What Is The Meaning Of Brick In Basketball?

What Is Brick In Basketball?

Key Takeaway: Basketball players, despite their muscular bodies and rigorous training, are not immune to shooting brick shots, which are characterized by missed shots that don't touch the rim or hit the backboard. Even top NBA players like Stephen Curry, Shaquille O'Neal, Russell Westbrook, Andre Roberson, and Ben Wallace have faced moments of being labeled as bricklayers due to their occasional struggles with certain types of shots.

Basketball players have a muscular body, and they look like they most likely less shoot an airball shot, but that is a myth. Players often go to the gym to get stronger, quicker and have high stamina. They wanted to be stronger so that they can bump easily in any of the opponents and to play better defense. Players also wanted to be quicker for fast breaks and to chase down and block a shot. Lastly, players go to the gym to have good stamina because having good stamina will help them to survive the 48 minutes game. 

Basketball players are trained well for different kinds of situations that need their physicality. They are also heavily equipped with many ideas on how to score a basket on a tight defense. Players are practicing for hours to be a tough and smart basketball player inside the court. However, even though players tend to practice for hours, they can’t still avoid bad shots. With robust muscular bodies, it looks impossible for them to shoot an airball.

One of the most grievous ways that hurt a player and a team is by attempting an easy shot that you normally take and missed it, or worst, the shot didn’t touch the rim!

Those shots I am talking about are called brick shots. Brick shots can hurt a team, player, and fans. If you are a player that usually shoots many brick shots, then people may start calling you a bricklayer. Don’t worry if you shoot countless brick shots, because even professional players can have a rough night.

In this article, we are going to take a closer look at brick shot basketball. We are also going to tackle the history of it and some famous NBA bricklayers. 

What Is Brick In Basketball?

Brick is a slang word in basketball that describes a bad shot. It goes like this, players attempt to take an easy shot like a free throw, and the ball goes off the rim or over the backboard and doesn’t hit the rim. Brick shots can also be an airball or a shot that hit only the board. 

Below is a video of some NBA players that are bricklayers. 

Difference Between Brick Shot And Missed Shot

You think that a brick shot is the same as the normal miss shot, and this is where you are wrong. These two have slight differences from each other that most people don’t notice. A normal shot misses usually hit the rim, or the ball goes in and out. Brick is also a missed shot, but it has some differences from a normal missed shot. 

One way to determine a brick shot is when the shot was missed and the ball hit hard on the rim that makes louder noises than normal. Another way to notice it is when a shot that misses the rim and completely goes off the backboard. Brick shots could also be an airball shot or a shot that purely hit the board only. 

Brick shots can usually happen in a free throw line or three-points line. Players sometimes brick at that spot even if they had a good percentage shooting there. One example is Shaquille O’neal. Shaq is a great inside player and rarely misses a shot inside, but when it comes to free-throw, Shaq becomes a bricklayer. He is one of the worst free-throw shooters ever. 

Let me give you some famous players that became bricklayers sometimes.

Famous Players That Became Bricklayers

Whether a player is having good points per game percentage, he can still face some brick moments throughout his career. Let’s take a look at some good players shooting bricks.

1. Stephen Curry

Curry is one of the best shooters in NBA history. Stephen Curry made a total of 2000 plus three-points. His career is not yet over, so it’s most likely that he will add more numbers to that. Curry is also having a good percentage beyond the arc and foul line, and it looks impossible for him to miss any shot. 

But Curry is still a human. He still has some bad games that destroy his percentage. Take a look at the video below of Stephen Curry hitting brick shots against Denver.

2. Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille was one of the most dominant players during his era. He is also one of the best players to play in the NBA. Shaq won four NBA titles, NBA MVP award, and was a fifteen-time all-star. 

Shaq is a good defender and a good inside shooting, the only thing he wasn’t good at is shooting free-throws. O’Neal averaged a 52.7% free-throw percentage. Some said that Shaq could have improved his free-throw percentage if he shoots underhand or “granny-style” shots.

3. Russell Westbrook

Westbrook is a cheetah inside the basketball court. His athleticism is always in a hundred. Westbrook’s speed and athletic power make him very hard to guard by defenders. Like Shaq, Westbrook is a talented inside shooter. He also has a good percentage of jump shots. Sadly, his three-pointer percentage is not better for a guard like him. Because of his low three-point percentage, Westbrook was often criticized by fans and analysts, calling him overrated.

Westbrook’s career three-point percentage is right above 30%. Even though he knew that he isn’t good at shooting threes, he still kept on firing them in games and the last minutes of the game. By doing this, Westbrook doesn’t just hurt his statistics, but also his team. 

4. Andre Roberson

Andre Roberson is a good defender and helps for Russell Westbrook when he’s still playing with the Thunder. Roberson can sometimes luckily shoot a three, but when it comes to free-throws, his luck runs away. He is the king of bricklayers in today’s NBA era because of his multiple brick shots during games.

5. Ben Wallace

If you are going to crown a king of the worst statistical free-throw shooter in NBA history, the crown will surely fit with Wallace. Wallace is a very productive player, which makes him an overall good player. He won four defensive players of the year titles, won two rebounding titles, and won an NBA title last 2004. 

The unlovely part of his career is his free-throw percentage. Shaq’s free-throw is much higher than him, and it was shocking if you are a new fan. He has a percentage of 41.4% in the foul line that makes him the worst free-throw shooter ever. It is shocking for a guy like him who has a robust body to miss such easy shots. 


Even though players are having a great career, it is inevitable for them to have a bad game. They have 82 games per season, and they may have 10-15 bad games. I am sure that these NBA players don’t want their fans to remember the game where they shoot bricks.

I hope you learned a lot about brick shooting in basketball. Now that you’ve known the meaning of it and you know that is humiliating. I hope you practice more so that you won’t ever become a bricklayer.

Which player do you remember when you heard the word bricklayer? Let’s hear that name in the comments section below!

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