Russell Westbrook wasn’t happy about it, and now that Roberson signed a new deal with the Thunder he’s set out to fix his poor free throw shooting form.
The Oklahoman caught up with Roberson and chronicled his summer of free throw shooting advice, which has come from strangers of all shapes and sizes.
Last season, Roberson shot a career-low 42.3 percent from the free-throw line. The Thunder guard bottomed out in a five-game playoff series loss to Houston, making 3 of 21 free-throw attempts. Late in games, the Rockets turned to intentionally fouling Roberson to send him to the line.
As a result, Roberson said, he gets unsolicited free-throw shooting advice “all the time.”
“I’ve heard it all, to be honest,” he said. “‘Take a step back. Take a step to the right. Foot back.’ You get it all. ‘Elbow in!’ Everybody has their own. But everybody’s shot’s different. You just got to figure out what’s right for you.”
Rick Berry, who is coaching the Ball Hogs in the BIG3 this year, said he could help Roberson sight unseen. His idea: shoot underhand just like him.
“What’s the aversion to doing it? That you don’t look cool?” Barry said, speaking of NBA players in general. “If you don’t think it looks cool, do you think you look cool when you shoot 40 percent? Does it look good for you to fire mortar shots up there?”
Since underhand isn’t for everyone, Barry suggests a company, SOLIDShot — his son Scooter is its director of business development — that produces a compression sleeve tricked out with sensors that provide shooters instant feedback on their form.
Barry said he’d “guarantee” the sleeve could help Roberson, even sight unseen.
It’s fine to give out free advice, but it’s not clear if he plans on taking any of it. Roberson does say, however, that underhand isn’t an option for him.
“I tried it in practice,” Roberson said, mimicking a two-handed underhand toss. “That s— does not work. I’m sorry.”