Like gourds, professional basketball players come in all different shapes and sizes. And also like gourds, there are some professional basketball players who stand out for a very particular reason: they’re ugly. Not ugly physically — these are professional athletes we’re talking about — but ugly in how they shoot the ball, which is the most basic part of the game they play.
9. Leandro Barbosa
Poised like an old woman in front of shelves at the grocery store, Leandro Barbosa pushes his shot away using two hands. It looks like he was taught to shoot with a medicine ball. Every little kid has to listen to their dad be like, “Buck, don’t shoot with two hands” for the entirety of his or her childhood, but Leandro didn’t give a DAMN.
8. Tayshaun Prince
Tayshaun Prince’s arms are longer than most regulation firehoses, which means that every shot sees him unfurling from within himself like a trebuchet. By the end, the ball seems like it should have so much torque that it’ll fly over the backboard, but nope: he’s a career 46% shooter.
7. Chuck Hayes
Chuck Hayes is the only free-throw shooter I included here, but I included him because his free-throw style is to basketball what the “refurbished” Ecce Homo is to art. If Hayes had any more parts to his shooting motion, he’d require an instruction manual to operate.
6. Matt Bonner
Matt Bonner is a superb three-point shooter — like, 42%-for-his-career superb —despite the fact that he seems to think he’s firing a rocket launcher. I mean, no reason to mess with success, but it’s a good thing Bonner’s 6’10”, because if most guys released the ball from their shoulder like that, it would get blocked 103% of the time.
5. Marc Gasol
On many of his spot-up shots, Marc Gasol doesn’t leave the ground. He just doesn’t, not even a little bit; his right foot might shift slightly forward, and he might appear to bob up in down in the air a little, but he stays firmly rooted to the ground. If you were that big, you wouldn’t jump any more than you had to, either.
4. Joakim Noah
Much like Leandro Barbosa, Joakim Noah shoots the ball with two hands. Unlike Leandro Barbosa, Joakim Noah also puts horizontal spin on the ball, making him an actual alien. It’s fitting that the weirdest-looking player in the NBA would also have the weirdest-looking jumper, and it’s also fitting that it would be a pretty effective weapon for him, but man: he looks like he’s throwing a television out a window.
3. Kevin Martin
Kevin Martin starts his shot somewhere in the vicinity of his knees and ends it with his arms fully outstretched toward the heavens. It’s the Twist And Shout of basketball shots. And it works very, very well — Martin’s got great range and a remarkably quick release. Not exactly a cat you’d use to teach your squad of 8-year-olds the fundamentals, though.
2. Shawn Marion
No basketball Shawn Marion puts in the air ever has any business going in. He flicks his wrists; he barely moves his arms. When he’s in the paint, he tosses shots that make his arms look like pool noodles. This guy was a 20-plus-point scorer in the early 2000s. I KNOW. Nowadays, he keeps his field-goal percentage high — it’s 48.5% on his career — by staying near the hoop and making crafty cuts, but sometimes he still gets buckets like this one, and you just can’t understand how.
1. Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber played in the Celebrity Game once, so he counts. Just look at that heave. I do not Believe in your shot, Bieber — oh no. Nope.