Two days back, the Nets posted some numbers, with the aid of Mr. Whammy, aka Brooklyn lawyer Bruce Reznick, on the Brooklyn octogenarian’s effect on opponent free throw shooting. Bottom line: It is now a scientific fact worthy of an entry on Basketball Reference. Bruce Reznick’s hex — finger pointing accompanied by distracting jumps — works!
The league average as of Tuesday for opponent free throw shooting on the road was 78.9%, but at Barclays Center it’s eight points lower: 70.3. And as Whammy points out, that’s No. 1 in the NBA, beating out Wells Fargo Center in Philly (73.8%) and Ball Arena in Denver (74.8%).
That was before the Wizards took the court in Brooklyn Wednesday and Whammy did yeoman’s work behind the basket. He allowed the Wizards to shoot only 23-of-34, 67.6%. That’s 10 points lower than their season average of 77.2%. Kyle Kuzma seemed particularly bothered by the hex. A 73.1% shooter from the line this season, Kuzma shot a miserable 2-of-8 on Wednesday. Mr. Whammy’s performance did not go unnoticed.
Huge performance from Brooklyn's Big 3 tonight.— Matt Brooks (@MattBrooksNBA) December 1, 2022
• Kevin Durant: 39 points on 13-of-20 shooting, 5 rebounds, 5 assists.
• Kyrie Irving: 27 points and 5 assists.
• The Wizards: 67.6% from the free-throw line. pic.twitter.com/SkdQm8Pa1S
John Schuhmann who does analytics for NBA.com (and is the founder of NetsDaily) has the Whammylitics
Indeed, at the age of ~85, Mr. Whammy is having a career year. The Nets' opponent FT% at home (70.0%) leads the league & is the franchise's lowest mark in (at least) the last 40 years.https://t.co/kwKSNdpFpH https://t.co/v2bVZi3f7E— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) December 1, 2022
And this is not the first year it’s happened. In 2014-15, opponent free throw percentage was lowest in the NBA at 73 percent.
Mr. Whammy has been a Nets fan going back to the team’s days in New Jersey, but his best work has been in Brooklyn, distracting shooters while attracting fans’ love and media attention. Indeed, there have been times when Mr. Whammy’s home court advantage has been noticed by the final arbiter of NBA rules, game referees. LeBron James, then with Cleveland, complained during a game in 2015 that Mr. Whammy needed to be moved. Whammy did ultimately move after being asked gently by Brett Yormark. then Nets CEO.
Mr. Whammy referred to LeBron that night as “Hey, No. 23!” He was neither amused nor intimidated by the King.
He has even been featured in Nets promotional advertising like this one six years ago ... in which he said he believes he can be a deciding factor in games...
Reznick is in fact a trooper. He battled COVID to a draw this past summer and it’s rare not to see him under the basket with his wife and other relatives. So, the ball is in your court, Basketball Reference. We need a Whammy Watch.