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Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Shaq tells radio station he will make Spurs pay for 'Hack-a-Shaq'

ESPN.com news services

Shaquille O'Neal says he'll get back at the San Antonio Spurs for using the "Hack-a-Shaq" strategy in games where they led handily in last season's playoffs.

"The only thing I call cowardly is when you're up by 10 and do it," O'Neal told Phoenix radio station KTAR. "That's a coward move and [Spurs coach Gregg Popovich] knows that and I'll make them pay for it."

O'Neal said he thinks the "Hack-a-Shaq," where teams foul O'Neal, a notoriously poor free-throw shooter, whenever possible late in games, makes the game less appealing to fans. He said he didn't have a problem with the ploy, only the timing.

O'Neal shot 59 percent from the field last season, but only 50 percent from the free-throw line.

The only thing I call cowardly is when you're up by 10 and do it. That's a coward move and he knows that and I'll make them pay for it.

--Shaquille O'Neal, on KTAR

There was talk that the NBA might change the rules on the "Hack-a-Shaq" during the offseason, but that didn't happen. O'Neal was asked if he was disappointed the rules weren't changed. "[The strategy] doesn't work," O'Neal said on KTAR. "You know San Antonio tried it but they went home a couple weeks after we went home.

"I just have to go to the line and hit them and make them pay, and I will, I'm not worried."