WATCH: Houston Rockets Player Talks to the Ball Before Making Free Throws, Fans Shocked

Published 11/08/2021, 6:00 AM EST
Oct 24, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Rockets center Alperen Sengun (28) and Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) fight over a loose ball in the fourth quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports


As Stephen Curry’s Warriors defeated the Houston Rockets on November 7 in what could have been a close game, the fans made an interesting observation. As a part of his free throw routine, the 19-year-old Rockets rookie Alperen Sengun talks to the ball before shooting.

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That’s right, he whispers something to the ball before every shot he takes at the free-throw line. Although, what fans and experts expect to be a superstition has somehow not yielded the results Sengun would have liked. By now, he has only shot and made 23 of his 30 free throw attempts.

Nevertheless, what Alperen does at the free-throw line before every attempt has the fans shocked.

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NBA fans react to Houston Rockets’ Alperen Sengun’s absurd FT routine

After mocking Giannis Antetokounmpo’s painfully long preperation for FTs, the fans now have a new target at place. Take a look at the most interesting of the comments they made –

Currently, the 6’9″ center is attempting 3.3 FTs per game and converting 76.7% of those. Looks like he can do better than that and his talks with the ball signals how eagerly he wishes to.

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How did this affect the Houston Rockets?

While the Rockets suffered an embarrassing breakdown near the end of the third quarter, there were a few takeaways from their loss to the Golden State Warriors. Primarily that they need to improve their free-throw shooting. The unit missed 12 FTs tonight in a 13 point loss. The game would’ve certainly been much closer had Sengun and Tate not struggled from the free-throw line.

Nov 7, 2021; Alperen Sengun is fouled by Nemanja Bjelica as he drives to net during the third quarter at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Second, the Rockets need to stop completely relying on Christian Wood to dominate inside the paint. Not saying that Wood is not reliable, but he too will have his off days and someone else will have to emerge.

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Plus, they were playing against a small-ball Warriors where a 6 foot 7 Draymond Green was playing as the center. Therefore, they should have taken advantage of the height mismatch much efficiently than they did.

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Other insane superstitions from across the NBA

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The legendary San Antonio forward Tim Duncan had an absurd routine. He used to wear his shorts backward in practice since he had one good practice in college where he accidentally wore his shorts backward.

Another crazy game day ritual being the Lakers guard Rajon Rondo taking showers five times on every game day and Warriors’ Steph Curry writing on his shoes. So Sengun is not the first one to have a superstition in the game. However, he might surely be one of the rare ones to use his superstition mid-game.

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

372 articles

Chaitanya Dadhwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Even though his journalism is driven by his desire to understand both sides of an argument and give a neutral perspective, he is biased towards Houston Rockets and Arsenal, and he has shown exactly how loyal he can be through tough times. Currently a Law student at Jindal Global Law School, he aims to have his own sports management firm one day and enjoys rap music during his time off.

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