Skip to main content

"If it don't go all net it don't count"


We constantly hear stories of players putting up a 1000 shots a day, working on their craft. The myth of unimaginable dedication to reach excellence. But even MJ or LeBron had to have had days where they didn't feel like it when they gave themselves some slack. What if they couldn't? Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf knows the answer to the question. To him he didn't have a choice - he HAD to do it right. 

While playing at Denver, Chris Jackson became debilitated by the fame that accompanies life in the NBA. He began to immerse himself in the teachings of Malcolm X, and became interested in the Islam faith. That was his way out. In 1993, he officially converted to Islam and changed his name from Chris Jackson to Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, which loosely translated means "elegant and praiseworthy, most merciful, most kind."

His conversion and name are the things most fans will know him for. Abdul-Rauf believes it cost him his NBA career and the league blackballed him. But there is something else most fans don't know about him. The reason why he was a career 90.5% free throw shooter with an insane 95.6% in 1993/1994 season is that Mahmoud HAD to do it perfectly every time. That's what life with Tourette's syndrome is like. 

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

In some patients, symptoms of Tourette's syndrome manifest in such a way that the brain will establish unreasonable goals that simply must be achieved before feeling satisfied. It varies from motor tics to vocal tics. In most cases, the tics aren't so severe medication is needed. With Abdul-Rauf that meant he would spend hours on the court shooting free throws until he made 10 in a row that were perfect.

The ball would have rest in his palm in exactly the right way. The ball would have to roll off of his fingertips in exactly the right way. The spin on his shot would have to feel perfect. The ball had to swoosh the net perfectly with just the right sound, without touching the rim. This was a blessing and a curse.

As is often in life, people who had to overcome difficult situations came out of them stronger. While learning to manage and deal with his Tourette's, Mahmoud became one of the best shooters in the NBA. The compulsion to get everything right translated into countless hours n the court.

Kevin Durant blasts Philly fans for their chants towards Ben Simmons

Should the Brooklyn Nets regret trading for Kevin Durant?

The Durant-Irving partnership in Brooklyn could arguably go down as the most disappointing one in NBA history.

Detroit Pistons legend Rick Mahorn and Indiana Pacers legend Reggie Miller

Reggie Miller on who he hated facing on the bad boy Pistons — “He ​​had a crazy look in his eye all the time”

There’s a reason why Miller's most feared Pistons player was dubbed as the “Baddest Bad Boy of them all.”

San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan and guard Manu Ginobili

"I lost a lot of sleep because of him" — Chauncey Billups reveals who deserved to win the 2005 NBA Finals MVP

Tim Duncan won the 2005 NBA Finals MVP. But Chauncey Billups, as well as some fans, believed the trophy belonged to someone else.

Michael Jordan

Beer drones — the best feature on Michael Jordan's exclusive golf course

Do you want to be a member of the exclusive The Grove XXIII club? Michael Jordan has to invite you first.


Miles Bridges' wife exposes him for domestic violence

The NBA community needs to to better. ”I won’t be silent to protect others anymore because I value myself and my kids more than anyones ‘image’”


“The whole NBA just saw this movie” — Zach Lowe shuts down the idea the Lakers could trade for KD and Kyrie

According to the numbers the trade works. Can you count anything out in the modern NBA?

Jaylen Brown responds to Draymond Green's comments

Jaylen Brown fires back at Draymond Green: "Draymond got a podcast and lost his damn mind"

Draymond Green claimed he knew that the Boston Celtics were already defeated mentally after Jaylen Brown's statements. The Celtics forward had something to say to Green on his Twitter.

Tom Brady to Anthony Edwards - “I know the money is good but you’re playing the wrong sport”

Tom Brady to Anthony Edwards -“I know the money is good but you’re playing the wrong sport”

Edwards responded that since Brady’s friend and teammates Rob Gronkowski retired this offseason, maybe he could help fill his void