Kobe Bryant has made his stand in the on-going debate whether the league should change the rules with regards to the “hack-a-player” strategy with the Lakers veteran saying that he wouldn’t tweak any NBA rules because it sets a bad example to everyone.
The “hack-a-player” strategy is when opposing teams intentionally foul bad free throw shooters, sending them to the stripes and trying to take advantage of their bad FT shooting percentage.
“You can’t protect guys because they can’t shoot free throws. You’re getting paid a lot of money to make a damn free throw, dude. I think it sets a bad precedent. I wouldn’t change it,” Kobe said to ESPN.
However, Kobe does not run the league and the one who does, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated recently that the NBA will look into changing the rules affected by the “hack-a-player” strategy.
“Even for those who had not wanted to make the change, we’re being forced to that position just based on these sophisticated coaches understandably using every tactic available to them. It’s just not the way we want to see the game played,” Silver said last week.
“Again, as I travel around the league, there’s that one school of thought ‘Guys have got to make their free throws. But then at the end of the day, we are an entertainment property, and it’s clear that when you’re in the arena, that fans are looking at me, shrugging their shoulders with that look saying, ‘Aren’t you going to do something about this?’
Curiously, Bryant was the teammate of one of the players who popularized the “hack-a-player” strategy: big man Shaquille O’Neal, who was strategically intentionally found during his heydays that prompted the now popular “Hack-a-Shaq” terminology.
Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons, DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers and Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets are the three worst free throw shooters in the league hitting a clip of 35.0%, 41.8% and 54.9%, respectively, this season.
Teams are taking advantage of the trio’s ugly shooting form and percentage and have fouled them nearly 70% of the “hack-a-player” fouls in the current season.
The NBA wants to help the poor free throw shooters while the “old school” Kobe wants to do it the hard way: practice your damn free throws.
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