POSTED: Feb 13, 2016 10:07 PM ET
TORONTO (AP) — Adam Silver said Saturday no changes are coming to Hack-a-Shaq this season, though he seems to favor some rule adjustment.
And with no consensus within the NBA about what it would entail, the NBA commissioner seems to be taking it upon himself to come up with something.
"So I think it's my job right now to at least formulate an alternative together with the competition committee to ultimately bring to our board of governors," Silver said Saturday night during his annual All-Star press conference.
Silver said the strategy of intentionally fouling poor shooters away from the ball has increased this season, which has caused him to rethink his stance.
"As I said last summer, I said I was personally on the fence as well. I'm beginning to feel that a change needs to be made. And that comes in response to conversations with our network partners. It comes in response to fan data that we look at. We're constantly surveying our fans to get their sense of what they see out on the floor. I'm talking to players and general managers, and our owners of course."
Change would be difficult, because though some coaches say they hate using the strategy, they clearly believe it can be effective. Silver said league data shows it is being used at a 5 1/2 times greater rate than last season.
Mostly used on Shaquille O'Neal when he played, coaches now find Houston's Dwight Howard, Detroit's Andre Drummond and the Clippers' DeAndre Jordan to be targets. And though it slows the game and has drawn more criticism this season as techniques such as jumping on a player's back during a free throw or fouling an inbounds passer have increased, nobody seems to have a good solution.
Silver said a rule change would require approval by 20 of the league's 30 teams.
"So we're nowhere near that point where we're even starting to count heads," Silver said. "And I think there is a reason when the constitution and bylaws were written of the NBA that those founders decided that it should take two-thirds of teams to change a rule. I think it should be a very deliberate process, you know, and nothing should be done harshly, which is why I'm not in favor of changing the rule midseason."
So he believes owners will consider it at their April meeting with the hope of having something to vote on during their July meeting.
Silver began his remarks on a somber note by sending his condolences to Oklahoma City assistant coach Monty Williams and his five children. Williams' wife, Ingrid, was killed this week after a car accident.
He praised Toronto as host of the NBA's first All-Star Game not in the U.S. despite its frigid temperatures, joking that the events are indoors. He said the league is always trying to take its game to Europe, but that it remains difficult without further changes to the schedule.
"Now, having said that, one of the things that we're continuing to talk to the Players Association about is the length of the season, the length of the preseason, when it is we should start the league, when it is that we should ultimately finish and get the draft in," Silver said.
"So having an All-Star Game internationally has to be part of those larger discussions. It's something we'd love to do one day. It's not going to happen in the next two, three, four years, but I think down the road it could be a really exciting element for the NBA."
Next year's All-Star Game is in Charlotte, North Carolina. No plans are set beyond that.
Silver added he wanted to see the draft remain in June.