What is your theory on why so many players struggle with this - good players, too. Wilt, Shaq, Howard and younger guys like Drummond are pitiful from the lne. Shaq reportedly really worked at it. Given that you can teach a grade school girl to make 8 of 10, why can't skilled athletes like these make a gimme?
First off, id like to see a grade school girl make 8/10 in a packed out arena with thousands of fans yelling, second, those guys are huge. Free Throw shooting and touch doesn't come naturally, no matter how many times they work on it, they just don't have touch or a clean shooting stroke. They are horses...
To be honest, size is hardly the problem. Yao was 7'6 but he shot 83% career. Hell, towards the end of his career, he was shooting 86% as well as our technical free throws.
I think it goes back to the "touch or clean shooting stroke". Most of these guys don't practice jumpers their entire careers because they don't have to. Thus, leaving them with a broken shot that they don't bother fixing.
So it's not their size that prohibits them from shooting solid free throw numbers. It's the fact that they made a living off of playing inside the paint and not practicing a jump shot.
i think your absolutely right in the fact that yao was just plain out a better shooter, but say yao vs shaq, you cant say that size doesnt affect free throw shooting, whether its height or hand size.
theres actually some interesting stats here. also, shooting from a much higher starting point compared to shorter people, your shot is way different, especially when considering hand size.
height absolutely has a big impact. They are shooting at a lower trajectory which automatically kinda makes the shot flatter. However, I don't see any reason with practice that you cant make 70%. Yao was mentioned. Rik smits was 7-3 and a knockdown ft shooter. The problem is I think guys abandon the correct techniques and resort to what they are comfortable with in live games. Not to brag, but I do consider myself a very good shooter. From college distance, im gonna knock down about 70% of threes when shooting around by myself and about 50% in live game situations playing pickup ball. The biggest thing is actually believing in your technique and repeating every little detail every time. People cheat and get comfortable with a flawed stroke because it feels natural for them rather then train themselves to not skip steps.
I'm surprised that none of these big men (Dwight, Drummond etc) have decided to swallow their pride and learn to shoot free throws underhanded. It's a technique that produces pretty good results and if it can make their teams win more games and raise their stock as millionaire athletes then who cares how it looks. Rick Barry is an all-time great and he shot free throws that way...
You answered your own question. It's ego. Most players like Dwight won't swallow their pride.
Wilt did this for a little bit, with decent results. Barry was interesting, as he was a great shkoter and still chose to go with the granny shot at the line.
Arc on your shot is the most important thing IMO, therefore when you're taller I imagine it messes with your brain because you'd still need the same arc as a shorter person yet you're closer so I just imagine it'd make them harder. I've been under the assumption that shooting underhand from the line would be more efficient for the bad free throw shooters.
But don't forget about Rondo's inability to hit any jumpshot and he's only 6'1 (maybe something to do with his 6'9 wingspan?)
Also here's a somewhat interesting sport science on free throws with Sasha Vujacic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFhS5F7ubJs
hahahahha 'NBA Star' Sasha Vujacic.. hahahahaha
2 major factors
1) Big men are rare. The most important skills for a big man are rebounding and defense. Maybe footwork and inside shooting.
Because big men are so rare, it's MUCH easier to make it into the NBA if you're 6'10 or above. i.e. a higher percentage of men with a height of 6'10 make it to the NBA compared to the population of men that height.
As such, the offensive skill level is lower. (that's also why there are so many stiffs)
2) Big men focus on training skills around the basket. Whereas guards practice outside shooting, because they simply have to do so or they're not going to be very effective players.
I think in some cases, like Shaq, his mechanics at the line were poor because of the way his body is built. I think he would have been better off taking them underhanded or shooting a jump hook.
they are really stupid IMO, they can use the backboard, thats it..
The two main reasons are; 1. They've grown up their whole lives never having to shoot since they always played down low, and they probably rarely worked on shooting them in practice. 2. Their hands are too big to get a proper release and rotation.
cause for some players its not a strong suit, you wouldnt put scalabrine in the dunk contest would you? some players are just simply better at things than others
That's a lame comparison. You can't teach athleticism. But everyone in America can learn to shoot a ft. People who make millions to play and can't hit 65% minimum upset me.
I seriously think these guys would be best off trying their free throws one handed and gain proper form on their shot. I mean particularly for Drummond because obviously at sub 40% you really can't stand to do much worse