It was honestly a bit surprising to discover that Jermaine O’Neal, now in his 18th NBA season and currently with the Golden State Warriors, is a career 71 percent free throw shooter, and is hitting almost 75 percent of his attempts this season.
Watch his shooting motion over and over again in the video clip above, and you’ll see why that’s counterintuitive, to say the least.
The hitch at the top of his stroke acts as a de facto pump fake, and opposing players fall for it over and over again by stumbling into the lane before the ball is released.
It’s a violation if the referees choose to call it, which can be hit or miss at best. But the scouting reports on O’Neal are apparently woefully incomplete where most teams are concerned, considering that he’s been all about this awkward motion for so many years.