ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of my favorite descriptions of all time came a few years ago, back when NBA TV’s Steve Smith was calling Hawks games on Atlanta-area TV. The Hawks were playing the Chicago Bulls, and Bulls center Joakim Noah got fouled and sent to the free throw line.
Noah stepped to the stripe, took a deep breath and then … well, he didn’t shoot the ball so much as he kind of launched it, with both hands, with sideways spin, toward the rim. The Hawks’ announcers were taken aback, and then Smitty said Noah shot like he had a charley horse in his chest.
The thing is, Smitty was correct. Noah shoots the ball in such a way that if you displayed similar form at basketball camp, they would promptly refund your money and send you home. But it works for Noah, and he’s managed to be effective enough with it that no coach has seen the need to fundamentally change it.
Noah, however, is not the only NBA player with nontraditional form. Shawn Marion immediately comes to mind — I once asked Marion where he developed his strange release, and he said it was because he jumped so high that he was basically shooting down at the rim.
My main man Kevin Lincoln over at Buzzfeed.com compiled a list of the 9 Ugliest Shooting Motions in the NBA, and he makes a compelling argument for a lot of these guys. Check it out, and let us know who gets your vote for the worst shooting motion.