Uncommon Free Throw Shooting Rituals

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Some basketball players have strange free throw shooting routines. There are a number of reasons why they perform this act: they're meant to simply have a good grip of the ball (it can get real wet at times during the game), to establish a signature style, to improve free throw shooting, or being plainly superstitious. Who are these players? Let's check it out!

Reggie Miller would dip his hands into a bucket of powder (it's really salt) so he can have a better grip on the ball, step up to the line holding the ball on his hip with his left hand and place his feet about 12-14 inches apart with his right foot slightly forward. He then would raise his arm straight up towards the basket with his hand bent as if he had just released the ball. Then he would take three consecutive dribbles, sit back into a slight crouch and let it fly. This was his free throw routine every time he went to the 15 foot line.

If only the NBA implemented an 8-second free throw shooting limit on ex-Utah Jazz and LA Laker star Karl Malone, he wouldn't have been able to make it in the nick of time. Malone takes a very long time to shoot his free throws and normally would exhaust the 10-second limit on shooting free throws. The routine is more superstitious than anything else. Karl Malone could be seen mouthing or uttering what appears to be a prayer (he refuses to tell reporters what he's actually saying) right before he shoots the ball.

Jeff Hornacek, who was one of the game's best perimeter shooters during his time, also has a strange free throw shooting antic. Whenever he shot free throws, he would bounce the ball a certain number of times, then rub his cheek with his right hand. This cheek-rubbing thing has made Hornacek one of the most colorful personalities in the NBA during his time. To prove his free throw shooting drama was effective, he has made 67 consecutive free throws, sixth-longest streak in NBA history and has shot 88% from the line during his entire 15-year career that...
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