Many have argued that despite Wilt Chamberlain's success with underhanded free throws, he stepped away from the granny shot due to its public perception as a technique for older women. If that's the case, Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan should have no trouble employing the tactic.
(LOS ANGELES, Calif.) -- Granny style.
For the record, I have never once seen an older woman with a grandchild ever use this technique, so it's safe to say the term is not grounded in reality.
The nickname has withstood the test of time, and as a result has sucked the masculinity out of the shooting style.
One of the self-appointed manliest men of all time, Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain employed the granny shot, but backed off after a single season despite success. In the 1961-62 season, he raised his free throw percentage to 61 percent, his career best.
His legendary 100-point game? Yup. He shot his free throws underhanded.
This is a man who obsessed over his own offensive statistics to the point where they almost completely dictated his playing style.
On the other hand, there's Hall of Famer Rick Barry, a legendary shooter, who in his career made an impressive 89.3 percent of his free throws. He had no qualms with shooting granny style, because he couldn't care less about what other people thought.
Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan knows he's awful from the line. Unfortunately, it looks like things aren't getting any better during this off-season, as evidenced by this air ball during a Team USA showcase against China at STAPLES Center.
He shot 43 percent in the 2015-16 season, which would have been a league-worst if it hadn't been for Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond, who shot a paltry 36 percent.
Clippers fans can try to use Drummond's stats as consolation, but both of those percentages are depressing, and happen to be responsible for Prozac's greatest source of revenue (no data available for this stat).
Jordan also knows his strengths. He's an incredibly athletic rebounder and rim protector. If an NBA player even senses his presence while driving to the basket, he'll most likely cower and kick out a pass to the perimeter.
His skills are so readily apparent, that he claimed a spot on 2016's All-NBA First Team.
Even more surprising to casual basketball fans is that he's led the entire league in field goal percentage for the last four seasons (70 percent in 2015-16 season), while averaging 80.75 of 82 games played in each of those years. That's durability that front offices salivate over.
The field goal percentage comes from the fact that he pretty much only shoots from zero to three feet away from the basket.
Why wouldn't he?
He plays alongside one of the league's best pure point guards and playmakers Chris Paul, and another incredibly explosive offensive threat Blake Griffin, who has developed an impressive mid-range jumper over the years.
At 7-foot-1, Jordan best serves his team by setting himself up for offensive rebounds and easy (and not so easy) baskets under the rim.
But he doesn't serve his team-best when he's bricking from the free throw line. It's even got to the point where he's liable to miss the rim completely on a semi-regular basis.
The rest of the league averaged about 76 percent from the free throw line during last year's regular season. Jordan averaged 7.6 free throws per game during that span and at 43 percent made, that comes out to 3.3 points per game. If he were to hypothetically shoot the league average, he would have been scoring 1.5 more points per game.
Although that doesn't seem like much, it would have been good enough to give the Clippers the fifth-best point differential in the entire league at +5.8 (they finished sixth behind the Toronto Raptors).
If you go a step further and factor in another half point or so that Los Angeles could have taken away from their opponents during crunch time when they felt forced to keep Jordan on the bench, that puts them just above 2016 champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Just to further perpetuate the widely accepted theory of a dominant Western Conference, the other three teams were the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
One last point before moving on, the point differential in all four regular season losses against the Golden State Warriors was -5.0. That's a manageable margin that could have been easily overcome with Jordan as an average free throw shooter.
Getting back to the underhanded free throw, I'm not so sure the masculinity angle really works with DeAndre, who wears a dress for insurance commercials while playing the role of Chris Paul's fictional wife. We're talking tight dresses and blond wigs, people, and it's hilarious.
Source: (Hashtag Basketball - Brian Han)
So, what's the issue?
Jordan is literally being pulled from the end of close games because he is so much of an offensive liability as opponents force him to the line.
No fan likes watching that either (unless your team is making a comeback against the Clippers).
Jordan claims that in practice, he makes free throws at a much higher rate, but he has problems when shooting in front of large crowds.
Just channel whatever mental state you used for this shot, DeAndre. Please.
Wasn't that pretty?
Could you imagine this guy flying through the air for alley-oops and then spreading the floor on the next offensive possession as a three-point threat.
I've had this dream before and it's easily in my top-five.
The team needs DeAndre on the floor during crunch time. The only way that works is if he can make his free throws at an acceptable rate.
If that means shooting underhand while wearing a dress, so be it.
This team will take whatever it can get to finally get past the second round of the playoffs. This is a progressive city and league and the Clippers would probably fill up the seats more often, because of the better record.
Los Angeles Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers told The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski recently that despite coming off of his best season yet, the 28-year-old is about to launch through the ceiling soon.
Let's hope he's talking about free throws.