“Granny Throws” At the Foul Shot Line

Jul 26, 2023

I was recently listening to the wonderful book “Keep Christianity Weird”, where the author Mike Frost talked about Wilt Chamberlain’s terrible foul shooting record. Did you know that, in spite of being one of the best basketball players of all time, Wilt Chamberlain totally sucked at foul shots? It was this way so much so that other players playing against him knew it was better to foul him so he would miss free throw shots than to allow him to get into the paint.

But there was one point where Wilt got better at foul shooting in his NBA career…

This happened because Wilt Chamberlain flirted with the “underhanded style”. The method, also called “granny style” shooting, was favored by Rick Barry, a career 89.3% free throw shooter, and it helped Chamberlain shoot a career-best 61% from the line in 1961–62, the same season he sank 28 of 32 free throws in his record-setting 100-point game. However, Chamberlain reverted to traditional foul shooting, his percentages predictably plunged again, and he later admitted that he felt “like a sissy” when he shot underhanded.

How many of us decide not to do the right thing because we “feel like sissies”, and wonder how people will react to us? I respect Rick Barry because he didn’t give a rats behind about the way he looked, he did what was right! He did what worked, even if it made him look like a weirdo!

And Jesus always did what was right, even when it made Him look like a weirdo.