Solution to the Hack-a-Shaq problem: make your damn free throws

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

If you follow NBA basketball you are familiar with the Hack-a-Shaq tactic. For those who are not familiar, the tactic is primarily used when NBA teams are trailing late in a game. The losing team will continually commit fouls against a player on the opposing team with the worst free throw percentage. If worked correctly, the opposing player will miss one or both of their free throws, allowing for the losing team to get possession and ultimately slow down the game. The name Hack-a-Shaq came from center Shaquille O'Neal, who was known for his poor free throw shooting. Within the past couple years, teams have known to use this tactic primarily on Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan and Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond.

In an effort to eliminate this tactic, the NBA passed a new rule today which states that any intentional foul away from play within the final 2 minutes of any quarter or overtime will result in one free throw for the fouled team and possession of the ball. In an article from USA Today, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said that "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." It was reported that the Hack-a-Shaq tactic was not completely eliminated because it did not receive the 2/3 of the NBA owner's approval. 

I have a solution for you Adam Silver. How about instead of trying to tweak the tactic you just come out and tell NBA players to make their damn free throws! I mean come on. They are called "free throws" for a reason. You get to stand in front of a basket with no one guarding you and shoot two shots. Michael Jordan was so good that he was able to do them with his eyes closed and you are telling me that some NBA players can't shoot over 50% at the line with 20/20 vision? 

In 2016, the top 5 worst free throw shooters in the NBA were all centers. The winner of the worst free throw percentage was Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond. He shot a whopping 35% from the free throw line last season. Are you kidding me? 35%? That is absolutely ridiculous. You are an NBA player getting paid millions of dollars and you can't even make a simple free throw? I know 5 and 6 year olds who could shoot a better percentage than that. But what amazes me is that these players aren't just missing their free throws, they are missing them badly. 

The crazy part is that teams would stop using this tactic if players were able to simply make their free throws. Trying to tweak the tactic is not going to eliminate anything. Why try to help out players who can't make their free throws? That's like a teacher letting you re-take a test that you didn't study for. You shouldn't get rewarded because you didn't put in the work.

 Teams could come and pay me to teach these players how to shoot a free throw. It's pretty simple. Remember the B.E.E.F acronym you learned in rec basketball? 

I shoot a solid 75% at the line in intramural basketball... step up your game NBA players.