After much discussion, the NBA didn’t change its Hack-a-Shaq rules last offseason.
Kevin Durant doesn’t seem to mind.
Royce Young of ESPN:
I don’t think anyone wants to change the Hack-a-Shaq rules because they’re sympathetic toward the free-throw shooters.
It’s just boring basketball.
I was once intrigued by the strategy, when and how teams used it – and how the hacked team countered. To some degree, I still am.
But the amount of times teams hack away from the ball has jumped the shark. As ESPN’s Kevin Pelton counted, hacks are way up this season, both by number of players hacked and how often they’re hacked.
The strategy is no longer a novelty. It just means a lot of time watching players shoot free throws. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said viewers kept watching during Hack-a-Shaq last season. I’m curious whether that’s still the case this season as the tactic has become so prevalent.
Like Durant, I’m not concerned with DeAndre Jordan or Andre Drummond being put into uncomfortable positions. I just don’t want to watch games become stagnated and lengthened by a seemingly never-ending march to the free-throw line.
To paraphrase the Thunder star, a message to the NBA: If you don’t want to viewership to dip, then work on your f—ing free-throw rules.