Ain't nothing free about it

Think making a free throw in the playoffs is easy? Think again. Bruce Ely

This article appears in the May 3 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

The very name -- free throw -- suggests something easy. What kind of supersized idiot can't make one of those? Admit it, that's what runs through your mind whenever you see LeBron or Kobe or any other superstar who regularly splashes threes from 30 feet with a defender's hand in his grill miss an uncontested 15-foot set shot. How is it possible someone with athletic talent rarer than a camera-shy Kardashian can clank the same shot a 71-year-old retired podiatrist once made 2,750 times in a row?