The 7 Best Free-Throw Shooters in NBA History
Some players dread the free-throw line, but others see it as one of the easiest shots in basketball. You don’t have to dribble and there are are no defenders to distract you; all you have to do is get the ball through the hoop.
While many NBA players have mastered the art of the free-throw, none have done so with the poise, talent, and results as these seven players — the best free-throw shooters of all time.
7. Rick Barry: 89.31%
Not content to shoot free throws normally, Rick Barry mastered what many call the “granny free-throw.” This form involved him shooting the ball underhanded with both hands and throwing it up to the hoop. It worked, obviously, as Barry finished just shy of 90% on his career.
6. Ray Allen: 89.39%
Ray Allen kicks off a trend on this list. Many of the greatest free-throw shooters in NBA history are also the greatest three-point shooters, too. Allen historically has one of the best shooting forms in basketball history, and this also rings true to his ability to shoot free throws. He also did so throughout an 18-year career, showing that shooters never truly lose their touch.
5. Chauncey Billups: 89.4%
You don’t gain the nickname “Mr. Big Shot” without making a few free-throws. Chauncey Billups had the prowess on the court to hit the big shot from anywhere, but his free-throws were, perhaps, his greatest weapon. A clutch Billups free-throw was as guaranteed as death and taxes.
4. Peja Stojakovic: 89.48%
Peja Stojakovic was part of the wave of talented European players to hit the NBA in the 90s. Although he’s best known for his silky-smooth jump shot, his poise at the free-throw line was equally impressive. Stojakovic often takes a back seat to other players on Rick Adelman’s Kings, but he was a bonafide All-Star and even a 2002 MVP candidate.
3. Mark Price: 90.39%
Before LeBron James, Mark Price was one of the most famous Cavaliers in history. His consistent three-point shot and floor general abilities made him a four-time All-Star, but his prowess at the free-throw line made him a deadly assassin. At his peak, Price was nearly 95% from the free-throw line.
2. Steve Nash: 90.43%
He may be most known for his ability to take over the game without scoring, but Steve Nash‘s shooting ability was nothing to ignore. Despite his reputation as a playmaker, he was comfortable shooting it from deep. Developing a good shot was vital to Nash’s emergence as a two-time MVP, and his ability to shoot the free-throw benefited greatly, too.
1. Steph Curry: 90.47%
While not necessarily forgotten, Curry’s ability to make a free-throw is neglected thanks to his insane three-point shooting, stifling handles, and five appearances in the NBA finals. Curry is a free-throw shooter unlike anyone the league has ever seen. While even the slightest drop-off could get him in second or third place, it should surprise no one that he currently holds the top spot.