Every one who has played basketball has developed a free throw ritual. It’s just something you do because when you want to get good at free throws, you develop your own thing.
It’s just natural when you do something repetitively thousands upon thousands of times.
When Brian Davis was a freshman at Duke he used to stick his foot back and wiggle it. That was probably the oddest one we can remember a Blue Devil.
The NBA has had plenty of odd ones though as you’ll see here.
Steve Nash always did a couple of practice shots before shooting.
Nick Van Exel used to take a couple of steps back from the line to shoot.
Alonzo Mourning had a ritual he did to remind his family that he was thinking of them.
Former Tar Heel Jerry Stackhouse crouched way lower than most people would even think about doing.
NBA legend Rick Barry of course shot underhanded and still recommends it and actually his reasoning is sound (you really don’t have to worry about missing left or right so as long as you drop it over the rim you’ll hit a lot).
Wilt Chamberlain was legendarily bad from the line but in college he found a solution: he dunked from the foul line (the rule was subsequently changed).
Bill Cartwright’s was bizarre too - you’ll see - but the oddest one here is Don Nelson’s. It’s so weird it’s impossible to describe so you’ll have to see for yourself.