Like that empty lot full of void and despair, Cedric Simmons gave the world a shot of desperation and disappointment.
Prior to this season, 107 NBA or ABA players have attempted at least free throw, but have failed to make one. In other words, they finished the season shooting an abysmal 0% from the free throw line. Now, I shouldn’t say these players finished the season. For the most part, they were finished while the season continued. Their level of play was better suited for Euroleagues, minor leagues, or the local rec center.
But one man stands low below all of the others in the 0% FT club: Cedric Simmons.
In 14 games evenly split between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls in the 2007-08 season, Simmons attempted 10 free throws and missed every single one of them. These are the most free throw attempts by a player in NBA/ABA history without actually making one. Certainly going oh!-for-ten is a bad streak, but it wasn’t far off Simmons’s career acumen. He shot 49% in 2006-07 and 44% in 2008-09.
Simmons is now playing for Enel Brindis in the Italian League and apparently carries Bulgarian citizenship now. I’ve no idea what his stats are over there, or how he enjoyed visits to Sofia, but I hope he’s performing well. Whatever else happens though, he’s already cemented his place in North American Pro Hoops History as the most futile free throw shooter ever.