NBA commissioner Adam Silver says strategic techniques like “Hack-a-Shaq” are not hurting television ratings despite public outcry. Many consider the intentional fouling of a poor free throw shooter to be boring and disruptive to game flow.
While Silver was once on the fence about changing the rules to prevent that tactic, he changed his tune on Bleacher Report Radio.
“A few people came back to me and said, ‘Not so fast.’ You can actually look at the data, Nielsen data, minute by minute. And in fact, when we look at the data, it’s not so clear people are turning the channel. In some cases, people are fascinated by the strategy.
“So, I’m not saying that should be the final answer, but just looking at it from an entertainment matter, we should make sure we look at the data to to see if people are truly turning out because of a Hack-a-Shaq strategy.”
Silver does not have the power to change the rule himself anyway, the general managers do. However, there is reportedly not enough interest to change the rule. So while length of games may become an issue going forward, it appears Hack-a-Shaq, or during these playoffs Hack-a-Howard, is here to stay.