Recently acquired Hawks center Dwight Howard is one of the worst free throw shooters in NBA history. With a career percentage of .568, Dwight has tried almost everything to better prepare him for his numerous trips to the charity stripe. The eight time All Star just can’t seem to figure out the technique behind the art of the free throw.
In a new TrueHoop article, Howard reveals he once tried singing Beyonce’s songs to himself at the line as a focusing mechanism.
“I used to sing Beyoncé songs, that was my thing,” Howard said. “I told her about it when I saw her. I said, ‘When I sing your song, I make my free throws.’ She seemed to like that.”
No ones is exactly sure why Howard stopped, but he isn’t the first NBA athlete to use a similar technique. Last year, Dirk Nowitzki said early in his career he used to sing Counting Crows’ “Mr. Jones” to himself.
Despite how easy some NBA players make it look, the pressure of that moment, especially when on the road, can rattle players causing them to have poor free throw shooting in games.
“Free throw shooting is all mental,” Howard said. “In practice, I don’t miss. In warm-ups, I don’t miss. When I get into a game, I hear people say, ‘He’s going to miss,’ and it gets inside my head.”
An incredible athlete in every other instance, the previous number one overall draft pick lacks the mental fortitude to make his free throws. This has been an unfortunate stain on his other wise impressive NBA career.
“Because of all the attention to it, our flaw has been magnified to the whole world,” Howard said. “I’ve got little kids at basketball camps telling me, ‘My dad says you suck at free throws.’ Other players have flaws, but they aren’t getting magnified the way the free throws are.”