Remember when the NBA’s slogan was “I Love this Game”? It was used in the 1990s and then later in the mid-2000s.

It was a big thing. The slogan was featured in commercials, on hats, billboards, T-shirts and anywhere else the NBA was marketing itself.

I still love the NBA and try and watch as many NBA playoff games as possible.

But there is an aspect of the game that has led me to turn off a number of playoff games recently — the use of intentional fouls on poor free-throw shooters as a tactic by some teams to gain an advantage through stealing possessions and “muddying” up the game.

It’s commonly known as “hack-a-player.” The practice was used on Shaquille O’Neal at times in his NBA career because he was a poor free-throw shooter and dominating post player, but it is back in full force in 2015, especially in the Clippers-Rockets Western Conference semifinals series.

You are seeing it used in that series because those teams feature two of the top big-men in the league in Houston’s Dwight Howard and Los Angeles’ DeAndre Jordan. They also happen to be two of the worst free-throw shooters in the league. Howard shot 52.8 percent from the free-throw line during the regular season and Jordan shot 39.7 percent.

So at certain times in the series, the teams, under instruction from its coaches, intentionally foul the two by just running up to them and grabbing them when neither is anywhere close to the play or the ball.

In a 129-95 win by the Clippers in Game 4 on Sunday, the Rockets forced Jordan into taking 39 free throws. He made 14 of them. I, just like every other sports fan out there, would much rather see Howard or Jordan catching alley-oop dunks, snagging rebounds and throwing down vicious dunks instead of watching them shoot (and mostly miss) free throws. It is making the game boring.

If this was the NFL, a rule would have been put in place a long time ago to avoid this from happening. I understand that some people will point to it being a good strategy and that bad free-throw shooters should work to get better, but when strategy starts to push fans away from watching a sport they pay good money to be entertained by, something must change.

It really makes the games painful to watch and also adds to the length of them.

For instance, some of the playoff games this season have been pushing three hours.

That means if a person on the East Coast wants to watch a Western Conference playoff game at night they would have to stay up to after 1 a.m. to see how it finishes. We don’t need guys fouling other guys away from the play to make the games drag on any longer than they have to.

I still love the NBA and the playoffs. But when it comes to the strategy of intentionally fouling poor free-throw shooters away from the ball, I am quickly starting to hate that game.

Kelly McElroy writes about sports for The Thibodaux (La.) Daily Comet and The Houma (La.) Courier.