NBA teams have taken advantage of Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard’s inability to knock down a free throw and it has cost the Lakers some tallies in the win column. NBA commissioner David Stern is not a fan of the strategy and has considered eliminating teams ability to do so by altering the NBA’s intentional foul rules.
Fouling a player and forcing him to the free throw line is hard to watch and can drag games out, but you can’t fault a team for the strategy that maximizes their chances at winning the game.
While Stern and some NBA owners may be against the hack-a-player strategy, there is one outspoken owner that wants the rule to stay just as it is.
Cuban favors the rule because it puts an emphasis on the fundamentals of basketball. Here is what Cuban had to say, per Art Garcia of FoxSportsSouthwest.com:
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban isn’t for the rule change for basketball reasons from the professional level on down to little leagues.
“It sends the wrong message to kids every where that it’s OK to not pay attention to basketball fundamentals,” Cuban told FoxSportsSouthwest.com.
“In addition, intentional fouls humanize the game. There are 10 year olds who are watching these amazing athletes who have problems with free throws thinking that they can do something an NBA superstar can’t.”
“You can’t give a player an advantage or reward them for failing to do something that is a basic fundamental basketball skill,” Cuban added. “When a guy can’t shoot a jump shot, whether you are in a church league or the NBA, you do what you can to make them shoot jump shots.
“If a guy can’t shoot free throws, you should do the same thing. Do what you can to send them to the line.”
I have to side with Cuban. A player can work on his free throw shooting and improve and if he decides to ignore the weakness in his game, he should be exposed.