Free throws—the bane of big men everywhere.
Don Nelson—then coach of the Dallas Mavericks—created the Hack-A-Shaq defensive strategy in the late 90's. Initially created with Dennis Rodman in mind, it eventually became synonymous with Shaquille O'Neal.
Don Nelson saw the potential in exploiting the off ball foul rule while game planning against the Chicago Bulls. Its aim was to limit a team's points per possession by forcing the team's worst free throw shooter—Dennis Rodman—to go to the line. Thus, the Hack-A-Rodman came to fruition.
After failing to have any effect on Rodman during a 1997 bout between the Bulls and Mavericks, the strategy was shelved off. It wasn't until two years later that Nelson would once again use the tactic—but with Shaq as the mark.
This would berth a new era in defensive ploys used against big men. It has since become a popular option for coaches to turn to when facing a team with a poor free throw shooter.
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Article written by Allen Kim
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