got multi million dollar contracts despite being horrendous at a fundamental aspect of the game. How about lowering ticket prices with all that new TV Cash? Didn’t think so.

  16. Joost says:

    I believe that the issue as many have stated is with intentional fouling, most blatant when it occurs off ball. I believe a very simple tweak to the rule could address all un-sportsman like conduct, whilst preserving the necessity to shoot free throws well. here goes: reward any intentional and of ball foul with the number of free throws corresponding to where you are on the floor from the attackers point of view. Translation: if you foul De Andre Jordan and he isn’t loitering around in the offensive paint, you will grant him three free throws. This lifts his true shooting percentage to above 65% compared to current rules. Likewise, a team down three points with 1 second to go is not going to foul Stephen Curry as he will make all 3 free throws. In stead the team will make Stephen Curry make the contested 3 pointer. Entertaining or not? In my opinion it deals with all situations well, whilst rewarding skillful players for being good free throw shooters, and somehow protecting the integrity of the game by dis-incentivizing intentional and of the ball fouling. The fact that horrible free throw shooters who currently produce less than 1 point per possession on free throws are benefiting is a by product. Sorry Andrew Drummond, it still doesn’t help you get to the point per possession threshold which would make teams stop fouling you… go practice. Can we start a campaign?

  17. joseph says:

    How can you say not change the rules for 4-5 players when they changed it for one player. Hence the name hack a Shaq the rule was created to protect him a horrendous free throw shooter. Let’s be honest these hacking tactics are cowardly attempts to beat teams they feel they can’t play straight up… a fan I hate having to watch a 20 minute quarter because u foul a guy 20times smh.

  18. RS says:

    The real tragedy in all this? Guys with awful shooting mechanics haven’t been retrained how to shoot. It’s not like they’re out there knocking down jumpers at a 50% clip. These guys hardly ever actually shoot. Even when they do, no one guards against it, they just let them take the shot. Shooting 10,000 free throws during the summer won’t help these guys.

  19. defdun says:

    Ian Thomson said it best: the spirit of the game is under attack, when intentional off-the-ball fouling becomes a strategy.
    So just penalize these fouls stricter or give the team the option to shoot free throws or remain in possession and immediately this ugly facet of the game will stop. (I don’t see any problem for the refs to determine if foul was intentional or not, when in doubt they will call it intentional.)

  20. Michael says:

    I think there’s consensus among the comments. Away from the ball foul, when over the limit, the coach can choose: free throws for the dude who was fouled, or side ball. On the ball foul, over the limit, two free throws, no choice.

    Didn’t they change a rule a few years back because of Kevin Durant? He was constantly raking his arms through his defender’s arms, flailing wildly and chucking up a brick. They used to call it a shooting foul, but now it’s a side ball.

  21. Rocco Naya says:

    Soccer provides a solution if you don’t want to mess up with the subjective opinion of a referee calling intentional fouls. Just let anyone on the court shoot the free throws.

  22. Carl-Eric says:

    Make it like in the FIBA rules. Fouling players off the ball results in technical fouls. It is fine if you foul the guy with the ball all you like, but this hack-a-Shaq tactic is getting really ugly. I saw that play where the Spurs fouled out of bounds and it was the most horrible thing I’ve seen. The rules should change or at least give a memo that the referees will start calling these fouls as technicals.

    Hack-a-Shaq should be hack-a-ball or else technical. Fouling someone without a ball is a flagrant. “Excessive contact”.

  23. Joost says:

    A lot of people say, learn how to shoot free throws. I’ve got one too: Learn how to play defence!! And you won’t need a hack-a. An intentional foul is an intentional foul, it doesn’t matter weather it’s made on Steph Curry or DeAndre Jordan

  24. dwine says:

    The best solution for me is make those athletes practice their shooting.. it’s their profession why make some changes? it only shows to them how bad their shooting and they must improve it and not tolerate it. There are lots of big players in there whom are very good shooters right? Dirk, Bogut, Towns, Davis, Cousins and Vucevic just to name a few.. These poor shooters must go to the gym after the season or even today to practice it and make their shooting better and that is the main solution for this..

  25. Matt Pro says:

    Could treat it the same as the delay of the game rule. Since it is delaying the games.

  26. Matt Pro says:

    I think they should put something in as each team gets 4-5 intentional fouls a game. So use them wisely. After that the team that gets intentionally fouled. Chooses the free throw shooter kinda like technicals. So does not take away the rule. But you maybe putting a 90% FT shooter on the line.

  27. Thomas says:

    The solution is diminishing returns. I like the strategy. It can turn a game around by disrupting an undisciplined team’s flow and punish poor shooters. I do not like the persistent use of the strategy.

    1. Define “Intentional foul”.
    2. Track “Intentional fouls”.
    3. Intentional fouls 1-3 = 2 foul shots
    4. Intentional foul 4 = 2 foul shots + Delay of game warning
    5. Intentional fouls 5 = 2 foul shots + Delay of game technical

    This literally gives you 4 chances to use the strategy and can still be a viable strategy, but prevents persistent use. Poor foul shooters can still be damaging to the team – MAKE YOUR DANG FOUL SHOTS!

  28. LAnthony says:

    The team has the option of ball out of bounds or shots, on every foul.

  29. JS says:

    Any solution that involves more free throws can’t be right. Incessant free throws had made the game close to unwatchable even before the hack-a nonsense.

    Some outside-the-boxer mentioned it already — somehow, the fouled team has to be able to “decline” whistled fouls on the spot. Coach waves a wand or something, play continues. Flow of the game, guys. Unlikely such an anti-rule would ever occur to the rules-makers, though…

  30. Andy says:

    Non-shooting fouls when in the penalty should be one technical free throw, i.e. the fouled team selects their shooter and inbounds afterwards.

    That’s it, simple and logical. It makes no sense to terminate a team’s possession because one of their guys was bear hugged. Either it’s not really a foul and play should continue, or it is a foul and there should be a strong incentive to not do that.

  31. THE ANSWER says:

    1st) Intentional Foul – 2 Free throws
    2nd) Intentional Foul to same player – 2 Free Throws, but half the distance to the basket.
    3rd) See 2nd.

  32. JS says:

    Um, any solution that involves more free throw shooting can’t be right. Incessant free throws were making basketball close to unwatchable even before all the hack-a business.

    Some outside-the-boxer said it already — somehow, someway, the fouled team has to be able to “decline” blown fouls on the spot. Coach or whoever waves a hand or something, no stoppage. Flow of the game, guys…

  33. Grahaml says:

    Does anyone seriously think these blokes don’t practice their free throws? I’d hate to think how many hours Dwight Howard has spent on free throws in his life. But to think that more will make him a better free throw shooter is idiotic. Free throw shooting in just one skill in the whole game, so why is exploiting weakness in that one skill so easy? If a guy is a poor rebounder his team mates help him out. A bad ball handler doesn’t bring the ball down the court. Doesn’t mean of course that those guys don’t have to do those things in a game but the opposition don’t get the chance to make it a focus and nor does anyone belittle blokes who have other strengths. How many other sports allow players to benefit from the rules being deliberately broken? That’s usually in fact called cheating, but in basketball we scream at blokes to spend a few more hours practising. End it, improve the game and move on. Intentional fouls should always mean free throws from the best free throw shooter AND posession.

  34. ozballer says:

    Simple. Off the ball fouling, team being fouled chooses the shooter. En of hackathon.
    However, what about the players that constantly seek fouls instead of shooting (James Harden), isn’t it the same logic but in reverse?

  35. richard says:

    RIP Basketball. But anyway,

    An intentional foul away from the ball, during penalty, results into 3 Free Throws.
    A foul with the ball should be treated the same way, 2 FTs

    3 FTs would give the bad shooter 3 chances to make his shots and a possible 3 pts on the board. Teams will capitalize on this by having time developing good FT shooters. FT shooting will become as important as the ability to make a 3 pt shot. And opposing teams will have to think again giving about 3 pts on a close game.

  36. stojo01 says:

    Andre Drummond is a 35% free throw shooter in 2016 (145/413) it is the 4th worst free throw shooting percentage in the league. Drummond or DeAndre Jordan are likely to be joining Boogie Cousins at the Olympics where they will be mercilessly hacked, all USA games will be 3 hours long and be very poor viewing.

  37. Guest 1 says:

    These poor free throw individuals that the league is trying to protect are only in the game for defense and rebound. If the spirit of offense or flow is under the attack what are these guys doing in the game. They are there for defense, to prevent other team from winning the game. Why not allow the other team to exploit their weakness. Either practice your free throw or seat on the bench. There are millions of fans who would love these players’ salary just to work on their free throws.

  38. Clay says:

    Don’t change the game to accommodate a hand full of players. Make them improve.

    Karl Malone started his career 48% from the charity stripe. He practiced in the off-seasons and improved to 76% That is what elite players do.

  39. Ilya says:

    Any rule that depends on the ref deciding when a foul is “intentional” is doomed. Players will learn how to fudge that, both ways. It will be an icky, sticky mess. So just say that for any off-ball fouls behind half-court or during an in-bounds, the offense gets to choose between shots and side-out, with the full 24 over if it’s back-court, 14 if front-court. Foul a good shooter, he shoots; foul a bad shooter, it’s like it never happened. Teams can protect against the hack by keeping bad shooters behind the line for a while, at some cost to them. That way we aren’t overly helping bad shooters. Simple, fair, and no need to make the impossible call whether something is “intentional.”

  40. TonyC says:

    Amend the rules, intentional foul two free throws and ball on the side for the team being fouled.

  41. Guest says:

    kudos to Ian Thompson. I like his opinion.

  42. VPMCG says:

    There is no room for competitive sports for this. In that it exists the best free throw shooter on the team that gets fouled gets to throw the free throws, ultimately this will not stop the offending team however should diminish the number of times this occurs.

  43. Aryeh Bernstein says:

    Scott is right — ratings are higher than ever and fans love the game. This issue is overblown. I like hack-a-shaq; I’m in favor of smart strategy to take advantage of an opponent’s weakness. If Howard, Jordan, Rondo, and Drummond want to be champions and stars, they’ll have to become professionals in this basic aspect of the game. Don’t give me that “7-footers can’t hit free throws” garbage. Dirk Nowitzki is one of the best in the game. Olajuwan and many others did just fine. Don’t give me that “their hands are two big to shoot free throws” trash. Kawhi Leonard hits his free throws. If these guys want to be considered the top big guys in the game today, then they need to improve in this area in which Davis, Gasol, and most of the other top big guys are destroying them in. If not, fine; let their team lose a key playoff game by a couple of points when their marquee center went 5-12 from the line. Vive le Hack-a-Shaq, as long as there are terrible free throw shooters.

  44. Ideas Man says:

    If there is an off-the-ball foul while a team is in penalty then the player with possession of the ball (or last player to have possession) at the time of the foul will take the free throws.

    It’s only a minor rule change that doesn’t leave the interpretation of ‘intentional’ up in the air, or mess with the foul limits or two minute penalty rules.

  45. Gus says:

    Get people to practice their free-throws.

  46. Adam says:

    Award the 2 shots like normal. If at least 1 shot is made, reward posession of the ball to the foul shooters team.

  47. Kaveh says:

    I also wonder why there are so many rule change suggestions, though I would agree to some of them (like letting the fouled team choose if they want to shoot FTs or retain posession). If I’m the manager of a department I’d want to incentivize employees to improve on their weaknesses. So why – it seems – don’t any of the teams with poor FT shooters incentivize their players? With more money, you ask? No, with less money. Here’s how: Say a guy shoots 40%. That means 40% of his salary is guaranteed. The rest is dependent on the extent to which the player can close the gap between his FT% and the target set by the team. So if the target is 70% for the said player and he gets to 60, which is 2/3 of the gap between 40 and 70, he gets 2/3 of the nonguaranteed salary.

  48. stojo01 says:

    In most oval ball sports Rugby, Rugby League, AFL they play advantage/continuation for fouls that are slowing a teams offensive momentum. Referees signal advantage with their arm out and the team in possession can either make a deliberate error to take the penalty shot or continue playing and if they don’t score on that play or they make an error they go back to that foul and take the penalty shot. If they are fouled again and that foul is in a better position on the field, that foul takes precedence.

    Why doesn’t that work in basketball?

    Otherwise spend some time in the gym practising free throws if it’s good enough for Steven Adams to practice free throws all summer so that he’s not a hack target it’s good enough for the inflated egos of the Dwight Howard, DeA Jordan, and Andre Drummond to get in the gym and practice FT.
    Drummond is likely to be one of the centres the USA takes to the Olympics where NBA rules don’t apply.
    It is pointless protecting guys who can’t make free throws and making them worse players.

    • davo says:

      Some people simply cannot shoot free throws no matter how much they practise. Don’t have them left out for one major fault in their game. How many diffrent shooting coaches have sahq, Dwight and others go through without any significant improvement? Off the ball fouls are intentional-treat them as such.

  49. Wedge says:

    Let’s just make it that player fouling intentionally off the ball gets 2 personal fouls. You want to hack with good players? Ok, but you’re getting yourself into foul trouble late in the game. You want to designate someone to court purely for fouling? Cool, but he’s going to have only 3 chances. Also, you need to keep him in a game during the offensive possession, or he’s not going to be there to foul next time.
    It hurts more while those poor ft shooters still needs to step up.

  50. hackahacked says:

    simple, but i keep that secret in my hat for now.

  51. It seems to me that there is an easy way to fix the hack-a-shaq strategy. Namely, if there is any intentional foul that is away from the ball, award two free throws and the ball, i.e., allow the team that was fouled to retain possession. (If the player with the ball is fouled, I would keep the existing rule. My rule is only for intentional fouls that are away from the ball.)

  52. freemanng says:

    Here’s my compromise solution that prevents the tactic from wrecking the game while also appeasing purists who say that players should simply learn to hit their FTs:

  53. Matt says:

    Option A:

    Fouling a player without the ball will give the team the option to choose who will shoot the free throws.

    Option B:

    Fouling a player without the ball will give the team the option to opt out of the free throw and inbound the ball at the half court line.


    I really like option B including the ball handler during the last minute so that teams can’t intentionally foul to get 2 free throws to to prevent a 3 pointer to tie a game.

  54. GBK says:

    Basketball is suppose to be a game of constant hustle and flow movement, and this is why and what fans love about the game; especially at the NBA level. The hack-a-shaq eliminates the whole principle of this, and is legalized delay of game in its current use. It can be argued that certain players do need to make free-throws-it can also be argued that teams need to be far better as well, than resort to this non-sense the game-long. Not to say that it should totally be eliminated as a strategy. But, as a strategy it should only be allowed during the last 2 minutes of the fourth quarter or even each quarter with a certain limit of occurrences; after which, offending team gets a technical for delay-of-game.

  55. Enrico says:

    It’s a non issue. Guys should work on their free throws just like any other part of their game. Players should not be protected from the dreaded free throw line. Having said that I however do not like off the ball fouls. There was a time if I remember correctly that intentional fouls were frowned on and the fouled team got a free throw and the ball.

  56. Angel says:

    Here’s a thought, how about if the Hack-A-Player is required to be brought out of the game for a few minutes (say 3 mins) like a penalty box in other sports after missing a certain number of free throws. This then puts the burden on the players to improve their free throw shooting.

  57. Dunk says:

    Very simple. Any intentional foul of a player not involved in a play should be a two shot foul…taken by any player on the floor of the team that was fouled.

    Not as harsh as the others ( don’t retain the ball ) but it would stop this tactic in it’s tracks.

  58. Jeremy says:

    Easy as this. Intentional foul gives the opposing team the option of free throws or the ball out from the side. Done. No more hack a moves…

  59. Two foul shots and a technical team foul

  60. Thomas says:

    Allow the team to take either the free throws or the ball out of bounds for all off-the-ball fouls. Similar to penalties in the NFL. Right to decline the free-throw “reward” or not. Foul still counts towards the limit of 6 either way. dissuades the fouling team but forces the coach of the fouled team to look at Drummond and say I’d rather take the ball in open play than have you shoot these 2 wide open free throws so the incentive for FT shooting improvement is still there.

  61. Jeff says:

    the hackee shoots all the free-throws at the end of regulation. the hacking team gets the ball back at the time of the hack.

    imagine the pistons down by five at the end of regulation, but drummond has 10 free-throws to shoot still. tons of pressure/accountability on drummond, but he has the chance to get into a bit of a rhythm. the flow of the game isn’t interrupted. the free-throws would feel more meaningful. atmosphere would be super intense watching those free throws.

  62. Cheezy says:

    OK why are we talking about free throw, last time I check they are center in which won’t be around to long it will be call stretch 5, look at the all-star game we use to pick guard,forward and center but that is gone. So I really don’t care about the hack a shaq you get pay millions,you have basketball court at home practices everyday it not that hard.

  63. David says:

    The best way to fix it is to make the rule so that it will punish the poor free-throw shooters. That way the coach will pull them out of the game. Make the penalty a 1-and-1, they have to make the first to get the second.

  64. Loryder24 says:

    If you’re in the NBA you should be able to shoot free throws at least at 50%. They should stop worrying about changing this rule and focus on the enormous amount of ridiculous travels that get by.

  65. Ernani says:

    I agree change the rule. From the moment the time start. Any foul away from the ball to a player who have 3 consecutive foul then its a hack strategy a warning shall be given at 2nd hack. Its a foul away from the ball so its an intentional foul. Then bonus free throw from any player the coach decide on the court. And to put additional time clock say 10 second for delay of the game.

  66. xquach says:

    Nowhere in the NBA rulebook is “intentional foul” defined. So you can’t just say intentional fouls are a tech and side out, you need to give refs guidelines on what constitutes “intentional” in a way they can easily determine in a split second.

    Notice that flagrant foul rules decribe the foul without ever having to determine the intent of the player. Same with flopping. You’re probably going to have to do the same here.

  67. Peter Cangialosi says:

    I think the best way is by simply enforcing the technical rule already in place. If players aren’t attempting to make a legal basketball play and aren’t trying to play the ball, then the foul is a technical. This could be implemented in so many problematic situations, such as on blocking fouls where there is no attempt at the ball, anytime a player tries to try to draw a foul intentionally (kicking their legs into a defender, bulldozing a defender with a lowered shoulder, unnecessary charging), throwing elbows or punches (even if they don’t connect), and flopping. This would solve so many of the games problems and no new rules even need to be made. Let’s clean up the play and speed up the game with one blanket rule, make a play on the ball and play game it was made to be played, if you don’t, you get T’d up.

  68. strcelrau says:

    If a player does not have the ball and is fouled, the player in his team holding the ball should take the free trows

  69. Knox says:

    The solution should be simple. Create a double-bonus situation in which away from the ball fouls result in a free throw + possession, after say, the 10th foul. That way you can use the “Hack-A” to an extend and it doesn’t eliminate the player’s responsibility to hit free throws, but it can’t be abused the way it is now.

  70. thejerr says:

    Rules have changed over time, sometimes 1 player abuses something so well they change the rule just because of him (barkley 5sec backdown rule). Free Throws however cannot be abused, everyone has an equal chance of making them. To change is would be stupid. You cant tell me these guys being paid millions of dollars cant work on a fundimental part of the game. PS Shaq won RINGS with teams trying to get him to the line….. RINGS, if shaq can do it, these scrubs can do it if they were so freakin lazy

  71. i don't know says:

    karl malone was at 48 percent in his rookie season. by his 3rd year, he was at 70 percent with close to 10 attempts per game. rondo and howard started at 65 and 67 percent respectively going down from there with howard attempting roughly the same number per game as malone. go figure… i also don’t buy howard’s excuse which was the same as shaq’s, some old wrist injury. i mean be creative. change your stroke. switch hands like thompson or something. though we all knew shaq wasn’t a gym rat in the offseason. at least according to kobe

  72. Darnell says:

    Fine them for Poor performance at the line. They have unlimited access to coaches and the Gym. If you can’t shoot 50% you need to be fined. Even Shaq shot 55%. They are Pros not babies.

  73. Darnell says:

    Tell them they’re pros and you have unlimited gym access. If you can’t shoot 50% atleast you will be fined for lack of work ethic on your craft. Even Shaq shot 55%.

  74. Tony says:

    Its litteraly 3 players.. Drummond, dwight, deandre..

    Learn to shoot freethrows.. You make millions of dollars.

  75. JJ Credit says:

    But if you say that intentional foul leads to possession and 2 free throws then teams will just foul off ball and make it look like it was part of the play. for instance what about when these bigs are setting screens or rolling to the basket. Even during the last 2 minutes of the 4th quarter, if the player is part of the play, you can foul them without the ball and it will count as a common foul. Coaches are smart enough to play around with this technicality

    Also I feel like guys who cannot shoot 55%+ should pay a fine at the end of the season (Min 100 attempts) and that fine doubles each season if they are repeat offenders. If the fine is moderate size, these guys will have more of an incentive to work on their free throws

  76. Ste says:

    I don’t think anyone mentioned what an “intentional foul” actually is: Cheating. It’s literally cheating.

    Current penalties for fouling don’t always distinguish between an accidental fouling of the rules versus an intentional fouling of the rules, which is cheating just like handling a soccer ball.

    That nba refs, and the league, willingly collude with cheaters, who notify refs they are about to cheat, without any further penalty beyond two free throws is absurd and quite frankly demonstrates a lack of honour and integrity in the league. Very bizarre for any sports league to institutionalise cheating.

    Two shots plus possession as mentioned above is such an obvious starting point for a cheating penalty I can’t believe it’s being debated. This isn’t about bad free throw shooters it’s about penalizing cheats. Who’s against that?

    • GT snowracer says:

      cheat – act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, especially in a game or examination.

      There is no cheating happening here. The rules as they stand are clear. You get fouled intentionally, the player committing the foul is punished with a personal foul, their team receives a team foul, (eventually leading to free throws). To accuse the entire nba of cheating is insane. You don’t agree with a rule that’s in place, so everyone is cheating? Your comment is cheating

      • Ste says:

        That’s nonsense. You’ve selected one part of the definition to try and back up a shakey argument. Cheat: “2. To violate rules deliberately, as in a game”

        The same rules are applied to everyone on the court, that is fair. trying to gain an advantage by acting outside of those limits is unfair.

        The general rule in basketball is “don’t initiate physical contact” ie “don’t jump on someone’s back”. If you jump on someone’s back deliberately, as a tactic, to get a rebound you are a cheat. If you jump on someone’s back because their missing free throws returns the ball to you at low cost you are also cheating. Players cheat frequently, that doesn’t make it right or desirable.

        The fact that the NBA allows the players to be honest about their intent to break the rules amounts to a sanctioning of cheating.

        The NBA already has stiffer penalties for harder fouls to prevent and disincentivise violence. Why shouldn’t there be stiffer penalties for deliberately infringing the rules of the game to gain an advantage?

        Free throws were implemented as a punishment to prevent and disincentivise certain instances of physical contact which are against the rules of basketball, if the punishment now acts as an incentive you need a different punishment, plain and simple.

        Not sure why this isn’t clear to the “don’t change the rules” contingent out there.

  77. Chris_Spurs says:

    Why don´t you let the fouled team choose if they want to shoot free throws or keep posesion as if not in bonus.

  78. your dad says:

    1. theres nothing wrong with the rules. andre and deandre aren’t stars, they are just average players because their free throw
    2. instead of penalizing the fouling team, maybe the rules could be altered so that if a guy cant shoot over 50% of his fts he will get a 1 game suspension.


  79. JR says:

    1. Charge 2 fouls instead of 1.
    2. Hack-a-Shaq can only be used after opposing player crosses half court. Otherwise 2 FTs and possession.

    *** Players getting paid to play the sports they love – make your damn free throws !

  80. Brant says:

    After u foul a specific player say 12 times. It becomes a technical or something like that.

  81. Chris S says:

    It seems like most takes boil down to: make your darn free throws or tweak the rule.

    The weird thing to me is, I haven’t heard anyone criticizing coaches for keeping guys in when they’re getting “hacked”. If you have a player on the court who give the other team a dominant strategy, why keep him on the court? Would you keep a player in who keeps letting his man drive for easy layups? Of course not. If coaches like Doc were less stupid about having bad free throw shooters on the floor, we wouldn’t see this nearly as much.

    • xquach says:

      Basically because most of the time hacking doesn’t work. You have to be monumentally bad, like 44%, for hacking to be a viable strategy. That’s like 2 guys.

  82. bodjee says:

    The only rule in the NBA that Commissioner Silver needs to investigate is the charge/block calls.

  83. donny lutz says:

    More rules are not the answer. How ’bout teaching those who can’t make free throws how to shoot…it’s not rocket science1

  84. Wilbert says:

    Instead of 2 give the poor freethrow shooter 4 fts. Gives the team that fouls intentionaly something to think, if the player can get atleast to 50% thats still 2pts for them if he makes 3 or 4 then the opposing team gets further behind. I think thats a win win situation.

  85. Solomon C IGBOKWE says:

    1. Any intentional foul away from the ball/play should be called a flagrant one, that way teams looking to foul bad free throw shooters won’t have a lot of fouls to spare.
    2. Bad free throw shooters should hit the free throw line and practice for the ‘Games’ sake, let’s face it, it’s no one’s fault, but theirs, that they can’t make a shot from the foul line.