What goes through the great players’ minds remains mostly a mystery, even sometimes to them. But the great Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki revealed one of his free throw mind games to Adam McKay and Adam Davidson on the Awesome Boring podcast. Nowitzki used to calm himself down at the line by singing the Counting Crows “Mr. Jones” to himself.
It was his shooting coach’s idea. Nowitzki loves the song. Still loves it. If you click below you’ll hear the big German’s mellifluous rendition — and you might even accidentally make two free throws while he’s singing. For his career Nowitzki has shot nearly 90% from the stripe. The liveliest line in the song, which was a #1 hit in the 1990s, says “Cut up, Maria! Show me some them Spanish dances / Pass me a bottle, Mr. Jones!”