Passing of the Torch


Ian Taylor

Out with the old sports editor and in with the new

Todays debate centers around centers: Hack-a-Shaq. Is it ruining the game?

Trash Talk

What is basketball? Is it a sport? Is it simply strategy?

Well throughout the years of Laker dominance years ago it could be said it was a boring mixture of both.

Sadly, the spice of intensity is lost when the final minutes of a game boil down to a seven-foot-tall man hammering balls off the backboard from the charity stripe, and in the golden age of Hack-a-Shaq, that was the modus operandi of the NBA.

One part of me understands the reasoning behind the cowardly attempt at a diminished level of victory; well, not really. For me, winning is about taking on the opponent at their best and beating them as such, and to force a redwood with hands to live at the line down the stretch of a game is not that.

Now, the people who love this game are forced to watch this garbage yet again. And this time it is not centered around one man or one team. Instead it has spread throughout the NBA like a wildfire in the California hills.

Greg Popavich, who for all intents and purposes is a Hall of Fame coach, continues to use his knowgen in the ways he sees best, but this instance is making every fan in America hate the Spurs more than they already did.

I get it, DeAndre Jordan can’t shoot the ball, cool Pop. But your team has won 413 titles and may be the best group since the Chicago Bulls dynasty teams to experience such successful longevity. How about we just let em play?

Instead of letting the talent write the storybook ending, we get to see the other end of the spectrum, now bored to death while watching the ineptitude play out live on national television, you know, the thing we pay for to be entertained.

You Heard

Unlike my counterpart, I find the seemingly cheap tactic “Hack-a-Shaq” completely fine.

The basic premise of the Hack-a-Shaq is simple. Intentionally foul a poor free-throw shooter and send his poor free-throw shooting ass to the foul line.

You’re counting on the likelihood that he misses guaranteed one, maybe both free throws.

The positive in that is you can make up the point differential in a much quicker manner while the opposing teams loses a possession.

I think it makes perfect sense! Even though the hall of fame Shaquille O’Neal is retired, stars in this league like DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers and Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets have picked up right where he left off.

So what if it disrupts the flow of a game or if the fans think it’s unbearable to watch? The objective is to win, and it’s on this “professional basketball player” to stand at the line and hit some damn free throws. Since when is taking advantage of the system not a good thing? I’m of the mindset that it’s the easiest bucket in all of basketball. You’re unguarded! You have time to catch your breath and settle down. Hell, it’s free! Hit the damn “free” throws! If anything, the losing team is giving you the opportunity to increase the lead.

Another positive is that, if that player is costing you points, eventually you have to sit him down. If he’s on the bench, that’s one less problem the opposing team has to deal with.

Look Commissioner Adam Silver, leave it how it is. If winning means that much to these athletes, they’ll hit some damn free throws.