NBA amends 'Hack-a-Shaq' rules

Somewhere, Shaquille O’Neal is smiling.

The NBA on Tuesday amended its rule for intentional fouls away from the ball, a move meant mainly to improve quality of play in certain situations.

The league currently penalizes teams that intentionally foul away from the ball only in the final two minutes of a game. The new rule calls for additional penalties in the final two minutes of each quarter. The penalty remains the same — a free throw and possession of the ball are awarded the team that was intentionally fouled.

“In looking at the data and numerous potential solutions to combat the large increase in deliberate away-from-the-play foul situations, we believe these steps offer the most measured approach,” NBA disciplinarian Kiki VanDeWeghe said in a statement. “The introduction of these new rules is designed to curb the increase in such fouls without eliminating the strategy entirely.”

O’Neal was the subject of countless intentional fouls away from the ball when he played for the Lakers.

Numerous players have been fouled on purpose in similar situations in recent seasons, including DeAndre Jordan, Dwight Howard and Andre Drummond.

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

@Mike_Bresnahan

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