There are precious few sports in which fans can have a direct impact on the outcome of the contest. Home court/field advantage is a very real thing in most sports, but its impact is largely intangible. The role between fans and players is clearly defined. Players play, and fans cheer.
There is one area in basketball where the fans can have a tangible effect on the scoreline: free throws. Fans sitting behind the baselines get to be in the peripheral vision of the free throw shooter and grab their attention with silly antics Over time, fans have developed free-throw distraction into an art form, with a level of dedication and ingenuity one wishes draft busts would have displayed. They've taken the simple acts of yelling and heckling and elevated it considerably.
It has been well established that making free throws during a game is largely a matter of calming your nerves. Shaq used to claim that he could make 80% of his freebies during practice, but during game time nerves often got the better of him. Fans are all too aware of that.
Here's a look at some of the funniest, creative and most distracting free throw distractions in basketball:
#10 Khem Kong
Size does make a difference in some cases. This terrifying reproduction of the likeness of UNLV forward Khem Birch was created through a 3D printer and christened Khem Kong.
It took over two months to produce this likeness and it cost roughly $1500 to create it. The first time it was unveiled was on 22 January 2014 against Utah State, but the player ended up making both free throws.
The hard work paid off as it earned the distinction of the largest prop in college basketball.