Until Andre Drummond either retires or cracks 65 percent from the free throw line, the question of his poor shooting at the charity stripe will plague him. Now that a real NBA player has successfully made under-handed foul shots, the question again has arisen — should Drummond try it? Rick Barry, the originator of the style in the pros, has now volunteered his help.
It may seem like “granny style” is a foolproof solution, based on Barry’s 90 percent mark from his career, but Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy thinks there’s more to it — like how skilled Barry was. He told the story of how, back before a young SVG went to college, he worked a basketball camp hosted by Barry, and participated in a year-end free throw contest against the man himself.
Van Gundy says he and Barry both started 9 for 9, and after he made his 10th Barry, sensing this could go on longer than anticipated, decided to raise the stakes.
“They blindfold him, he goes up and shoots the ball, and it seemed like the ball went up to where the ceiling was — straight through,” Van Gundy said. “I said, ‘Alright, (expletive).’ If you can do that, I ain’t going to win anyway.
“I think the thing that people underestimate a little, and this has sort of been my argument to Rick the couple times we’ve talked — yeah, he shot them great, but he could shoot, too. If Rick shot them normal, he could shoot 85 to 90 (percent).”
Yeah, based on this video, we’re pretty sure Rick was just plain good:
Drummond has already improved considerably this season from last, up to a career-best 44.7 percent, which he credits to the use of virtual reality to simulate game conditions. If he can continue in linear fashion, maybe he can shut up the critics (and make himself more playable in the fourth quarter) after all.