David Stern's Suggestion to Eliminate "Hack-a-Howard" Protects League Image

Dec 5, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; NBA Commissioner David Stern on the court before a game between the New Orleans Hornets and the Los Angeles Lakers at the New Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

NBA commissioner David Stern has been under fire recently for a multitude of issues.

After blocking the Lakers from trading for star point guard Chris Paul last year, the media has blasted Stern for every misstep, including fining the San Antonio Spurs for resting their three main stars in a hotly contested game against the Miami Heat last week.

But most recently, it was Stern speaking out against the “Hack-a-Fill in the blank” strategy where a team purposefully fouls an opposing player that struggles from the free throw line.

“I would have liked to have seen the rule changed to make the last-two-minute rule the whole rule,” he said. “It was getting to a point last year where, [in the] first period, they were just grabbing players. I think that’s ludicrous.

“We tried to change it to any time in the game because last year I guess it was everyone was fouling Tiago Splitter early on and the committee didn’t want to do it. And so that’s just the way it is. Because the reality is that there are a lot of basketball purists — and I understand that point of view — who say, ‘Hey, why don’t you learn to shoot foul shots? You’re supposed to be a pro.'”

Stern was speaking specifically about the recently-discovered “Hack-a-Dwight,” which led to two-consecutive losses over the previous week.

But for once, Stern is spot on.

The “integrity” of the game is harmed when players are allowed to aimlessly foul, slowing down the pace of the game and forcing viewers to lose interest.

This is Stern’s last hurrah before Adam Silver takes the reins of the NBA and he’s sure to go out with a bang.

And while we’re on the subject of the “Hack-A-___” strategy, check out this hilarious video from 2008-09 involving the same strategy:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S_soY5Jg_Q]

For more NBA news, follow Raj on Twitter: @RajPrashad

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