NEW YORK -- NBA teams need to keep Hack-a-Shaq on the court, not the sideline.
The league sent a memo to teams and referees Tuesday clarifying that intentionally fouling a player inbounding the ball will be a delay of game violation -- and possibly a technical foul.
The memo, sent from league executives Kiki Vandeweghe and Mike Bantom and obtained by The Associated Press, comes in response to questions after San Antonio's Danny Green fouled Houston's Clint Capela as Capela was attempting to inbound the ball in a Jan. 28 game.
Citing a specific rule in the rulebook, the memo says that if a defender crosses the sideline before the ball has been thrown, a delay of game will be assessed. If it comes in the last 2 minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime, a technical foul will be called.
A technical will also be called if referees determine there was "unsportsmanlike contact" on the inbounder, and officials could also rule it a flagrant foul.