Free throws are an essential part of the game of basketball; however, many players take them too lightly. In a close game, one free throw can be the decisive factor — so, if you've been practicing shooting from the lane, you're at an advantage.
Thanks to the amazing Basketball-Reference.com, we have a powerful research tool that enables us to find some of the most bizarre basketball stats out there, and that's exactly what we did.
We asked ourselves — what are the ten worst free-throw seasons in the history of the NBA? I promise you'll be astounded by the results, here they are:
[#10] Brendan Haywood — 36.2%
Haywood averaged a ridiculous 36% back in the 2010-11 season while playing for the Mavs. Something must have gone horribly wrong with his shot because just 3 years earlier he had his best FT season averaging a solid 73.5%.
[#9] Ben Wallace — 35.7%
Ben had trouble with his free throws throughout his NBA career, and while being a monster on the defensive end of the floor, he was a blatantly bad FT shooter. During the 97'-98' season, he posted 35.7% from the line while playing for the Washington Wizards.
[#8] Ben Wallace — 35.6%
Next year, during the 1998-99 season, Ben managed to record an even worse FT percentage — he averaged a pitiful 35.6%.
[#7] Andre Drummond — 35.5%
The seventh worst free-throw season goes to Andre Drummond. He averaged 35.5% during the 2015-16 season. Thankfully, Andre has been shooting a lot better this year (.605), seems like someone worked on his shot last summer. Hopefully, the rising trend will continue.
[#6] Andrew Bogut — 34.4%
Number six goes to Andrew Bogut. During the 2013-14 season, while playing for the Golden State Warriors, Bogut posted a miserable 34.4%. In the 2016-17 season, Bogut attempted only 11 free throws, he made 3 which is around 27%. Good for him this was a far to small sample size to be counted.
[#5] Ben Wallace — 33.6%
The only player that appears on this list 3 times — Ben Wallace. He averaged an awful 33.6% from the lane during the 2000-01 season.
[#4] Olden Polynice — 31.6%
Olden Polynice is probably best known for the Pippen trade. The Sonics drafted Pippen with the fifth pick in the 1987 draft, and they immediately traded him for Polynice. Polynice was an average big man who averaged 7.8 points per game and 6.7 rebounds. Pippen, on the other hand, became one of the greatest all-around offensive players and one of the very best perimeter defenders of all time. Like his colleagues on this list, Olden was dreadful from the free-throw line. During the 1999-00 season, he averaged 31.6%.
[#3] Larry Smith — 31%
Larry Smith, otherwise known as 'Mr. Mean' was a solid back up PF for most of his career. Unfortunately, he was another dreadful free throw shooter. During the 1988-89 season, while playing for the Warriors, he posted a miserable 31% from the lane.
[#2] Andris Biedrins — 30.6%
The Warriors were really out of luck with all of these horrendous free-throw shooters. The Latvian native, Andris Biedrins averaged only 30.6% in the 2005-06 season while playing for Golden State.
[#1] Larry Smith — 24%
Ladies and gentlemen, we've made it to the absolutely worst free-throw season of all time. Although he only attempted 50 free throws during the '90-91 NBA season, which is a pretty small sample size — Larry Smith of the Houston Rockets only made 12! 24% from the line! How bad was that? Making a free throw every fourth time. Crazy.