Best NBA Free Throw Shooters in history

Who holds the NBA career free throws record? Here are the NBA free throws leaderboard and the

Karl Malone

In modern basketball, free throws are a technical move that can make the difference between victory and defeat. In more balanced games, for example, fouls are committed to stop the clock and send opponents to the line with the hope that they miss the shot.

Throughout the history of the NBA, many legendary players have excelled in this technical move. But today we discover who are the best free throw shooters in NBA history and currently in the league.

And if at the end of the article you want to learn more about this technical move, here is the ranking of the worst free throw shooters in the NBA.

NBA Free Throws Record

The NBA player who has scored the most free throws in his career is Karl Malone, with 9.787 free throws made. Malone also holds the record for attempts, with 13.188 free throws attempted and a success rate of 74.20%.

In his 19-year career, Malone led the league in free throws made a remarkable 8 times and in free throws attempted 7 times. He retired in 2004 with a career average of 25.0 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 6.6 free throws made, and 8.9 free throws attempted.

Among other records related to free throws, we note:

  • Free throws scored in one season: 840, Jerry West in the 1965/66
  • Free throws scored in an NBA game: 28, Wilt Chamberlain and Adrian Dantley
  • Free throws score in an NBA Playoff game: 24, Dirk Nowitzki in 2011
  • Free throws attempted in a match, but none scored: 11, Shaquille O’Neal in 2000
  • Best career free throw percentage: 90.91 %, Stephen Curry
  • Best percentage of free throws scored in a season: 98.1%, Josè Calderon in 2008/09

Below is the ranking of the best free throw shooters in NBA history (last update: March 14th, 2023).

NBA Free Throw Leaders

1Karl Malone9.78713.18874,20%
2Moses Malone8.53111.09076,90%
3Kobe Bryant8.37810.01183,70%
4LeBron James8.06010.96873,50%
5Oscar Robertson7.6949.18583,80%
6James Harden7.3318.52483,8%
7Michael Jordan7.3278.77283,50%
8Dirk Nowitzki7.2408.23987,90%
9Jerry West7.1608.80181,40%
10Paul Pierce6.9188.57880,60%
11Adrian Dantley6.8328.35181,80%
12Kareem Abdul-Jabbar6.7129.30472,10%
Dolph Schayes6.7127.90484,90%
14Kevin Durant6.6067.45688,60%
15Allen Iverson6.3758.16878,00%
16Charles Barkley6.3498.64373,50%
17Carmelo Anthony6.3207.72481,40%
18Reggie Miller6.2377.02688,80%
18Bob Pettit6.1828.11976,10%
19Wilt Chamberlain6.05711.86251,10%
20David Robinson6.0358.20173,60%
21Dominique Wilkins6.0317.43881,10%
23Shaquille O’Neal5.93511.25252,70%
24Tim Duncan5.8968.46869,60%
25Elgin Baylor5.7637.39178,00%
26Dwyane Wade5.7087.46376,50%
27Russell Westrbook5.6827.29577,90%
28DeMar DeRozan5.5806.64883,90%
29Hakeem Olajuwon5.4237.62171,20%
30Lenny Wilkens5.3946.97377,40%
31Patrick Ewing5.3927.28974,00%
32John Havlicek5.3696.58981,50%
33Dwight Howard5.3619.45556,70%
34Elvin Hayes5.3567.99967,00%
35Walt Bellamy5.1138.08863,20%
36Chet Walker5.0796.38479,60%
37Tom Chambers5.0666.27480,70%
38Paul Arizin5.0106.18981,00%
39Magic Johnson4.9605.85084,80%
40Kevin Garnett4.8876.19078,90%
41Vince Carter†4.8526.08279,80%
42John Stockton4.7885.79682,60%
43Pau Gasol4.7556.31175,30%
44Bailey Howell4.7406.22476,20%
45World B. Free4.7186.26475,30%
46Chris Paul4.7095.41487,0%
47Clyde Drexler4.6985.96278,80%
48Tiny Archibald4.6645.76081,00%
49Reggie Theus4.6635.64482,60%
50Jerry Stackhouse4.6495.65982,20%
* In bold active players

NBA Free Throw Percentage

The best free throw shooter in NBA history is Stephen Curry (who also holds the record for the best three-point shooter in NBA history), with a success rate of 90.91%.

Here is the complete ranking by free throw shooting percentage.

#PlayerFree Throw Percentage
1Stephen Curry90,91%
2Steve Nash90,43%
3Mark Price90,39%
4Rick Barry89,98%
5Damian Lillard89,54%
6Peja Stojaković89,48%
7Chauncey Billups89,40%
8Ray Allen89,39%
9J.J. Redick89,18%
10Calvin Murphy89,16%
11Scott Skiles88,91%
12Reggie Miller88,77%
13Kevin Durant88,60%
14Larry Bird88,57%
15Kyrie Irving88,36%
16Bill Sharman88,31%
17Khris Middleton88,14%
18Dirk Nowitzki87,87%
19Jeff Hornacek87,70%
20Kyle Korver87,69%
21Danilo Gallinari87,69%
22Trae Young87,63%
23Earl Boykins87,58%
24Ricky Pierce87,55%
25Terrell Brandon87,32%
26Isaiah Thomas87,21%
27Kiki Vandeweghe87,17%
28Darrell Armstrong87,14%
29Jeff Malone87,11%
30Mo Williams87,08%
31Kevin Martin87,04%
32Chris Paul86,98%
Hersey Hawkins86,98%
34Mike Newlin86,95%
35Micheal Williams86,80%
36D.J. Augustin86,68%
37Devin Booker86,70%
38Chris Mullin86,55%
39Bojan Bogdanovic86,45%
40Allan Houston86,34%
41Luke Ridnour86,23%
42John Long86,22%
43Jamal Crawford86,19%
44Sam Cassell86,08%
45James Harden86,00%
46Wally Szczerbiak85,99%
47Kawhi Leonard85,93%
48Dana Barros85,78%
49Fred Brown85,75%
50Ben Gordon85,67%
* In bold active players

Who takes the free throw?

The distance of the free throw in the NBA is 15 feet (4.57 meters) from the center of the hoop. The free throw distance was established in 1949 by the NBA (National Basketball Association) and later adopted as a standard by most basketball leagues worldwide.

What is the distance of the Free Throw Line?

The distance of the free throw line in the NBA is 15 feet (4.57 meters) from the center of the basketball rim. The distance of the free throw line was established by the NBA (National Basketball Association) in 1949 and subsequently adopted as the standard for most basketball leagues around the world.

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