DeAndre Jordan, a career 43 percent free-throw shooter, is shooting 39 percent from the line this season. Via Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles TImes:
“Yeah, I’m aware of it, but I also work on it,” Jordan said. “I could understand it if I just didn’t work on my free-throw shooting and I’m just going out there and saying, ‘I just hope they go in.’ That’s what people don’t understand.
“They’re like, ‘You should work on your free-throw shooting.’ What the [heck] you think I’m doing? That’s why I think some people are idiots. … Do they think we really go out there — me or Dwight Howard or whoever — do you think we go out there and just try to miss them?”
Jordan makes a good point. Many people claim they could shoot free throws better than players like Jordan do, and they probably could in an empty gym if that were their only task. But put them through a workout that simulates the rigors of an NBA game – I’m not even worried about the pressure of thousands of fans watching – and few could still match Jordan’s 39 percent.
But at a certain point, the proof is in the pudding. Maybe Jordan works hard at the line, but does he work smartly? Until his free-throw percentage rises, it’s not idiotic to question his training methods.