Free throw

In basketball, free throws or foul shots are unopposed attempts to score points by shooting from behind the free throw line (informally known as the foul line or the charity stripe), a line situated at the end of the restricted area. Free throws are generally awarded after a foul on the shooter by the opposing team. Each successful free throw is worth one point.

SPAN1010468
Vassilis Spanoulis taking a free throw

Description

Kobe Bryant practicing free throws.

Free throws can normally be shot at a high percentage by good players. In the NBA, most players make 70–80% of their attempts. The league's best shooters (such as Mark Price, Steve Nash, Rick Barry, Ray Allen, José Calderón, Stephen Curry, Reggie Miller, Kevin Durant, and Dirk Nowitzki) can make roughly 90% of their attempts over a season, while notoriously poor shooters (e.g. Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Andre Drummond, Andris Biedrins, Chris Dudley, Ben Wallace, Shaquille O'Neal, and Dennis Rodman) may struggle to make 50% of them. During a foul shot, a player's feet must both be completely behind the foul line.

When free throws are awarded

GT vs Centenary Free Throw 2006
Players waiting on the side during a free throw at a Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Centenary Gentlemen college basketball game.

There are many situations when free throws can be awarded.

The first and most common is when a player is fouled while in the act of shooting. If the player misses the shot during the foul, the player receives either two or three free throws depending on whether the shot was taken in front of or behind the three-point line. If, despite the foul, the player still makes the attempted shot, the number of free throws is reduced to one, and the basket counts. This is known as a three-point or four-point play, depending on the value of the made basket.

The second is when the fouling team is in the team bonus (or foul penalty) situation. This happens when, in a single period, a team commits a set number of fouls whether or not in the act of shooting. In FIBA, (W)NBA and NCAA women's play, the limit is four fouls per quarter; in the NBA, starting with the fifth foul (fourth in overtime), or the second in the final 2 minutes if the team has less than 5 fouls (4 in OT), the opposing team gets two free throws. In the WNBA, the fouled player shoots two free throws starting with the opponent's fifth foul (4th in overtime), or second team foul in the final minute if that team has committed under 5 fouls in a period (4 in overtime). In FIBA and NCAA women's basketball, the fouled player also shoots two free throws starting with the opponent's fifth foul in a period, considering that team fouls accrue from the fourth period on, as all overtimes are extensions of it for purposes of accrued team fouls. In NCAA men's basketball, beginning with the seventh foul of the half, one free throw is awarded; if the player makes the free throw, another is given. This is called shooting a "one-and-one". Starting with the tenth foul of the half, two free throws are awarded. In addition, overtime is considered an extension of the second half for purposes of accumulated team fouls. Free throws are not awarded for offensive fouls (most often charging fouls), even if the team fouled is in the bonus. The number of fouls that triggers a penalty is higher in college men's basketball because the game is divided into two 20-minute halves, as opposed to quarters of 12 minutes in the NBA or 10 minutes in the WNBA, college women's basketball, or FIBA play (note that the college women's game was played in 20-minute halves before 2015–16). As in professional play, a foul in the act of shooting is a two- or three-shot foul, depending on the value of the shot attempt, with one free throw being awarded if the shot is good.

If a player is injured upon being fouled and cannot shoot free throws, the offensive team may designate any player from the bench to shoot in the place of the injured player in college; in the NBA, the opposing team designates the player to shoot, and the injured player can't return, unless the foul committed was a flagrant-2, in which case the player's own team also gets to pick the replacement shooter. If a player fouled takes exception to the foul, and starts or participates in a fight, and gets ejected, he or she is not allowed to take his or her free throws, and the opposing team will choose a replacement shooter. In all other circumstances, the fouled player must shoot his or her own foul shots.

If a player, coach, or team staff (e.g., doctor, statistician) shows poor sportsmanship, which may include arguing with a referee, or commits a technical violation (delay of game, excessive time outs, or when a team has no eligible players remaining after a player has fouled out or subsequently the last player to foul out must re-enter the game, the latter two are NBA rules) that person may get charged with a more serious foul called a technical foul. In the NBA, a technical foul results in one free throw attempt for the other team. In FIBA play, technical fouls result in two free throws in all situations. Under NCAA rules, technical fouls are divided into "Class A" (violent or serious unsportsmanlike conduct) and "Class B" (less egregious violations such as hanging on the rim or delay of game). Class A technicals result in two free throws, and Class B technicals result in one. At all levels, the opposing team may choose any player who is currently on the court to shoot the free throws, and is then awarded possession of the ball after the free throws. Since there is no opportunity for a rebound, these free throws are shot with no players on the lane.

Finally, if a referee deems a foul extremely aggressive, or that it did not show an attempt to play the ball, the referee can call an even more severe foul, known as an "unsportsmanlike foul" in international play or a "flagrant foul" in the NBA and NCAA basketball. This foul is charged against the player (and depending on the severity of the offense, can even be ejected), and the opponent gets two free throws and possession of the ball afterwards. Unlike technical fouls, the player fouled must shoot the awarded free throws.

Fouls "away from the ball" (fouls that do not occur on the shooter or near the ball) are handled like the second case above in most situations. Many times defenders hold their opponent to prevent them from catching an in-bound pass or fight through screens and thus are called for fouls. These fouls are almost always treated as normal personal fouls. In the NBA, when there are only two minutes left on the clock of either half, off-ball fouls when the fouling team is over the limit are rewarded with one free throw and possession of the ball. It is therefore common for a losing team to deliberately single out its opponent's poor free throw shooters, regardless of their dominance in other aspects of the game (as in the cases of Ben Wallace and Shaquille O'Neal), as the targets of deliberate fouls until the two-minute mark, after which the losing team plays intense defense for the rest of the game; this strategy is known as the "Hack-a-Shaq". It is believed that this rule was instituted because of Wilt Chamberlain. Previously teams had been allowed to foul any player on the court regardless of whether that player had possession of the ball, with only two free throws awarded to the fouled player. This motivated teams to chase poor free throw shooters, such as Chamberlain, around the court in attempt to foul him in an effort to extend the game. To discourage this practice, the NBA changed the rule to award one free throw and possession of the ball to a player who is fouled away from the ball in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter. This rule does not apply in international or NCAA play and in fact plays a very vital strategic role in the NCAA Tournament.

Procedure

SackoLF2
Fatimatou Sacko for her first free throw.

Free throws are organized in procession. The shooter takes her place behind the free throw line (5.8 m (19 ft) from the base line, 4.6 m (15 ft) from the basket). All the other players must stand in their correct places until the ball leaves the shooter's hands: up to four people in the NCAA rules[1] and three people in the FIBA rules[2] from the defensive team and two people from the shooting team line up along the sides of the restricted area (keyhole, paint, lane). These players are usually the ones that rebound the ball. Three line up on each side. A defensive player always takes the place closest to the basket.

The remaining players must remain behind the three-point line and the "free throw line extended" (an imaginary line extended from the free throw line in both directions to the sidelines).

Leaving their designated places before the ball leaves the shooter's hands, or interfering with the ball, are violations. In addition, the shooter must release the ball within five seconds (ten seconds in the United States) and must not step on or over the free throw line until the ball touches the hoop. Players are, however, permitted to jump while attempting the free throw, provided they do not leave the designated area at any point.[3] A violation by the shooter cancels the free throw; a violation by the defensive team results in a substitute free throw if the shooter missed; a violation by the offensive team or a shot that completely misses the hoop results in the loss of possession to the defensive team (only if it is on the last free throw).

Under FIBA rules, if the shooter does not commit a violation, and the ball goes in the basket, the attempt is successful, regardless of violations committed by any non-shooter.

Lane violation
Offensive players (excluding shooter) Both teams' players Defensive players Shooter
Made Free throw is not counted (Not the last free throw)
Turnover (Last free throw)
Free throw is counted Free throw is counted, and another is taken Turnover (FIBA)
Missed Free throw is not counted (Not the last free throw)
Turnover (Last free throw)
Jump ball (NBA, some leagues)
Possession arrow (FIBA)
Free throw is retaken Turnover (FIBA)

Free throws awarded (NBA)

[4][5]

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Foul
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Technical
One free throw
 
 
 
Personal
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Offensive
Loss of possession3
 
Loose ball
 
 
 
 
 
Defensive
 
Clear path
Two free throws and possession
 
Flagrant
Two free throws and possession
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
No penalty1
Loss of possession3
 
Penalty1
Two free throws
 
Shooting
 
Non-shooting
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Shot made
One free throw
 
Shot missed
 
No penalty1
Inbounds pass2
 
Penalty1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Two-point attempt
Two free throws
 
Three-point attempt
Three free throws
 
Not last two minutes of game:
Two free throws
 
Last two minutes of game
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Not away from play:
Two free throws
 
Away from play:
One free throw and possession


1 Penalty applies to fouls in excess of four in a regulation period or in excess of three in an overtime period. If a team has not committed its foul quota by the two minute mark of a period, it shall be allowed one foul before the penalty applies. Offensive fouls do not count toward this total.
2 Defensive fouls committed during an inbounds pass prior to the ball being released result in two free throws regardless of the penalty situation.
3 In the NBA, a team must have five players on the court at all times. If a team is down to five players because of injuries and players with six fouls, and a player commits his sixth foul, he remains in the game and a technical foul is charged. The technical foul penalty of one free throw and the ball applies.

Historical

Prior to the 1954–55 season, the NBA established the rule that a backcourt foul would result in a "three to make two" situation (up to three attempts to make two free throws) if the violating team was over the team foul limit.[6] By 1979, the rule had been extended to the penalty situation for flagrant fouls, fouls made in the act of shooting (resulting in a miss), and fouls due to the swinging of the elbows.[7] Prior to the 1981–82 season, this rule and the related "two to make one" rule were abolished.[6]

In 1956, in response to reports that Wilt Chamberlain was able to dunk free throws, the NCAA established a rule requiring that free throw shooters keep both feet behind the free throw line during an attempt.[8] The NBA later adopted this rule.[9]

Strategy

Free throwing at a Valencia Basket match.

As mentioned earlier, some players are notoriously bad free throw shooters. Historical examples of star players who were poor shooters include Wilt Chamberlain, Ben Wallace, and Shaquille O'Neal.[10] This allows a strategy where a team intentionally fouls this player, hoping that they will miss one or both shots and the defending team will re-gain possession of the ball. This strategy was dubbed Hack-a-Shaq when famously used on Shaquille O'Neal. Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan and Andre Drummond[11] have been subjected to this strategy as well,[12] as have other players.

It can be advantageous for a trailing team to intentionally foul late in a close game. While this allows the leading team to shoot free throws and increase their lead, it also stops the clock, similar to a time out in football (in basketball, a time out may only be called by a team with possession of the ball). As well, it allows the trailing team the chance to take possession if the second free throw is missed, and if it is made awards possession outright to the trailing team. Therefore, many teams substitute players with high free throw percentages when they are leading late in games to combat this strategy. It is seen as a last resort strategy with little chance of success, but if it is not employed the leading team may run out the clock and end the game.

As well, a defensive team leading by three may foul an offensive team intentionally late in the game, if the game clock is no greater than a couple of seconds. In such circumstances, the opposing team would most likely not have enough time for multiple possessions. Down three points, the opposing team's obvious strategy would be to attempt a three-pointer to try to send the game into overtime; however, the leading team may attempt to foul the trailing team before a shot is attempted, as this would lead to only two free throws which is not enough to tie the game. If the trailing team is placed into the situation of shooting two free throws, they must attempt to intentionally miss the second free throw in the hopes of securing the offensive rebound (which is harder than normal with free throws, as the defending team is automatically given position) and scoring before the game clock expires – if the first free throw is made, a two-pointer would tie the game, and a three-pointer would win the game; if the first free throw is missed, only a three-pointer would tie the game. Theoretically, adopting this strategy makes a leading team four times more likely to win the game than allowing the trailing team to attempt a three-pointer.[13]

Technique

The majority of adult professional players shoot free throws in the overhand style, despite both theoretical and practical demonstrations that the underhand style (aka "granny-style") usually produces better average results.[14][15] Famously, in the NBA, Rick Barry retired in 1980 while ranked first in NBA history at the time with his 0.900 free throw percentage.[16] There were only a few professional players who have utilized this technique, while the vast majority of them resisted adopting the technique for the fear of ridicule or for other similar reasons unrelated to performance.[14][15]

See also

References

Notes
  1. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-03-06. Retrieved 2016-02-10.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-03-09. Retrieved 2015-05-10.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Rule No. 9-Free Throw". National Basketball Association. NBA Media Ventures, LLC. Archived from the original on 2009-03-07.
  4. ^ "RULE NO. 12-FOULS AND PENALTIES". www.nba.com. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  5. ^ "NBA's Misunderstood Rules". www.nba.com. Archived from the original on 1 February 2018. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  6. ^ a b "NBA Rules History". www.nba.com. Archived from the original on 2011-03-03. Retrieved 2011-04-04.
  7. ^ Winick, Matt (1979). Official 1979–80 National Basketball Association Guide. The Sporting News. p. Rules Index 31. ISBN 0-89204-049-1.
  8. ^ "That Stilt, Wilt, Responsible For 2 Rule Changes; Kansas' Chamberlain Even Dunked His Foul Shots", Toledo Blade, November 28, 1956
  9. ^ Silverman, Drew (2012). Kansas Jayhawks. Sportszone. p. 21. ISBN 978-1617832833.
  10. ^ Fixler, Kevin (2012-12-13). "Shooting for Perfection". SB Nation. Archived from the original on December 16, 2012. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  11. ^ "Does Hack-a-Shaq actually work?". ESPN. April 28, 2016. Archived from the original on June 25, 2016. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  12. ^ Landman, Seth. "'Hack-a-Howard' strategy in full effect". ESPN. Archived from the original on 28 February 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  13. ^ Lawhorn, Adrian. ""3-D": Late-Game Defensive Strategy with a 3-Point Lead". 82games.com. Archived from the original on 4 May 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  14. ^ a b Rist, Curtis (2008-08-07). "Physics Proves It: Everyone Should Shoot Granny-Style". Discover. Archived from the original on 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
  15. ^ a b Kilgore, Adam (2016-12-28). "'Granny' shot master Rick Barry is glad someone had the guts to bring it back to the NBA". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 2017-01-19. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
  16. ^ "Rick Barry". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on 2010-03-17. Retrieved 2017-01-22.

External links

1974–75 Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team

The 1974–75 Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team represented the University of Michigan in intercollegiate college basketball during the 1974–75 season. The team played its home games in the Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and was a member of the Big Ten Conference. Under the direction of head coach Johnny Orr, the team finished second in the Big Ten Conference. The team earned the second of four consecutive NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament invitations. Joe Johnson and C. J. Kupec served as team captains and shared team MVP honors. John Robinson led the Big Ten in field goal percentage with a 60.3% average in conference games, while Kupec led the conference in free throw percentage with an 88.0%. As a team, they led the conference in free throw percentage as well with a 75.8%. The team began the season ranked seventeenth, peaked at eleventh, and finished the season in nineteenth in the Associated Press Top Twenty Poll. It was ranked for a total of eight of nineteen weeks during the season. The team ended the season unranked in the final UPI Coaches' Poll. Kupec was selected as an All-American. The team's 74.4% free throw percentage was a school record that lasted 11 seasons. On January 2, 1975, Kupec went 14 for 14 in free throw attempts against Illinois which continues to be a school single-game record for most without a miss, surpassing Craig Dill's total of 12. The team set a school single-season free throw percentage record of 74.4% that would last until 1986.In the 32-team 1975 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, Michigan was eliminated from the West Region in the first round by the UCLA Bruins 103–91.

Assist (basketball)

In basketball, an assist is attributed to a player who passes the ball to a teammate in a way that leads to a score by field goal, meaning that they were "assisting" in the basket. There is some judgment involved in deciding whether a passer should be credited with an assist. An assist can be scored for the passer even if the player who receives the pass makes a basket after dribbling the ball. However, the original definition of an assist did not include such situations, so the comparison of assist statistics across eras is a complex matter.

Only the pass directly before the score may be counted as an assist, so no more than one assist can be recorded per field goal (unlike in other sports, such as ice hockey). A pass that leads to a shooting foul and scoring by free throws does not count as an assist in the NBA, but does in FIBA play (only one assist is awarded per set of free throws in which at least one free throw is made).

Point guards tend to get the most assists per game (apg), as their role is primarily that of a passer and ballhandler.

Centers tend to get fewer assists, but centers with good floor presence and court vision can dominate a team by assisting. Being inside the key, the center often has the best angles and the best position for "dishes" and other short passes in the scoring area. Center Wilt Chamberlain led the NBA in assists in 1968. A strong center with inside-scoring prowess, such as former NBA center Hakeem Olajuwon, can also be an effective assistor because the defense's double-teaming tends to open up offense in the form of shooters.

The NBA single-game assist team record is 53, held by the Milwaukee Bucks, on December 26, 1978. The NBA single-game assist individual record is 30, held by Scott Skiles of the Orlando Magic on December 30, 1990.

The NBA record for most career assists is held by John Stockton, with 15,806, Stockton also holds the NBA single season assist per game record with 14.5 during the 1989-1990 regular season. The highest career assist per game average in NBA history is held by Magic Johnson, with 11.2 assist per game.

Basketball court

In basketball, the basketball court is the playing surface, consisting of a rectangular floor with baskets at either end. In professional or organized basketball, especially when played indoors, it is usually made out of a wood, often maple, and highly polished and completed with a 10 foot rim. Outdoor surfaces are generally made from standard paving materials such as concrete or asphalt.

Bonus (basketball)

In the sport of basketball, the bonus situation (also called the penalty situation) occurs when one team accumulates a requisite number of fouls, which number varies depending on the level of play. When one team has committed the requisite number of fouls, each subsequent foul results in the opposing team's taking free throws regardless of the type of foul committed (i.e., whether the foul was a shooting foul). Teams under the limit are commonly referred to as having fouls to give, and thus they can try to disrupt their opponents without being penalized free throws. These fouls reset every quarter or half depending on the rules in use (i.e. FIBA, NBA, NCAA, etc.).

College basketball

College basketball today is governed by collegiate athletic bodies including the United States's National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA), the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), and the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). Governing bodies in Canada include U Sports and the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). Each of these various organizations are subdivided into from one to three divisions based on the number and level of scholarships that may be provided to the athletes.

Each organization has different conferences to divide up the teams into groups. Teams are selected into these conferences depending on the location of the schools. These conferences are put in due to the regional play of the teams and to have a structural schedule for each to team to play for the upcoming year. During conference play the teams are ranked not only through the entire NCAA, but the conference as well in which they have tournament play leading into the NCAA tournament.

Field goal (basketball)

In basketball, a field goal is a basket scored on any shot or tap other than a free throw, worth two or three points depending on the distance of the attempt from the basket. Uncommonly, a field goal can be worth other values such as one point in FIBA 3x3 basketball competitions or four points in the BIG3 basketball league. "Field goal" is the official terminology used by the National Basketball Association (NBA) in their rule book, in their box scores and statistics, and in referees' rulings. The same term is also the official wording used by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and high school basketball.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the NBA record for field goals made in a career with 15,837. Wilt Chamberlain, one of the most prolific scorers of all time, holds the top four spots for most field goals made in a season and has the two top field goal percentages for a season. One of the greatest field-goal shooters of all time is Michael Jordan, who led the NBA in field goals made ten times. Shaquille O'Neal has the record for most seasons (10) with the best field goal percentage, and Artis Gilmore has the record for highest career field goal percentage (59.9%). Steve Nash was one of the greatest all-around shooters in the history of the NBA, holding the record for 50–40–90 seasons, a mark of all-around shooting for two-point field goals, three-point field goals, and free throws. Nash recorded four of the eleven 50–40–90 seasons in NBA history.One type of field goal is called a slam dunk. This occurs when a player jumps near the basket with possession of the ball, throwing the ball down through the basket while airborne. The word "slam" is derived onomatopoeically from the sound of the player's hands hitting, grabbing, then releasing the hoop.

Five-second rule (basketball)

In basketball, the five-second rule, or five-second violation, is a rule that helps promote continuous play. There are multiple situations where a five-second violation may occur.

Hack-a-Shaq

Hack-a-Shaq is a basketball defensive strategy used in the National Basketball Association (NBA), where Dallas Mavericks coach Don Nelson adapted the strategy of committing intentional fouls (originally a clock management strategy) to the purpose of lowering opponents' scoring. He directed players to commit personal fouls throughout the game against selected opponents who shot free throws poorly.

Nelson initially used the strategy against Dennis Rodman, the power forward of the Chicago Bulls. However, the strategy acquired its name for Nelson's subsequent use of it against Shaquille O'Neal, the center of the Orlando Magic.

Key (basketball)

The key, officially referred to as the free throw lane by the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the restricted area by the international governing body FIBA, and colloquially as the lane or the paint, is a marked area on a basketball court surrounding the basket. It is bounded by the endline, the free-throw line and two side lines (freebody lines), and usually painted in a distinctive color. It is a crucial area on the court where much of the game's action takes place.

Dimensions of the key area have varied through the history of the game. Since the 2010 FIBA rule amendments (implemented following the 2010 FIBA World Championship), its shape is rectangular for games sanctioned by all three associations, 16 feet (4.9 m) wide for both NBA and FIBA keys, and 12 feet (3.7 m) for NCAA and NAIA keys. Prior to 2006, the key in FIBA-sanctioned tournaments was a trapezoidal shape.

The most-commonly enforced rule on the key is the "three seconds rule" in which the team of a player on offense who stays on the key for more than three seconds loses possession of the ball. Another rule is the lane violation which occurs if a player from either team enters the key before a free-throw shooter releases the ball in the act of shooting. A recent innovation is the introduction of the restricted area arc directly underneath the basket where the defending player cannot force an offensive foul on the opposing player.

List of National Basketball Association annual free throw percentage leaders

In basketball, a free throw is an unopposed attempt to score points from behind the free throw line. The National Basketball Association's (NBA) free throw percentage leader is the player with the highest free throw percentage in a given season. José Calderón holds the record for best free throw percentage in a season, which he accomplished with the Toronto Raptors in the 2008–09 NBA season. To qualify as a free throw percentage leader, the player must have at least 125 free throws made. Aside from the strike shortened 1998–99 and 2011–12 seasons, this has been the entry criteria since the 1974–75 season. Bill Sharman has been the free throw percentage leader a league-best 7 times, followed by Rick Barry (6), Reggie Miller (5), Stephen Curry (4), and Larry Bird (4).

List of National Basketball Association career free throw scoring leaders

This article provides two lists:

A list of National Basketball Association players by total career regular season free throws made.

A progressive list of free throws made leaders showing how the record has increased through the years.

List of National Basketball Association career playoff free throw scoring leaders

This article provides two lists:

A list of National Basketball Association players by total career playoff free throws made.

A progressive list of playoffs free throws made leaders showing how the record has increased through the years.

List of Women's National Basketball Association career free throw leaders

This is a list of Women's National Basketball Association players by total career regular season free throws made. Active players are in bold.

Statistics accurate as of the conclusion of August 7, 2015

Rebound (basketball)

In basketball, a rebound, sometimes colloquially referred to as a board, is a statistic awarded to a player who retrieves the ball after a missed field goal or free throw. Rebounds are also given to a player who tips in a missed shot on his team's offensive end. Rebounds in basketball are a routine part in the game, as most possessions change after a shot is successfully made, or the rebound allows the defensive team to take possession. A rebound can be grabbed by either an offensive player or a defensive player.

Reggie Miller

Reginald Wayne Miller (born August 24, 1965) is an American retired professional basketball player who played his entire 18-year National Basketball Association (NBA) career with the Indiana Pacers. Miller was known for his precision three-point shooting, especially in pressure situations and most notably against the New York Knicks, for which he earned the nickname "Knick Killer". When he retired, he held the record for most career 3-point field goals made. He is currently second on the list behind Ray Allen. A five-time All-Star selection, Miller led the league in free throw accuracy five times and won a gold medal in the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Miller is widely considered the Pacers' greatest player of all time. His No. 31 was retired by the team in 2006. Currently, he works as an NBA commentator for TNT. On September 7, 2012, Miller was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Rick Barry

Richard Francis Dennis Barry III (born March 28, 1944) is an American retired professional basketball player who played in both the American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA). Named one of the 50 Greatest Players in history by the NBA in 1996, Barry is the only player to lead the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), ABA, and NBA in scoring for an individual season. He was known for his unorthodox but effective underhand free throw shooting technique, and at the time of his retirement in 1980 his .900 free throw percentage ranked first in NBA history. In 1987, Barry was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He is the father of former NBA players Brent Barry, Jon Barry, and Drew Barry and current professional player Canyon Barry.

Slam dunk

A slam dunk, also simply dunk, is a type of basketball shot that is performed when a player jumps in the air, controls the ball above the horizontal plane of the rim, and scores by putting the ball directly through the basket with one or both hands. It is considered a type of field goal; if successful, it is worth two points. Such a shot was known as a "dunk shot" until the term "slam dunk" was coined by former Los Angeles Lakers announcer Chick Hearn.The slam dunk is usually the highest percentage shot and a crowd-pleaser. Thus, the maneuver is often extracted from the basketball game and showcased in slam dunk contests such as the NBA Slam Dunk Contest held during the annual NBA All-Star Weekend. The first incarnation of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest was held during the half-time of the 1976 American Basketball Association All-Star Game.

Dunking was banned in the NCAA from 1967 to 1976. Many people have attributed this to the dominance of the then-college phenomenon Lew Alcindor (now known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar); the no-dunking rule is sometimes referred to as the "Lew Alcindor rule." Many others have also attributed the ban as having racial motivations, as at the time most of the prominent dunkers in college basketball were African-American, and the ban took place less than a year after a Texas Western team with an all-black starting lineup beat an all-white Kentucky team to win the national championship. Under head coach Guy Lewis, Houston (with Elvin Hayes) made considerable use of the "stuff" shot on their way to the Final Four in 1967.

The phrase "slam dunk" has entered popular usage in American English outside of its basketball meaning, to refer to a "sure thing": an action with a guaranteed outcome, or a similarly impressive achievement. This is related to the high probability of success for a slam dunk versus other types of shots. Additionally, to "be dunked on" or to get “posterized” is sometimes popularly used to indicate that a person has been easily embarrassed by another, in reference to the embarrassment associated with unsuccessfully trying to prevent an opponent from making a dunk. This ascension to popular usage is reminiscent of, for example, the way that the baseball-inspired phrases "step up to the plate" and "he hit it out of the park," or American football-inspired phrases such as "victory formation" or "hail Mary" have entered popular North American vernacular. Joe Fortenberry, playing for the McPherson Globe Refiners, dunked the ball in 1936 in Madison Square Garden. The feat was immortalized by Arthur Daley, Pulitzer Prize winning sports writer for The New York Times in an article in March 1936. He wrote Joe Fortenberry and his teammate, Willard Schmidt, instead of shooting up for a layup; leaped up and "pitch[ed] the ball downward into the hoop, much like a cafeteria customer dunking a roll in coffee".

Steve Nash

Stephen John Nash, (born 7 February 1974), is a Canadian former professional basketball player who played 18 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was an eight-time NBA All-Star and a seven-time All-NBA selection. Twice, Nash was named the NBA Most Valuable Player while playing for the Phoenix Suns. He currently serves as general manager of the Canadian national team and as a player development consultant for the Golden State Warriors.

After a successful high school basketball career in British Columbia, Nash earned a scholarship to Santa Clara University in California. In his four seasons with the Broncos, the team made three NCAA Tournament appearances, and he was twice named the West Coast Conference (WCC) Player of the Year. Nash graduated from Santa Clara as the team's all-time leader in assists and was taken as the 15th pick in the 1996 NBA draft by the Phoenix Suns. He made minimal impact and was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in 1998. By his fourth season with the Mavericks, he was voted to his first NBA All-Star Game and had earned his first All-NBA selection. Together with Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Finley, Nash led the Mavericks to the Western Conference Finals the following season. He became a free agent after the 2003–04 season and returned to the Phoenix Suns.

In the 2004–05 season, Nash led the Suns to the Western Conference Finals and was named the league's MVP. He was named MVP again in the 2005–06 season and was runner-up for a third consecutive MVP to Nowitzki in 2006–07. Named by ESPN in 2006 as the ninth-greatest point guard of all time, Nash led the league in assists and free-throw percentage at various points in his career. He is also ranked as one of the top players in NBA league history in three-point shooting, free-throw shooting, total assists, and assists per game.

Nash has been honoured for his contributions to various philanthropic causes. In 2006, he was named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2007 and invested to the order in 2016, and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Victoria in 2008. Nash has been a co-owner of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC of Major League Soccer (MLS) since the team entered the league in 2011. In 2012, he was named general manager of the Canadian men's national basketball team, for whom he played from 1991 to 2003, making one Olympic appearance and being twice named FIBA AmeriCup MVP.

Three-point play

In basketball, a three-point play is usually achieved by scoring a two-point field goal, being fouled in the act of shooting, and scoring one point on the subsequent free throw. Before the three-point field goal was created in the 1960s for professional basketball and 1980s for collegiate basketball, it was the only way to score three points on a single possession. It is sometimes called an old-fashioned three-point play to distinguish from the later three-point shot. And one is also sometimes used to refer to the extra free throw after a two-point basket.In FIBA-sanctioned 3-on-3 play (branded as 3x3), a "three-point" or "four-point play" is possible only under very limited circumstances. In that form of the game, field goals taken inside the "three-point" arc are worth only 1 point, and field goals made from outside the arc are worth 2 points.

A player fouled in the act of shooting a successful 2-point basket receives 1 free throw, as long as the defensive team has committed 6 or fewer team fouls in the game.

Upon the 7th team foul in a game, the non-fouling team receives 2 free throws on all fouls by the defense—even after made baskets. This means that on fouls during a successful field goal attempt, a three-point play is possible after a made 1-point basket, and a four-point play after a made 2-point basket.

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