The most embarrassing records by some of the games greatest players
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The most embarrassing records by some of the games greatest players

NBA players can do amazing things on the court. The better you are, the more money you make – that’s why max contracts come with a lot of expectations, consistency being one of them. Still, everyone can have a bad day at the office. But when you have a historically bad day as one of the best in the NBA, it follows you for a long time. Here are some of the most embarrassing records great players have set. 

Ben Wallace

Wallace was a defensive stalwart, a key player for one of the most popular championship teams in NBA history – the 2004 Detroit Pistons. It’s safe to say that the Pistons would not have won against the L.A. Lakers without him. Ben’s partnership with Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Prince provided a core defensive trio that feared no one – including Shaq and Kobe. But, Wallace did have one embarrassing weakness. He holds the record for lowest career free throw percentage at 41.4 percent.

Big men having trouble at the charity stripe are nothing new. The likes of Shaquille O’Neal quickly come to mind. However, being paid millions to miss free throws can be head-scratching at times. At his best, Wallace shot 49%, at his worst 30%. We know there was at least one person watching the 76ers who felt for Ben Simmons.

James Harden

One of the greatest scorers the game has seen, James Harden has no problem putting the ball into the basket. Once he gets into a rhythm, no defense in the world can stop him. On those nights, the only guys who can stop James Harden is, well, James Harden. He entered the wrong side of history books as one of the two players who recorded several games with 16 missed threes. Call Harden other names but being gun shy is not one of them.

The former Houston Rockets star had six games with 16 missed three-point attempts in his career. Other players would stop bricking at five or maybe ten shots, but James remained confident in his ability. All he needed was one field goal to turn things around. Alas, it never happened, and it occurred in 6 games. If ordinary players did this, they would automatically be relegated to DNP-Coach Decision next game. Shooters shoot.

Andre Drummond

Drummond’s value on the court, is like Ben Wallace’s, on the defensive end. Unlike Wallace, Drummond had the Dwight Howard syndrome – he thinks he has the potential to be the next Hakeem on the offensive side of the flor. But, it’s not hard to guard a guy when all you need to do is send him to the free throw line.

Andre Drummond holds the record for missed free throws in a game with 23. The inability to sink freebies became a strategy to opposing teams. For a player like Drummond, who thinks of himself as a max player, it’s a wonder how free throw shooting still cannot be corrected during the offseason with world-class trainers and shooting coaches willing to help.

Charles Barkley

Say what you will about Sir Charles, but one thing can’t be disputed – he is a confidant man. That’s why we love him on Inside the NBA, and why his coaches hated him getting the ball behind the three-point line. Barkley did not think twice before firing away for 3-pointers no matter how bad they bombed. The result – he owns the record for lowest 3-point shooting percentage at 26.6 percent. 

Seems like Barkley was ahead of his time understanding the value of the three, but unfortunately he was more of a Ben Simmons than Steph Curry.

Shaquille O’Neal

Yep, another free throw record. In the ’00/’01 season, Shaq missed all 11 attempts in a single game. This set a record for the most free throws a player has missed in a game in the history of the NBA. Many people claim he would easily drain them in practice, but O’Neal just couldn’t keep his calm during games. That season was particularly bad for Shaq.

If O’Neal made only half of the free throws he missed, his career scoring average would increase from 23.7 points per game to 25.9 points. More importantly, it would eliminate two of the three regrets The Diesel has about his career. 

“Missing 5000 free throws. Not passing up Wilt Chamberlain in points and not being higher on the scoring list. Those are my only three regrets.”

haquille O’Neal, In Depth with Graham Bensinger

Yep, 5000 missed. If Shaq had made a bit more than half of those, he would’ve passed Wilt on the all-time points list. The most dominant player, and one of the greatest centers ever, O’Neal had one weakness that got him on this infamous list. As always, Shaq had a sense of humor about it.

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