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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Weighs in on The Hack a Jordan Rule – 6/3/15

TRANSCRIPT

WHAT IS THE TEMPERATURE,
COMMISSIONER, ABOUT CHANGING THE
RULES AND HACKING A PLAYER
BECAUSE HE'S A POOR FREE THROW
SHOOTER AND JUST GRABBING HIM
AROUND THE WAIST WHEN HE IS JUST
MERE STEPS DOWN THE FLOOR?
IT'S UNWATCHABLE, I'VE GOT TO
SAY, AS A FAN OF THE SPORT THAT
YOU KNOW THAT I AM, IT'S VERY
DIFFICULT TO SEE NOT ONLY THE
GAME STOPPED BUT THEN TO HAVE
SOMEBODY STRUGGLE AT THE
FREE-THROW LINE.
IS THERE ANY TEMPERATURE TO
CHANGE THIS RULE IN THE
OFF-SEASON?
>> YOU KNOW, I WOULD SAY THAT
THE TEMPERATURE IS NOT AS HIGH
AS I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE GOING
INTO A MEETING WITH GMs, WHICH
WE HAD TWO WEEKS AGO IN CHICAGO.
FROM A FAN STANDPOINT, I'M WITH
YOU.
IT CAN BE LIKE WATCHING PAINT
DRY.
IT CAN BE TOUGH.
ALTHOUGH I WILL SAY, AND I'VE
SAID THIS BEFORE, THAT OFTEN THE
DATA CAN PROVE OUR GUT REACTIONS
WRONG AND IN THIS CASE, AT LEAST
SO FAR, AS YOU KNOW WITH NIELSEN
RATINGS, YOU CAN LOOK AT
MINUTE-BY-MINUTE RATINGS OF
TELECASTS.
PEOPLE ARE NOT TUNING OUT WHEN
HACK-A-SHAQ HAPPENS.
HAVING SAID THAT, IT'S AN ISSUE
FROM THE LEAGUE OFFICE.
ONE, IT LARGELY INVOLVES TWO
TEAMS, HOUSTON†-- THE ROCKETS
AND THE CLIPPERS.
AND ON THOSE TWO TEAMS, IT'S
LARGELY ABOUT TWO PLAYERS,
DWIGHT HOWARD AND DEANDRE
JORDAN.
I ALSO HAVE A LARGER OBLIGATION
TO THE GAME IN MY ROLE HERE AS
COMMISSIONER.
AGAIN, AS I SAID BEFORE, I SAID
HUNDREDS OF E-MAILS FROM HIGH
SCHOOL COACHES, AAU COACHES,
SAYING YOU CAN'T POSSIBLY CHANGE
THE RULE TO BENEFIT PEOPLE
WHO†-- PLAYERS AND ESPECIALLY
JUST A FEW PLAYERS, HIGH PROFILE
PLAYERS WHO CAN'T SHOOT FREE
THROWS.
SO I'M A BIT TORN.
I'VE HEARD JEFF VAN GUNDY ON AIR
SAY THE LEAGUE IS COMPLETELY
INCONSISTENT BECAUSE ON ONE HAND
THEY'RE SAYING GUYS SHOULD MAKE
THEIR FREE THROWS.
ON THE OTHER HAND WE DID CHANGE
THE RULE FOR THE LAST TWO
MINUTES OF THE GAME.
ONCE AGAIN, I ACKNOWLEDGE
THERE'S AN INCONSISTENCY THERE
AND WE WERE TRYING TO
COMPROMISE.
WE WERE TRYING TO SAY IT'S NOT
GREAT FROM A VIEWER STANDPOINT
SO FOR THE LAST TWO MINUTES OF
THE GAME WHEN IT WAS BEING USED
MORE PREVALENTLY IN THE PAST WE
CHANGED THE RULE SO YOU COULD
NOT PUT THOSE GUYS ON THE LINE
IF IT WAS A FOUL AWAY FROM THE
BALL.
I ACTUALLY THINK GIVEN THAT I'M
TORN ON IT, I THINK WHERE I COME
OUT IS LET'S LOOK AT ONE MORE
SEASON OF DATA.
THE OTHER ISSUE IN A LOT OF
THOSE HIGH-PROFILE GAMES WHERE
IT WAS USED THIS YEAR,
ESPECIALLY IN THE PLAYOFFS, THE
TEAM THAT USED IT DIDN'T WIN THE
GAME.
IT ULTIMATELY WASN'T EFFECTIVE.
REMEMBER, ULTIMATELY FOR IT TO
BE EFFECTIVE, THE GUY YOU'RE
PUTTING ON THE LINE, ANALYTICS
SHOW, HAS TO BE ROUGHLY LESS
THAN A 50% FREE THROW SHOOTER.
SO REALLY FOR THOSE HIGH-PROFILE
PLAYERS WHO PLAY A LOT OF
MINUTES TO GET THEIR FREE THROW
PERCENTAGE UP TO 50%, IT'S NO
LONGER AN EFFECTIVE STRATEGY.
SO I'M NOT AGAINST†-- I'M NOT
MORALLY AGAINST CHANGING IT.
YOU KNOW, I'M COGNIZANT THAT
ULTIMATELY WE'RE AN
ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCT AND WE'VE
GOT TO KEEP FANS ENGAGED AND
INTERESTED IN THE GAME, BUT I'D
LIKE TO LOOK AT A LITTLE BIT
MORE DATA BEFORE I PUSH TO
CHANGE THE RULE IN THE LEAGUE.