Nazr Mohammed chimes in on ‘hack-a-player’
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Fans don’t like it, player’s don’t like it, but fouling a bad free throw shooter just to prevent a team from getting an offensive possession is part of the game.
It started in the 1990s when teams would purposely foul Shaquille O’Neal late in the game to get the big man to the free-throw line. Over the years it’s become a tactic used throughout the game on a number of different players. But recently, it’s started to become an issue.
With the flow of the game being hurt and fans annoyed, NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been forced to look into the issue. If he’s looking for help, one former player is willing to give his opinion.
While I think the rule could stand to see some tweaks, I do not believe we should be getting rid of it altogether. This tactic is only used consistently on about five or six guys in the NBA. If you look at the numbers of who’s affected, considering there are almost 450 players in the league, it’s kind of unfair to change a rule because of such a small group of players. Plus, you can’t just totally take away that tactic for coaches.
The former Bulls player and Chicago native said that as a player he hated when his team purposely fouled a player, but that he understands the importance of doing so.
Mohammed went in depth on his feelings at the free-throw line, calling himself “King of Splitting Free Throws.” He even talked about an especially ugly air-ball during the 2012 Playoffs.
There are, however, tweeks that Mohammed said can be made. These adjustments would still allow coaches to use the tactic, but make them think about it a little more. Mohammed said using a one-and-one format, or not allowing a player to be fouled off the ball while the ball is still in the back-court.
Neither answer is necessarily perfect, but coming from a player who was often the focus of a team’s fouling, it’s interesting to see his opinions.