Free throws are an important part of the game of basketball. Players have the opportunity to earn points while the clock is stopped. In theory, shooting a free throw seems like one of the easiest basketball plays to make. However, shooting free throws is stressful for many players, as teammates and coaches can’t help them. Free throws are also known for bringing out the individuality in players. Every single player has their own unique approach to shooting free throws, some of which have become just as well known and popular as the actual player themselves. Here is a look at the best basketball free throw routines of all time.
One of the best point guards of all time, Kidd’s free throw line routine became a signature part of his game. Before shooting, Kidd would bounce the ball a few times and then blow a kiss with his left hand. Kidd said that the kiss was a symbol that he was thinking about his ex-wife and his children.
Arenas had one of the longest free throw shooting routines in NBA history. The star guard would wrap the ball behind his back multiple times before attempting the shot.
Nick Van Exel
Van Exel had a very unorthodox routine. Van Exel would shoot his free throws 2 feet behind the free throw line. While most players wanted to shoot as close to the basket as possible. Van Exel stood further back.
An excellent free throw shooter, Hornacek had a very personal free throw routine. Before shooting, Hornacek would rub the right side of his face three times. Hornacek said that he was saying hello to his children and letting them know that he loved them.
Rick Barry has perhaps the strangest free throw routine in the history of the NBA. One of the great shooters of all time. Barry shot his free throws underhanded like he was participating in a trick shot contest. Even more strange was that Barry put his hands on top of the ball instead of underneath it like most players. Barry said that putting his hands on top of the ball helped generate backspin.
O’Neal’s free throw shooting form has been described by many as ugly. O’Neal’s form starts out normal compared to other players but then right before releasing the ball, O’Neal holds the ball for an extra couple of seconds, which creates a hitch in the motion.
Perhaps the greatest free throw shooter of all time, Nash constantly practiced his form over and over before the referee even passed him the ball to shoot. Nash also licked the tips of his fingers before shooting.
A solid free throw shooter for his career, Stackhouse was known for his extreme knee bend when attempting his free throws. In fact, Stackhouse had such a low center of gravity that he was almost sitting down before shooting the free throw.
One of the worst free throw shooters of all time, Chamberlain sometimes tried to dunk the ball from the free throw line on his attempts. Chamberlain tried everything to improve his shooting; underarm, more arc, less arc, more hook, less hook, no dribbles before shooting, and none of it worked.
As Malone stepped to the free throw line, he would mumble a few words to himself while spinning the ball. To this day, no one is sure what the Hall of Famer told himself before shooting the ball.
Making a free throw is tougher than it looks and so is picking winners. You can find winning NBA picks every single night at BetQL. The term Hack-a-Shaq comes from a defensive strategy designed to prevent Shaquille O’Neal from scoring. He was horrible at free throws so the defense would purposely foul him to force a free throw, knowing he would miss. This strategy show how important basketball free throw routines are and how they can impact the winner of the game.
About The Author: Scott Marchand: Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of MODRN MAN, a men’s skin care company with products engineered for men and the way they live. Continuous improvement is his passion.