LAS VEGAS — The NBA is taking a step toward trying to reduce the “hack-a” strategy on poor free throw shooting players.
The NBA’s board of governors approved rules changes for the 2016-17 season that apply to deliberate fouls that occur away from plays.
“In looking at the data and numerous potential solutions to combat the large increase in deliberate away-from-the-play foul situations, we believe these steps offer the most measured approach,” Kiki VanDeWeghe, NBA executive vice president, basketball operations, said in a statement. “The introduction of these new rules is designed to curb the increase in such fouls without eliminating the strategy entirely.”
With the rhythm and flow of some games bogged down by teams using strategy to foul poor free throw shooters like the Los Angeles Clippers‘ DeAndre Jordan and the Detroit Pistons’ Andre Drummond, the NBA has decided to extend the current rule for away-from-the-play fouls applicable to the final two minutes of the fourth quarter and any overtime to the last two minutes of each period.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told ESPN he voted against new deliberate foul rules.
“Rewarding incompetence is never a good business strategy,” Cuban said.
And on inbounds situations, any defensive foul that occurs before the inbounder releases the ball will be whistled in “the same fashion as an away-from-the-play foul committed during the last two minutes of any period (i.e., one free throw and possession of the ball).”
Flagrant foul rules will also be used to protect players from any “dangerous or excessively hard deliberate fouls,” including if a player tries to deliberately foul an opponent by leaping on an opponent’s back. Before these types of fouls were subject to flagrant fouls but not automatic.
The NBA’s competition committee recommended the new rules changes at the offseason meetings.
Information from ESPN’s Tim MacMahon contributed to this report.