Winning is the ultimate achievement at the professional level, especially within the NBA. Any strategy necessary to gain the competitive edge is never off-limits unless it is life threatening. Nevertheless, fans of the NBA have long pondered the elimination of the Hack-a-Shaq strategy. Me personally I am not a big fan and have never been a huge fan of this style of play towards the end of games. Reason being: It reduces both offenses from staying within the flow of the game, not to mention it hinders good transition opportunities while extending game time far beyond what is necessary. However, for opposing teams, that can utilize the Hack-a-Shaq Method to their advantage, by fouling quickly and targeting the poorest free-throw shooter, I highly doubt they are complaining.
Shaquille O’Neal made some valid points in reference to the hack-a-Shaq fouling, he simply stated it does not work and NBA players should man—up and play the game. In rebuttal to that I believe that the players should simply make their free throws. Shaquille O’Neal being one of the prime reasons NBA teams started to use the strategy feels strongly that it is bad for the game. I must admit, even though not being a huge supporter of this style of play it has been used to fuel last minute comebacks. Statistically most of the time the strategy is useless and does not seem to work. Furthermore in the recent NBA playoff game with the Spurs and Clippers, the hacking of DeAndre Jordan was just pure madness, totally disrupted the flow of the game. Clearly DeAndre was highly upset, I am not so sure if it’s due to the pressure of hitting the free-throw or being a target for the foul, possibly a little bit of both! Reggie Miller had an opinion in which he and Shaq disagree on, Reggie Miller stated that players can easily combat the strategy if they would work on their free-throw shots. Live on-air, Shaquille O’Neal stated that not every player is good at free throws. Judging from those comments fans would deem Shaq’s words as an excuse, though in his defense Laker fans would probably say he managed to win many Championships in LA with the Lakers even though he was constantly the target for intentional hacking fouls.
Undoubtedly the Commissioner of the NBA Adam Silver would be at the helm of any decision made to scrap the strategy. Let us look at his words from recent interview where he quoted “It’s something that I’m on the fence about,” Silver said. “My thought used to be that we should definitely change the rule, and then having sat through several general managers meetings, competition meetings and having heard from some of the game’s very best, the view is the players should hit their free throws. That’s changed my view a little bit. Having said that, when I watch some of these games on television, frankly, it’s not great entertainment for our fans, and that’s important as well.” For the sake of not remaining neutral if I had to vote, I certainly would raise my hand to vote for getting rid of the Hack-A-Shaq play.