Malcolm Gladwell has an episode of his podcast on Wilt Chamberlain, who was a famous basketball player. He’s likely best known for being the only player in NBA history to score 100 points in a game. It was surprising for me to learn that he was also the third worst free-throw shooter in NBA history with a 51% free throw average. Then in the 62-63 season he changed his technique. Chamberlain started shooting free-throws underhand or granny style. He improved his free-throw average to 63% that year. It was also the same year he scored points in one game.

Despite the success he saw shooting underhand, he stopped. In his own words:

I felt silly, like a sissy, shooting underhanded. I know I was wrong,” Chamberlain later wrote in his autobiography. “I know some of the best foul shooters in history shot that way. Even now, the best one in the NBA, Rick Berry, shoots underhanded. I just couldn’t do it.

In other words, he didn’t want to be different.

People with disabilities can’t make a choice to stop being different. Everyone says it’s good to be different. But it’s hard.

Published by Tilak Dutta

I'm on a journey to understand ways I can be happier and healthier. I try to share what I've learned.

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