Basketball is never complete without free throws; they either make or break the momentum. If you want to call yourself an avid basketball fan, you must know who holds the records for the most free throws in the history of the NBA.
If otherwise, do not be dismayed. This blog will educate you about who currently holds the record for most free throws made in a game and everything in between. You will learn how to improve your free throw skills, including the highest free throw percentages in NBA history. Are you now ready to learn more?
How the Free Throw Works
Aside from the monster dunks and killer three-point moves, NBA games never fail to amaze fans with their exciting free throw moments. Some of the best NBA free throws ever played involve tie-breakers shots. Hence, it would be best for you to understand how the free throw works to fully understand the dynamics of the games if ever you encounter such situations.
Free throws are a crucial part of the basketball world, as they are strategically used to decide who takes the win, especially in tight matches. Simply put, basketball free throws are privileges given to players. It usually occurs when the opponent is charged with fouls or violations, which earns you an open-throw advantage as their consequence.
In particular, the player given a free throw advantage makes two attempts to rebuild the team or establish their lead. If he successfully takes both shots, it is considered a “double-free throw.” Hence, either close or forward your gap from the other team.
Otherwise, it is counted as an “obvious miss” when you miss securing both chances. As a result, the other team gets another attempt at the ball from behind their goal line in case this circumstance occurs. In addition, score attempts through free throws only require good posture, focus, and repetition.
The bottom line is that knowing about free throws is essential whether you are a player or a basketball fan. The more knowledgeable you get, the better your perspective on every game you will watch or play shortly. Therefore, read on for some vital information about these shots.
What is the NBA Average Free Throw Percentage?
Mistakes are inevitable, for everyone can make mistakes from time to time. However, taking free throws differently would help because even the slightest mistake can mean winning and losing a basketball game.
Before learning the average free throw percentage ever recorded, it would be ideal to know its definition if you have not yet discovered this consent. When discussing free throw advantage, it is essential to understand your accuracy with your score attempts, especially during free throws.
Undeniably, the NBA is one of the world’s most popular professional sports leagues, and for a good reason. The league is swamped with some of the best basketball players in history, for their skills on the court are awe-inspiring and top-notch. However, it is not guaranteed that the best players can successfully make free-throw shots at all times.
According to the data from Statmuse, the average free throw from the previous NBA season ranges from 77.8%. The good thing is that these numbers are considered to be slightly above the 75% average percentage. It means the shooting accuracy made in the entire season during free throws lies in this statistic.
Meanwhile, the NBA average free throw percentage this year is poised to be 79%. This is just a range you may want to keep an eye on! However, remember that this is just a fearless forecast. The NBA may have a shocking and unprecedented average free throw percentage at the end of the year.
In other words, it is essential to know the average NBA free throw percentage, especially in recent games, to prepare yourself for any situation better. Having this information will help you improve your free throw shooting and let you know which players are particularly good or bad at this skill.
As an aspiring basketball player, you must never forget that 75% is considered an excellent free throw percentage—scoring a massive cap above this value makes you a free throw leader. Whether you are still a newbie or a veteran, accuracy in free throws will improve your scoring lead in any tournament. Hence, read on to learn the tips you must follow to ace this skill.
Who Has the Best Free Throw Percentage in NBA?
Accuracy from the free throw line is crucial for any team, constantly pressuring players whenever this situation occurs. It may be nerve-wracking, but the best players in the NBA have the best free throw shooting percentages. It is safe to say that they are intrinsically gifted and are born to dominate the court.
Before learning about the highest free throw percentage in NBA history, you may need to review the NBA free throw leaders. Ray Allen, Steve Nash, and Mark Price are a few big wigs that you may think of when talking about free throw legends of all time; they have cemented a spot in the iconic roster.
In the case of Ray Allen, he had recorded a massive 89.39% free throw percentage in his entire career. Meanwhile, Steve Nash and Mark Price share some top spots with 90.43% and 90.39%, respectively.
For the most-anticipated name in this section, it is in contested that Stephen Curry takes over the highest place with a 90.80% free throw average—slightly higher than Nash’s record.
Although some basketball fans may argue that Stephen Curry is a legendary point guard, he is regarded as the best marksman in the history of the NBA. No wonder he leads the list of free throw legends since he can seamlessly score three points with intimidating guards, much more without external restrictions.
What is the Record for Most Free Throws Made in a Game?
Free throw shooting is a strategic move in the NBA, especially for those players aspiring to have a successful career. Throughout the league’s history, few big names have established an unfaltering standing as monsters in this field of expertise.
To set the record straight, the NBA’s most free throws made by a single player in his whole career is no other than the icon himself, Karl Malone. Before revealing his monumental history, you need to know that Michael Jordan is also a player you should never leave behind when talking about this matter.
Michael Jordan is known to be the greatest player that the NBA has ever drafted of all time. Legend as he is, Jordan made a lasting impression with his clever tactics and made 7,327 free throws during his basketball career. Even though Michael Jordan’s free throw percentage is not at the top of this category, it is evident that he is still an icon in free-throwing and holistic basketball aspects.
Going back to the NBA, two top players share the highest spot of most free throws made in a game. Half of the tie is Adrian Dantley, who made history with 28 secured free throws during their match against Houston Rockets as a player of Utah Jazz on January 4, 1984. The other player is Wilt Chamberlain from Philadelphia Warriors, who scored 28 secured free throw shots against New York Knicks on March 2, 1962.
What separates these two is that Adrian Dantley missed only one shot out of 29 free throws, thus earning him more percentage than Chamberlain’s 28 out of 32. However, Chamberlain technically takes the most free throws (missed and secured) crown.
How Many Free Throws Have Been Made in the NBA?
Keeping an extensive track of the exact number that players from the first played NBA game until the present is such a tedious task. Hence, there are no available data to expose the number of free throw attempts ever made in history. Nonetheless, players like Stephen Curry, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and Steve Nash inevitably carry the whole industry with their top-notch free-throwing ability.
3 Best NBA Free Throw Leaders
There is no wonder that free throw shooting is among the vital skills a basketball player like you should master. As such, it is no question that there are a lot of great NBA free-throw leaders out there.
This section lists the five best NBA free throw leaders, from retired veterans to active players. Make sure to focus to see who you must aim to emulate!
Active NBA Free Throw Shooters
It is that time of the year to start preparing for the playoffs. What better way to get stoked than by checking out the top NBA free throw leaders? Check out their statistics and know who is leading the pack! You will surely love to check whether your favorite player made it to the list.
- Stephen Curry
You can never move past this list without mentioning Stephen Curry. His agile ball release advances him to make a sustained attempt now and then. In addition, his concentration has given him an average of almost 91% free throw percentage each game.
His over 2,900 free throws and counting is a cutthroat reality that Stephen Curry is among the legendary free throw maniacs in his generation and even of all time. Undeniably, he is also a flawless all-around shooter, and his free-throw shooting accuracy can vouch for it.
- Damian Lillard
Current NBA players are different breeds, and they have proven it in numerous ways—including their ability to keep up with the statistics in most outstanding free throw leaders. A living proof is Damian Lillard, who continues to challenge the seniors with his 89.30% accuracy.
He is just one of the two current stars with high potential of becoming a legend in free throws alongside Stephen Curry. Although Lillard is famous for his long-range and clutch shooting, he is on the way to establishing a name as an excellent free-throw shooter.
NBA Free Throw Shooters in NBA History
Aside from active players, retired players had already proven their prowess on the courts. Check out the list below and learn who made it to the list this far despite the upsurge of great players over the years.
- Steve Nash
He needs no introduction, for he is a two-time MVP who rose to popularity for his playmaking. On top of being an all-time great playmaker, Nash was a phenomenal sharp-shooter on the court as he carefully projected a perfect stroke before releasing the ball. Nash made 3,000 free throws with over 90% accuracy in his entire career.
- Ray Allen
Allen is straight-up a shooting legend. His shooting techniques are exceptionally positioned in a correct form, whether he is in a free throw advantage or shooting while someone is guarding him. He would have been included in the Hall of Fame if only he batted the Lakers to shame on one of their championship games.
Nonetheless, he is undeniably a legend in shooting since he recorded an almost flawless free throw percentage of 89.39%. It only shows how expert he is in aiming the rim.
- Mark Price
If you have never heard about his shooting prowess, you miss out on a legend in history. He is just one of the bests in the entire industry before and after his retirement. Mark Price never misses out as a free throw ace, thus earning him more than 90% of his attempt record. Above all, he averaged around three free throws in his entire career record.
3 Players with the Most Missed Free Throws in the NBA History
Some players are highly exceptional, that they can excel in all basketball aspects. However, some of them fail to perform well in free throws, thus earning them a spot in the most missed free throws in NBA history of the NBA. Although professionals, it is never guaranteed that every one of them can leave a remarkable feat in their entire career.
- Wilt Chamberlain
Although he had tallied a staggering number of 11,862 free throw opportunities, he failed 5,805 free throws at the same time. The number translates to 5.55 points per game, which shows how many chances he had wasted over the years.
According to statistics, his accuracy percentage suggests 51.1%, with 5.8 to 11.4 free throw attempts. He made 17 chances in every game in a single season but only made ten secured shots every time.
- Ben Wallace
Based on statistics, Wallace made the worst free throws in the history of the NBA with only 41.5% accuracy. On a brighter scale, Wallace was a maniac in blocking shots and rebounding due to his audacious grit and athletic prowess. In fact, he bagged four Most Defensive Player awards.
- Chris Dudley
Dudley had a height advantage but, unfortunately, wasted the potential by making more failed free throw attempts than the secure one in his entire basketball stint. He had 45.8% accuracy from his 691 to 1508 free throw chances. On a side note, he was one of the best contributors to the NBA charity, which proves his dedication even off the court.
Wrapping Things Up: Who Holds the Records for Most Free Throws in the NBA?
In this blog, we have listed down the big names who hold the records for most free throws in the NBA. Everyone should watch out for Stephen Curry is undeniably a monster on the court.
Suppose you are wondering if there are a few things you can do to increase your free throw shooting accuracy, which will help you improve your overall shooting technique. There is no better answer than proper training: your ability to score and your form and focus. Start hitting the court now and challenge yourself to increase your free throw percentage.
We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.