Hall of Fame forward Rick Barry was one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, being the only player ever to lead the NCAA, NBA, and ABA in scoring. When he left the game, Barry was sixth on the NBA-ABA all-time scoring list with 25,279 points, and his .900 career free-throw percentage was the best in NBA history.
That’s right – he made 90% of his free throws. And how did he do it?
He shot underhand – granny style!…
In the Discover article, author Curtis Rist describes the optimal angle of arc for a free throw, and why some NBA players such as Chris Dudley and future Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal are horrendous at the foul line.
But here’s the really interesting part. Why, if it’s so clear that shooting underhand can increase your point total, does no one use the granny shot technique?
Well, it’s because, in the high profile, marketing driven NBA, it’s not only important to be good, but’s it’s also important to look good. Players value looking good to actually being better on the floor. As Tom Steiger, an assistant professor at the University of Washington in Seattle who teaches basketball physics in a sports science class, puts it, “As good as it is, it does look kind of stupid.”
You can read the article here…