Through out the years we have seen a lot of weird pre game rituals like LeBron throwing chalk in the air and Russell Westbrook doing weird dances for several minutes. NBA players sometimes feel that it is necessary to do pre game rituals because they believe that it gives them good luck to play better. Most of the big stars in the NBA do some kind of ritual before a game that they either just created for luck or a ritual that they have been doing most of their basketball careers that they believe they need to play better. Dwight Howard once told a reporter that he sits on the "Throne of Grace" before every game to get all of the bad stuff out, so only the good stuff comes out during each game, and the Throne of Grace is actually just the toilet.
Millions of fans like watching players do their pre game rituals because it shows that the players are going to put up a great game against the other team, so it hypes up the crowd. A lot of players will create their own pre game rituals for publicity and because they enjoy doing something fun before each game that helps motivate them to play better. A fun fact about pre game rituals is that LeBron did not create his weird famous chalk toss, but actually got it from the one and only Michael Jordan! Jordan would go to the broadcasters table before each game and release the chalk into their faces, so the broadcasters at one point put on masks to cover their mouths and noses before each game to prevent the chalk from getting into their bodies.
I will now be listing the top 15 weirdest pre game rituals that we have seen throughout the years.
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15 LeBron's Chalk Toss
LeBron has done the "chalk toss" for much of his career, which is when he rubs chalk in his hands and tosses it in the air before every game. This is pretty weird because he took it from Michael Jordan and never gave him credit for it, but also he is just throwing chalk into the air which I consider pretty strange. He started the chalk toss in Cleveland, but discontinued it when he went to Miami for four years, but when he went back to Cleveland he asked fans to vote whether or not he should bring it back or not and they voted yes.
14 Michael Jordan's Chalk Toss
Michael Jordan started the chalk toss, which most people do not realize, but I ranked this one number 14 because he would throw the chalk into the broadcasters' faces. At one point the broadcasters started to wear little masks to cover their mouths and noses to protect their faces. LeBron James got his chalk toss from Michael Jordan, but most people do not realize this and they just think that LeBron created this strange ritual. Michael Jordan and the broadcasters at one point would have fun with this ritual by wearing doctors masks, umbrellas and gas masks to keep the chalk dust from getting into their bodies.
13 Shaquille O'Neal Goes Bowling
Shaquille O'Neal is known as a great NBA player, but most people do not realize that Shaq had his own scripted pre game ritual. He called it "Alley Shaq" and he would do it in the locker room with his Phoenix teammates and what he would do is pretend to roll a bowling bowl towards 4-5 players and they would fall like bowling pins. This pre game ritual was also preformed during the 2009 All Star game by Shaq, and he did it with six people on the court in front of the entire crowd.
12 Charles Oakley/Lee Ritual
Charles Oakley has always had a soft spot for Spike Lee who was a huge Knicks fan, and before every game Oakley would pass the ball to Lee who would inspect the ball and pass the ball back to Oakley. This ritual went on for a couple of years and was a pretty cool thing to see someone who was not that famous to have a pre game ritual with someone in the crowd who was very famous for his great films.
11 Jason Terry's Superstitions
Jason Terry was a very well known basketball for his great skills at the point guard position by making great plays, and helping lead his team to a championship. He would always do a couple of things before games and some the night before a game. The ones he would do before a game were eating chicken, wear high knee socks because his father did, and he wore a headband. The only pre game ritual/superstition he would do the night before each game was wear the opposing team's shorts to bed.
10 Dwyane Wade's Pull Ups
Dwyane Wade does pull-ups on the rim before each game as a ritual that he got from Vince Carter who would pull himself from the net and kiss the rim to honor his grandma. Wade likes to do three pull-ups to match his number that he has always since he started his career on the Heat. Wade is pretty well known for doing this pre game ritual and I cannot see him stopping it any time soon. Why should he? He seems to work.
9 Monta Ellis - Wax Hands
Monta Ellis has a pretty strange pre game ritual that he has started since he tore a ligament in his finger, which is that he puts his hand in warm wax and then peels it off later. He said that he feels like it helps him by smoothing his hands so he can smoothly dunk it. Ellis's pre game ritual is very similar to that of Moisés Alou who used to use a unique and weird substance to smooth/harden his hands to play better.
8 Danny Green's "Jump Around" Dance
Danny Green has been doing his "Jump Around" dance since 2009 when he was on the championship winning team UNC. He got this dance from the TV show House of Pains, but he changed up the dance a bit, and even in the NBA he still occasionally does the dance. Green is pretty well known for hitting the most three pointers of all time in the finals and won the NBA championship with the Spurs that year.
7 Steve Kerr's Pre Game Meal
Steve Kerr and Croatian star Toni Kukoč had a very strange pre game ritual that they preformed the night before every game by eating a ton of food. The foods and drinks that they would eat and drink were salad, appetizers, pasta, chicken, tiramisu, red wine, and an espresso. Kerr said that in Europe this is a very common thing because they eat a lot there and drink a little bit of wine with every meal. Does he do that before coaching a game too?
6 Rajon Rondo's Passes
Rajon Rondo is a very talented point guard who is amazing at passing and getting players open, and he is very well known for getting a ton of assists and steals. Rondo used to preform a pre game ritual with his teammates when he played for the Boston Celtics with Kevin Garnet, Paul Pierce, and Jeff Green. He would have four balls and he would start it off by throwing an ally oop to KG, then he would bounce pass the ball to Paul Pierce. He would then pass the ball all the way up to the scoreboard for Jeff Green to dunk, and then he shot the last ball. He discontinued this pre game ritual after he got traded to the Mavericks.
5 Carmelo Anthony's Inspection
Carmelo Anthony is a phenomenal player who has always been a great scorer for the Knicks and was also one for the Denver Nuggets, but has never been able to bring them a championship. Anthony has a pretty weird pre game ritual, which is just him inspecting the ball before every game for some weird reason. I guess he is just trying to inspect the ball to make sure it isn't messed up in any way.
4 Russell Westbrook Dances
Russell Westbrook is an outstanding point guard who is arguably the best point guard in the league because of his skills to score, as well as his numbers in the assists and rebound department. Westbrook is currently on the Oklahoma City Thunder and before every game he likes to do weird dances and handshakes with teammates to I guess entertain anyone watching the game. He has been doing this pre game ritual for a good amount of time and I do not see him stopping it any time soon.
3 Steph Curry Sprints
Stephen Curry is an amazing point guard who seems to not be able to stop from shooting threes or just scoring in general. This year he won the Most Valuable Player award which technically means he is the best player in the league this year. The best player in the league likes to preform his pregame ritual right before the game starts and his pregame ritual is just him sprinting up and down the court. This ritual is pretty weird because it does not include anyone from his team and all he does is just stop and start sprinting.
2 Joakim Noah "Force"
Joakim Noah is a center who has always been a pretty good player in the NBA who is pretty well known around the world. Noah has been performing a very strange pregame ritual that reminds me of him trying to use the force on the basketball before every game. He goes over to the broadcasters where the game ball is sitting on their table and he inspects/uses the force on the ball, I guess I thinks that it brings luck to him and his team before every game.
1 KG Head Bang
Kevin Garnett has won the no.1 spot on this list for weird pregame rituals! Garnett before every game goes under the basketball hoop and smashes his head a couple of times against the long foamy part of the hoop. This is straight up weird, I guess he believes that banging his head against the basket brings some good luck towards him and his teammates every game. But wouldn't banging your head make you a little discombobulated? Couldn't that hurt your chances?
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