Steven Adams Free Throws: Oklahoma City Thunder Center Has Assistant Coach Punch His Stomach During Practice

NBA player Steven Adams perhaps takes free throw practice to an unprecedented level of intensity with a little help from his team’s assistant coach.

According to NBC Sports, the 24-year-old Oklahoma City Thunder center has been able to take his free throw percentage to new heights over the course of his past three seasons with the team. Many aspiring and current NBA players may study the strong points of Adams’ game and strive to follow his example on the court in order to improve their overall shot IQ and on-court skills. However, chances are that not very many people would be willing to accept the “physically-demanding” challenge of his reported practice routine, especially when it comes to how Steven Adams reportedly practices his free throws.

Fred Katz with the Norman Transcript claimed that when he is working on his shot from the free throw line, Steven actually asks Thunder assistant coach Darko Rajakovic to occasionally punch him in the stomach.

“[Steven Adams] plays one of the most physical styles of any NBA player. And he owns an unmatched, eccentric personality. So, when he’s working from the charity stripe, he has Thunder assistant coach Darko Rajakovic come out of nowhere and, every once in a while, upper-cut him in the stomach just when he least expects it.”

Does this unorthodox and seemingly painful “regimen” work for Steven Adams? Apparently so. Keep in mind that the New Zealander averaged 61.1 percent in free throw shots during his most recent season with Oklahoma City Thunder.

Therefore, even though it may not be the most preferable training method, perhaps there might be an effective point to take away from essentially serving as an occasional punching bag while practicing free throw shots.

Steven Adams first started his journey as a professional basketball player in the NBA back when the Oklahoma City Thunder selected him with the 12th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Long before he started making waves in the NBA, though, Steven Adams was already making a name for himself in New Zealand as part of the National Basketball League (NBL). In addition to becoming an NBL champion in 2011, Steven was also named the Rookie of the Year in the same season.

Only time will tell whether or not Steven Adams’ improved free throw skills will play an integral role in his on-court performances in the upcoming season. Fresh off of his record-setting, triple double-filled season, 2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook will more than likely be ready to dive back into the regular season with hopes of leading his team to postseason victories in 2018.

With Steven Adams still on the roster and former Indiana Pacers star Paul George joining the Thunder, it will at least be interesting to see what this dynamic team of potential superstars will manage to do in the Western Conference throughout the 2017-18 season.

[Featured Image by Jim Mone/AP Photo]