Kobe gets all the stars. Last night, the NBA All-Star Game fan-voting results were revealed. Remind me what that means again? The 5 players with the most votes in each conference will be the starters in the game. Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant led the voting. This marks his 18th and final All-Star game, because he is retiring after this season. Right behind Kobe was reigning NBA MVP Steph Curry from the Golden State Warriors and LeBron James from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Who was snubbed? Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green. His mom wasn’t too happy about it. Hopefully, he will be selected by the league coaches to be a reserve player.
A sigh of relief from a relief pitcher. Yesterday, prosecutors decided not to criminally charge New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman for domestic violence allegations made against him this past fall. Chapman denied assaulting his girlfriend, but he admitted that they had an argument and he fired gunshots into a concrete wall in his garage. Chapman isn’t completely in the clear though, because MLB could still decide to discipline him. What is Chapman known for—you know, other than DV allegations? Chapman used to play for the Cincinnati Reds where he set a record for fastest pitch in MLB history at 105 mph and he had the 50 fastest recorded pitches last season.
Spotlight on the Hack-a-Shaq strategy
This week Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond missed a startling 23 free throws during a game against the Houston Rockets, breaking the previous record (22) that was set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1967. During the game, the Rockets intentionally fouled Drummond 21 times, which refueled a debate about whether the NBA should change the rules to avoid this Hack-a-Shaq strategy.
Errr… Why would you intentionally foul someone? The strategy was first developed in the late 1990s against Dennis Rodman, who was a 38% free-throw shooter. The theory was that if you fouled Rodman, he would miss 62% of his free throws, which would be better than letting his team try to make a basket for 2 or 3 points.
Then why is it called Hack-a-Shaq? This catchy phrase caught on when the strategy was used mercilessly against Shaquille O’Neal, who was a notoriously bad free-throw shooter.
So what’s the big deal? Hack-a-Shaq, or Hack-a-Drummond in this case, makes for pretty boring television. The clock stops constantly and you have to watch some guy who’s terrible at shooting free throws keep trying and trying and trying. There has been some backlash to try and change the rules, but most people will respond that Drummond could have been taken out of the game or he could always improve his free throw percentage. You know what they say… practice, practice, practice.
This weekend watch out for the AFC and NFC Conference Championship Games we’ve been telling you about this week! Have no idea what I’m talking about? Find our NFL playoff game summaries here:
- AFC: #2 New England Patriots @ the #1 Denver Broncos - Sunday at 3:05pm ET
- NFC: #2 Arizona Cardinals @ the #1 Carolina Panthers - Sunday at 6:40pm ET
PREVIEW >>>>>> NBA Western Conference Preview?
On Monday Night the Golden State Warriors will play the San Antonio Spurs. These are the top two teams in the West and they have very different styles of playing ball, so it should make for an exciting game. Look out for our preview of the game on Monday!
Keep warm this weekend! We’ll see you Monday!