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Top 15 Worst Free-Throw Shooters in NBA History

Free throws are supposed to be easy. The foul shot exists as a near-automatic reward for drawing illegal contact from an opposing player, and most NBA players are able to make at least seven or eight out of every 10 free-throw attempts they are awarded. Players like Steve Nash, Steph Curry and Mark Price have been able to knock down 90 percent of the free throws they attempted during their careers, and Nash’s career percentage of 90.4 percent is currently the best in NBA history.

While there have been plenty of players who have taken full advantage of the free throw, there have been, of course, many who have been nothing short of atrocious from the charity stripe. Some players have been so bad that strategies have developed in which teams decide that they would rather put a poor free-throw shooter on the line rather than give the team an offensive possession outside of just late-game situations. The most prominent example is the famed “Hack-a-Shaq” routine, and even though Shaq has retired, the strategy lives on in the NBA today.

The players who appear on this list all had serious struggles from the free-throw line throughout their career. While it seems that free-throw shooting is a skill that can be worked on and improved, these players were unable to overcome their struggles at the line and could not take advantage of the freebies that were given to them. So while Chris Webber was able to vastly improve his free-throw skills over time, the players on this list came into the league shooting poorly from the foul line and left the league shooting poorly from the foul line.

*All stats are taken from Basketball-Reference.com and are correct as of April 1st, 2015.

15 Rajon Rondo

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

14 Emeka Okafor

via probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com

13 Elmore Smith

via elmoresmithbbqsauce.com

12 Dwight Howard 

Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

11 Kwame Brown

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

10 Dale Davis

via stat-nba.com

9 Bill Russell

via sikids.com

8 Greg “Cadillac” Anderson

Elsa Hasch /Allsport

7 Shaquille O’Neal

6 Bo Outlaw

via slamonline.com

5 Wilt Chamberlain

via complex.com

4 Andris Biedrins

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

3 Chris Dudley

via oregonlive.com

2 DeAndre Jordan

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

1 Ben Wallace

via slamonline.com

Ben Wallace was never granted a roster spot or playing time because of anything having to do with offense, as the longtime Pistons forward was one of the best defensive players to ever play the game. He won the Defensive Player of the Year Award four times, so the fact that he was terrible from the free-throw line was something the teams he played for were more than willing to overlook. Wallace’s career mark of 41.4 percent is just awful, and there were six seasons during his career in which his percentage was below the 40 percent mark.

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Top 15 Worst Free-Throw Shooters in NBA History