N.B.A. Rules To Protect Backboards (Published 1979) (2023)

N.B.A. Rules To Protect Backboards



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By Carrie Seidman

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N.B.A. Rules To Protect Backboards (Published 1979) (1)

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December 8, 1979


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This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them.

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Darryl Dawkins, the Philadelphia 76ers’ 6‐foot‐11‐inch, 252pound center, who has shattered two backboards with violent slam dunks in less than a month, learned today that similar incidents in the future may cost him more than just his safety.


After a 90‐minute meeting with Dawkins, Billy Cunningham, the 76ers’ coach, and Pat Williams, the general manager, Commissioner Larry O'Brien of the National Basketball Association announced that in the future any player who caused the shattering of a backboard would be subject to a fine and a suspension.

No punitive action was retroactively taken for Dawkins's efforts In Kansas City on Nov. 13 and in Philadelphia last Wednesday, each of which held up play for more than an hour.

“Dawkins's position is that both incidents were unintentional,” said O'Brien, who called the episodes “mom than coincidence.”

“So be it,” O'Brien went on. “But I was deeply concerned about taking a responsible action to bring about a close to these incidents before someone gets hurt.”

In a memo to N.B.A. owners and general managers, O'Brien outlined the punishments for future incidents:

“The rule against hanging on the rim calling for a technical foul and a $100 fine will be applied to any player whose contact with the rim and/or backboard causes the backboard to shatter. Any player who does cause a backboard to shatter in the manner described above will be immediately ejected from the game and, absent the most extenuating circumstances, be suspended without pay for at least the club's next regularly scheduled game.”

Dawkins, continuing to deny complicity in either incident, appeared to accept the dictum.

“The commissioner is the police,” Dawkins said. “He makes the rules; I've got to abide by them. It could be I just don't know my own strength. But seeing the scratches that the glass made in the floor, I think I'll cool it for a while.”

But not completely, he added, maintaining that he would continue to dunk the ball. “It's still with us,” said Dawldns. “The dunk lives on.”


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What rules were made because of Shaq? ›

Shaq dreaded making free throws and only made 52.7% at the stripe. As a result, opposing teams developed the Hack-a-Shaq tactic to offset his dominance. In response to this, the league made a rule change that will reward the fouled team a free throw and possession of the ball.

What is the old NBA out of bounds rule? ›

The original rule regarding out of bounds situations turned out to be disastrous. Ball possession was awarded to the first player to touch the ball after it went out of bounds.

Who was the first NBA player to shatter a backboard? ›

However, the first NBA player to shatter a backboard, Chuck Connors (who would become far more famous as an actor), did not do so with a dunk. When playing for the Boston Celtics in 1946, Connors took a set shot during pregame warmups, hitting the front of the rim.

What is the 3-second rule Shaq? ›

Shaq was the major component that allowed defenses to change. You can play a zone now; basically, they just have a three-second lane violation, and you can play any defense you want. Before that Shaq, it was difficult to defend against Shaq because you had to do it individually.

What is the Reggie Miller rule? ›

The "Reggie Miller Rule" assesses offensive fouls on shooters who kick their legs out during a jump shot.

What NBA rule changed in 1979? ›

In 1979 the NBA introduces the three point shot. The same idea was accepted by FIBA in 1984, but the distance of the line from the basket was 6.25 m comparing with 7.24 m of the NBA. This rule opens a new era in basketball. The smaller players had a better chance to score.

What was the 1979 hand check rule? ›

1979: Clarification added to prohibit hand-checking through “rigid enforcement” of rule allowing a defensive player to retain contact with his opponent so long as he does not impede his opponent's progress. 1979 was the beginning of the end for handchecking, and teams jumped 3 PPP with the decrease in physical play.

When did out of bounds rule change? ›

Out of bounds or lost ball

This rule has been amended. A new lost ball golf rule 2022 states that if a golfer's ball is lost or went out of bounds, they can hit their shot from their relief zone. Which will result in a stroke penalty or 2 stroke penalty if they want to hit it from the fairway.

Why don't backboards shatter anymore? ›

It wasn't always this way. Backboards used to shatter much more frequently than they do today. The downward trend in dangerous backboard shattering is all thanks to advanced shatter-resistant glass and basketball rim technology.

Did Michael Jordan ever shatter a backboard? ›

Playing against Juve Caserta, Jordan scored 30 points for his one-night club. And he left the gym a bit of a mess: Late in the game, driving to the basket, Jordan broke the backboard with an impressive one-handed dunk. The glass shattered, showering players with glass.

Has Lebron James ever broken a backboard? ›

The last time we actually played I shattered the backboard on a dunk so we couldn't finish the game,” James said in a tweet.

When did NBA change defense rules? ›

In 2001, the league got rid of illegal defense, but introduced defensive three seconds to keep people from camping out in the paint and discouraging drives.

What is the biggest rule change in NBA history? ›

The introduction of the shot clock is unquestionably the most significant rule change in the sport's history. It was implemented in the NBA beginning with the 1954-55 season. The man behind the idea was Danny Biasone, the owner of the Syracuse Nationals.

When did NBA zone defense become legal? ›

Zone defenses are common in international, college, and youth competition. In the National Basketball Association, zone defenses were prohibited until the 2001–2002 season, and most teams do not use them as a primary defensive strategy.

How many 3's did Shaq shoot? ›

One of the most dominant NBA centers of all time -- Shaquille O'Neal -- attempted just 22 three-pointers in his 19-season career and made just one of them.

Did Shaq ever make a 3 pointer in a game? ›

On this day 25 years ago however, O'Neal did something he accomplished just once in his NBA career. He hit a three-point shot. The Orlando Magic were 35-14 as they arrived at Orlando Arena on Feb. 16, 1996 to take on the Milwaukee Bucks.

Is there a rule against Hack-a-Shaq? ›

The NBA discussed expanding the off-the-ball foul rule to cover more than just the final two minutes of the game, or another rule change that would discourage the use of Hack-a-Shaq. Ultimately, though, the NBA did not change any rules to discourage the Hack-a-Shaq strategy.

What is the Charles Barkley rule? ›

A player positioned under the extended free throw line cannot dribble the ball with their side or back to the basket for more than five seconds. Curiously, that rule is sometimes called the Charles Barkley rule. The rule was instituted in 1999 by the NBA because of Hall-of-Fame forward, Charles Barkley.

What is the NBA rose Rule? ›

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports. That is the 5th year, 30 percent max criteria, better known as the Derrick Rose rule. This provision is often negotiated into designated rookie extensions, allowing players to earn a starting salary of up to the 30 percent maximum reserved for players with 7-9 years of service.

What is the rule of 71 in basketball? ›

If you have been a fan of the radio show or the site for awhile, you have heard of the “Rule of 71.” The rule says that the first team to score 71 points in a game will win.

What was added to basketball in 1979? ›

The NBA introduced the 3-point line in 1979, and not much changed right away. Players weren't used to shooting from far out, so for the first few years, they mostly didn't.

What rule did the NBA change because of Michael Jordan? ›

Illegal defense guidelines will be eliminated in their entirety. A new defensive three-second rule will prohibit a defensive player from remaining in the lane for more than three consecutive seconds without closely guarding an offensive player.

When did the NBA adopt the 3 second rule? ›

The three-second rule was introduced in 1990 and was expressed as such: no offensive player, with or without the ball, could remain in the key, for three seconds or more.

What year did hand checking become illegal? ›

In the 2004-05 season the NBA changed the rules and enforcement in regards to hand checks and the impact of that is clearly seen by viewing it in the context of what has occurred in the NBA since then.

When did no hand checking become illegal? ›

Less contact. There are several key reasons why the NBA is viewed as "softer" today — one of which is because of the hand check rule, which the league abolished for good in 2004.

Why did the NBA remove hand checking? ›

The NBA Commissioner wanted to increase scoring and pace of the product. To do that, the elimination of hand checking was brought up. It has been a success and changed the game allowing for just the expected changes. The ratings went up and the Warriors were born.

What is the new OB rule 2023? ›

Taking back-on-the-line relief is now simpler

The procedure has been made a little easier in the 2023 Rule Book. Now, when you drop your ball on the line, the ball must come to rest within a club-length of where it is dropped.

Is a lost ball a 2 stroke penalty? ›

If a ball is lost or out of bounds, the player must take stroke-and-distance relief by adding one penalty stroke and playing the original ball or another ball from where the previous stroke was made (see Rule 14.6).

When was the touchback rule made? ›

American football

The spot is the 25-yard line in both college and professional football on kickoffs and free kicks after a safety, with the NCAA having changed from the 20 in 2012 and the NFL making the same change in 2018.

Do NBA players get fined for breaking backboards? ›

In a memo to N.B.A. owners and general managers, O'Brien outlined the punishments for future incidents: “The rule against hanging on the rim calling for a technical foul and a $100 fine will be applied to any player whose contact with the rim and/or backboard causes the backboard to shatter.

How much did Shaq get fined for breaking backboards? ›

The response by the NBA was, of course, a fine. Shaq was fined $35,000 for his comments.

When did the NBA switch to glass backboards? ›

Glass backboards were legalized by the professionals in 1908–09 and by colleges in 1909–10. In 1920–21 the backboards were moved 2 feet (0.6 metre), and in 1939–40 4 feet, in from the end lines to reduce frequent stepping out-of-bounds.

What is the most unbreakable record in basketball? ›

The ultimate feat in basketball history might just be Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game. Chamberlain scored 100 of the Philadelphia Warriors' 162 points on March 2, 1962, finishing the fourth quarter with 31 to reach the century mark.

Did Shaq break a backboard? ›

How many backboards did Shaq break in NBA? Overall, Shaq damaged 12.5 rims unofficially in his career while two of them were destroyed during his time with NBA franchise Orlando Magic. In 1993, Shaq damaged the entire backboard structure with his heavy-duty dunk during his rookie year with the Magic.

Did Wilt ever break a backboard? ›

“Don't be silly,” came the reply, “even Wilt [Chamberlain] couldn't do it.” Yet sure enough, the next game his Philadelphia 76ers played ended with a dramatic, backboard-shattering dunk, sending teammates and opposition running alike. Three weeks later he did it again.

Who has shattered the most backboards? ›

Darryl Dawkins Shattered Backboards So Much He Changed the NBA Forever. If you're a backboard, there are three guys you should avoid at all costs: Jerome Lane, Shaquille O'Neal and Darryl Dawkins. Lane destroyed one at Pittsburgh. Shaq brought the house down multiple instances in his time on the Orlando Magic.

When was the last NBA backboard shattered? ›

On April 23, 1993, Shaquille O'Neal broke a backboard in a game between the Orlando Magic and the New Jersey Nets. After this particular occasion, the NBA tested and strengthened every backboard in the arenas before the start of the following season.

Why did Shaq break so many backboards? ›

Shaq loved to throw it down with two hands and hang on the rim, making the whole basket shake for its life and the crowd going wild. That is precisely why he managed to break it so many times.

Does the NBA still have illegal defense? ›

It was right before the NBA's latest revolution when the league decided to eliminate illegal-defense guidelines, allowing teams to play any defense, including a zone. They also implemented a defensive three-second rule to prevent teams from anchoring a big guy down low for an entire possession.

What rules did the NBA change because of Wilt Chamberlain? ›

These rules changed included widening the lane, instituting offensive goaltending and revising rules governing inbounding the ball and shooting free throws (Chamberlain would leap with the ball from behind the foul line to deposit the ball in the basket).

When was the three-second rule invented? ›

The NBA introduced the defensive three seconds rule during the 2001-02 season. The rule was implemented to improve the watchability of the game by unclogging the paint and giving offensive players a better chance to make explosive plays at the rim.

What rule was made to stop Shaq? ›

Shaq dreaded making free throws and only made 52.7% at the stripe. As a result, opposing teams developed the Hack-a-Shaq tactic to offset his dominance. In response to this, the league made a rule change that will reward the fouled team a free throw and possession of the ball.

What is the old rule in basketball? ›

No shouldering, holding, pushing, tripping, or striking in any way the person of an opponent shall be allowed; the first infringement of this rule by any player shall count as a foul, the second shall disqualify him until the next goal is made, or, if there was evident intent to injure the person, for the whole of the ...

Why is 9 not allowed in basketball? ›

No jersey number can end in 6, 7, 8, or 9.

Those digits require two hands to sign, which complicates things for referees.

Why did the NBA get rid of zone defense? ›

The NBA banned the zone defense in the 1940s because they feared that it would change the game's dynamics. The man-to-man coverage significantly depicted the essence of basketball back in the day, so the league didn't want to mess with that.

How have NBA rules changed over the years? ›

Although the original 13 rules have been expanded to over 100, the spirit and principles of the original rules are still in effect in today. Major rule changes over the years addressed the number of players, the court boundaries, dribbling, and the elimination of the center jump after made baskets.

Who created the 3 2 zone defense? ›

Coach Cam Henderson

Why was the 3 second rule created? ›

The goal of the 3-second rule pertaining to the offense is to keep offensive players from spending too much time standing under the basket. If they were allowed to stay below the basket for the entire offensive possession, it would be way easier to get rebounds, block out defenders, and score near the basket.

What NBA rules were changed for Jordan? ›

How did Jordan change NBA rules? Illegal defense guidelines will be eliminated in their entirety. A new defensive three-second rule will prohibit a defensive player from remaining in the lane for more than three consecutive seconds without closely guarding an offensive player.

When was the Hack-a-Shaq rule made? ›

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.

What did Shaq get fined for? ›

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shaquille O'Neal has been fined $35,000 by the NBA for his public comments about the officiating. O'Neal criticized the referees following the Boston Celtics' 86-78 loss at Orlando on Christmas.

Who changed the 3-second rule? ›

Who changed the 3-second rule? History recognizes Leroy Edwards as the man that caused the rule change back in 1936. He was a 6-5 center in the early days of professional basketball and a physical one at that.

What is the two three and four second rule? ›

If you are driving above 30 mph, you should extend your following distance by one second for every additional 10 mph of speed. Three seconds should allow for enough space when traffic is moving around 30 mph, but you may want to bump this to four seconds at 40 mph, five seconds at 50 mph, and so on.

When did the NBA adopt the 3-second rule? ›

The three-second rule was introduced in 1990 and was expressed as such: no offensive player, with or without the ball, could remain in the key, for three seconds or more.

What is the 5 second closely guarded rule in the NBA? ›

A five-second closely guarded violation may be called against an offensive player with the ball when that player is guarded closely for five seconds or more, and does not pass, shoot, or dribble within that time.

What was the rule change for Hack-a-Shaq? ›

The rule changes meant that off-ball fouling would be less of an advantage for the opposing teams. The new rules said that an off-ball foul in the last two minutes of a game meant that the player would get one free throw and the offensive team would remain possession of the ball.

What is the longest shot ever made in the NBA? ›

Here's how Wikipedia lists the longest NBA shots ever:
  • Baron Davis, 89-feet, 2001.
  • Norm Van Lier, 84-feet, 1977.
  • Magic Johnson, 84-feet, 1987.
  • LeBron James, 83-feet, 2007.
  • Herb Williams, 81-feet, 1986.
  • Ziaire Williams, 79-feet, 2023.
Jan 23, 2023

Was Hack-a-Shaq effective? ›

Teams went out looking for really big men – stocking up, so to speak – to have guys they could burn fouls on … all for the purpose of fouling Shaq and getting him to the line. So in the end, Hack-a-Shaq did (kinda) work… but only in a very limited way.

Why did Shaq get fined $35,000 dollars? ›

INDIANAPOLIS — The NBA has fined Shaquille O'Neal $35,000 for his critical comments regarding the officiating in the Celtics' Christmas Day loss in Orlando. O'Neal fouled out in 12 and a half minutes, and afterward he said it's “what happens when you have control freaks out there.”

How much did Shaq tip the waiter? ›

Shaq was reportedly on a date at Jue Lan Club in New York City, when he decided to not only tip his waiters generously, but to also cover the tab for the entire restaurant. A source who was at the restaurant told Page Six that the bill came out to well over $25,000 for all 40 tables that were filled that night.

What did Shaq buy from Walmart? ›

Some of the stories of the former Lakers man are so crazy that are very hard to believe and are hilarious. Shaq continues to add to his insane stories by buying cheap wine from Walmart due to a bizarre reason.


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