For fans, a trip to the free-throw line is the most mundane action of a 48-minute contest. More often than not, aside from commercial breaks, it’s the perfect opportunity for someone at home to flip the channel and see what else is on or to peruse social media. On the court, however, the free-throw line acts as a reunion for a players, an exercise in trash talk or a recalibration of expectations.
You can liken it to baseball, when a batter reaches base and spends, potentially, minutes there next to an opponent, one with whom he may have a relationship, or with whom he can at least share words. The visits to the NBA’s free-throw line are much shorter. Yet there’s always time for words to be exchanged.