Indeed part of league rules
Vogel explained to Hibbert the NBA's principle of verticality, which allows a defender to jump straight up and absorb contact from a ballhandler, as long as he establishes a legal defensive position before leaving the ground and remains vertical in the air. The principle defies conventional wisdom -- drivers are taught in YMCAs everywhere that they can draw fouls by creating contact with moving defenders -- but it is indeed part of league rules. Vogel designed a drill with Hibbert stationed in the paint, forward Jeff Foster at the top of the key, and swingman Brandon Rush in the left corner. It ended with Rush driving to the hoop in a two-on-one with Foster. "They weren't allowed to shoot any jumpers or floaters," Hibbert says. "They had to attack the rim and I had to get three stops in a row without fouling. It was the most frustrating thing. I'd throw up the ball. I'd tell them I couldn't do it. But that's how I learned the straight-up."
How Pacers' Roy Hibbert emerged to anchor NBA's best defense - NBA - Lee Jenkins - SI.com
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