While David Stern addressed the whole clock issue in an interview with TNT’s David Aldridge two nights ago during Jazz-Lakers, saying he would bring it to the competition committee, it’s nice to see that he says the committee will address a far more insidious problem (at least in my eyes): Hack-a-Shaq.
Stern indicated he had a problem with “the idea that, ‘Hey, look at me, I’m going to hit this guy as soon as the ball goes into play, even though he’s standing under the other basket.’ I think that conversation has been started again, by the media, by fans etc. We’re going to look at it again.”
It needs to be looked at again; in fact, something should be done to make it a less attractive option to coaches like Gregg Popovich, who used it to an annoying extent in the first round against the Suns and used it in the same annoying manner when Shaq was with the Lakers and the two teams met in the playoffs. Personally, I suggest two shots and the ball for fouls like that. If you take the incentive away for him missing them — you get the ball back with no points scored — you cut down on obvious fouling just to send the worst free throw shooter to the line.
Unfortunately, Aldridge did not ask about and Stern did not volunteer anything about the flopping epidemic that seems to have infiltrated the league over the past few years, with some players acting as if they’re really covert members of the Italian national soccer team on the court (and it’s not just European players in the Association; American ballers do this more now too and expect every call to go their way with it.) This is the big problem that the networks won’t explain and the league won’t look into much, because if they have to do something about obvious flops, then they have to look into the star system of fouling and how refs will blow whistles for more established players.
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