Brick by Brick: The Funniest Bricks in Basketball History

Morgan Wolf

Bricks in Basketball

No, we are not going to build a basketball court with bricks! Bricks in basketball is a special, but not positive term used in basketball. 

People use the bricks to define poorly missed shots or missed flights. Different factors can lead to a missed shot in basketball.

But when it’s about the bricks, a missed shot has to be the result of specific factors. Not here! Keep reading our article to find out what’s the reason behind bricks in basketball. 

Together, we will also discuss bricks from different perspectives of popular players and basketball officials. 

What Is Bricks in Basketball? 

The missed shots in bricks result in the ball hitting the rim or backboard with great force and then bouncing away without going through the hoop. 

However, it is more like a fun term used in basketball, rather than an official phrase. Often players, commentators, and even fans use this term humorously as an expression of off-target or unsuccessful shots. 

You can say, a brick is chaotic and often embarrassing for the player who is shooting it. So, no it’s not something we can be proud of. 


When a player shoots so poorly that he actually hurts his team rather than helping his team players instead. 

Kinds of shots like this can be really bad and ugly. Viewers around the court would then highly applaud the shot as a brick. And, the player who shoots the bricks is the bricklayer.

And trust me! Brick players don’t have any better reputations. In fact, not even players are in favor of bricks in basketball. 

“If my shot’s not falling, I try to impact the game in other ways. You can’t just be out there throwing up bricks.” – LeBron James

Is this all? Does brick only mean missed shots? 

Don’t be fooled! Brick is more than just a terrible shot, it is a little deeper. Continue reading to know more. 

What a Missed Shot Is a Brick?

What a Missed Shot Is a Brick

Source: 24hourtopics

A brick is not like a regular missed shot in basketball. There are different reasons why you should call a missed shot a brick. They are, 

  • The missed shot hits the rim so hard that it produces a clanking sound. 
  • The shot can go by the rim completely and bounces off the blackboard with a clank. 
  • Sometimes, one single missed shot won’t result in a brick. Instead, if a player constantly misses shots, he will be labeled as a bricklayer, like the curious case of Steph Curry. 
  • Players can sometimes, intentionally plan bricks at the foul line or three-point line. Consider Shaquille O’Neal who fits the profile with almost 59% of the field goal percentage. 

Here are some of the few cases that may point to a missed shot as a brick. But, 

Where Did The Term Come From?

The exact origin of the term brick in basketball is not well documented. 

Basketball has a rich history of developing its own unique phrase and terminology, often affected by the culture and language of the players, fans, and even commentators.

Many believe the term brick is also the result of such a common practice of culture and habits. And now, spectators, and even the officials sometimes, use this term worldwide in basketball. 

Examples of Popular Bricks in Basketball

Examples of Popular Bricks in Basketball

Source: andscape

You can only believe the effect of bricks on basketball and players with real-life examples. Here are some of the popular cases of bricks we have collected so far, 

1) Nick Anderson’s Free Throws in the 1995 NBA Finals 

Nick Anderson, former basketball player of Orlando Magic was an ideal example of brick. He missed four consecutive free throws during the last period of Game 1 of the 1995 NBA Finals against the Houston Rockets.

Basketball experts mention his sequence of missed free throws as a significant “brick” in history.  

2) Chris Dudley, Worst Shooter or Best Bricklayer? 

Former NBA player, best known for his size, strength, and most importantly, bustles. But, these qualities didn’t save him from the title of the worst shooter of his time! 

NO denying that, he missed productivity as a player. His free throw percentage was as low as 46%. Different clips from his play prove why he is unavoidable to bricks in the NBA. 

3) Dwight Howard’s Free Throws in His Prime

Unlike Dudley, Dwight was a prominent player in basketball. He had the potential with his handful of skills and left a positive impact on the results. 

Unfortunately, the bricks didn’t leave him alone. His missed free throws, often hitting the rim hard, were sometimes referred to as “bricks.” 

Sadly, a player like him had to struggle with free throws throughout his career as a promising basketball player.  

4) Shaq’s Unlucky Free Throws  

Another popular center player – Shaq O’Neal, had it all coming with his missed free throws. During his NBA career, he also struggled with successful free throws like Dwight. 

Instead of his expertise in other areas of basketball, his free throw shoots were extremely well-known disasters. 

5) The Scary Terry Brick

Rozier was one of only three best players in the NBA to shoot 50% or higher. He also recorded an eFG% of 54.8% in pull-up shooting.
However, things didn’t go on as expected. In a 2018 NBA playoff game, he attempted a winning shot during the closing seconds.

But, the shot missed the rim by a significant margin. It resulted in a funny term “Scary Terry Brick” used humorously by fans. 

It is not very certain to say this, that bricks are performed by weak players only. As you can see from our example list here, even the highly efficient players are not always free of the bricks. 

Reggie Miller, a former basketball player drew his desperation to bricks saying, 

“When you see me toss the ball in the air, that’s just me letting out my frustration from shooting bricks.”

Learn More About Basketball  

Many interesting phrases and terms are associated with basketball. And brick is one of them.

It is not an official term, nor the best one a player can think of as a title. Bricklayers are often mocked and it carries a negative mark in a player’s journey. 

On the other hand, no matter how careful and productive a player you are, bricks can often be dirty for you. 

The best advice for you is to keep patience and calm on the court and bring out your potential on the court. Leave your negative sides, especially anger behind and rule the scoreboard. 

Do you like our article? If you do, don’t forget to share it with your friends and save them from the court bricks in basketball. Also, leave a comment below to let us know what you think. Regards! 

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Morgan Wolf

Journalist with experience covering the intersection of sports with business. Demonstrated expertise in digital, video and social media content covering major sports including soccer, NBA, NFL, MLB, tennis and Olympic sports. But basketball is his passion. Specialties: expert for sports related content management LinkedIn