OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Golden State Warriors legend and basketball Hall-of-Famer Rick Berry reveals the story behind his underhanded free throws and said he is “astonished” that more players have not adopted his technique.
In a video for the website SportsOnEarth.com, Barry lamented that his technique has not caught on and said that it is “ludicrous” for a professional basketball player to make less than 80 percent of their free throws.
Over his 14-year-career, Barry made 90 percent of the free throws he attempted, and missed only nine during one of those seasons.
Barry said players such as Shaquille O’Neal would have been a “prime candidate” to mimic his technique. O’Neal was quoted in the video saying he would rather have a “negative percentage” than shoot underhand.
The preference of shooting an overhanded free throw has also extended to Barry’s sons who went on to play professional basketball.
Barry played for the Warriors from 1965 to 1967 and again between 1972 and 1978, helping win the team’s only NBA Championship on the West Coast in 1975. He was named one of the NBA’s 50 best all-time players in 1996.