Fans across the NBA may dislike the "Hack-a-Shaq" rule, but there's no strong consensus among the league's general managers to make changes this year, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports. The issue was discussed during the annual meeting of GMs in Chicago on Wednesday, and support for change didn't gain much traction.
"There is not enough support to change it," one executive said in the meeting, per Berger. "It's one of those perception is bigger than reality issues."
The news comes on the heels of DeAndre Jordan being victim to an aggressive hacking strategy by the Houston Rockets in their series against the Los Angeles Clippers. Jordan took a stunning 28 free throws in the first half of Game 4, turning the game into a grinding slog, and the TNT broadcast became an ongoing discussion on the validity of the practice.
Many people around the game are critics of the "Hack-a-Shaq" rule, which encourages teams to foul terrible free throw shooters, but league officials presented data during the meeting that indicated this problem is overblown. Five players in the league -- Jordan, Dwight Howard, Josh Smith, Andre Drummond and Joey Dorsey -- drew 76 percent of all intentional fouls this season, and it appears that fact is being used to argue this is an isolated issue.
Some executives around the league have pushed to adopt a system similar to the D-League's, which penalizes an away-from-the-play foul by giving the other team one free throw and possession. This is how the NBA treats away-from-the-play fouls in the final two minutes of regulation and overtime, but teams are free to hack away during the other 46 minutes with only the standard two free throws resulting.
Doc Rivers and others have predicted that the rules would change next season, Berger notes, but this signals that there won't be an easy solution. There was no binding vote during the meeting Wednesday, and the discussion was described as "investigatory." It's still possible the competition committee, which meets each July in Las Vegas, will recommend eliminating the "Hack-A-Shaq" rule to the Board of Governors. That group would ultimately decide whether to implement the changes.