What Does "And One" Mean in Basketball?

Dear Sports Fan,
What does the phrase “and one” mean? I hear it a lot during basketball games but I don’t know what it means.

Dear Susan,
“And one” is a phrase that’s used when someone is fouled while taking a shot in basketball – either a jump-shot (farther away from the basket) or a layup or dunk (right at the basket). If the player makes the basket and the ref calls a foul on the defender who’s guarding them as the shot is being taken, the basket counts AND the player gets to take a single free throw. Hence the and one.Frequently you hear players yell out “and one” when they make a shot and feel that they did so despite being fouled, even if the ref didn’t call the foul – this is the player’s not-so-subtle way of chastising the ref for missing the call. Sometimes a the shooter will even shout “and one” before they know that their shot has gone in. Regardless of whether the foul is called, there won’t be an “and one” foul shot if they don’t make the basket. So shouting “and one” before a shot goes in is a complex emotional feat — being cocky and aggrieved at the same time!Everyone should be able to understand that aggrieved “and one” feeling – just think about being at work and being given a difficult task, and then accomplishing that task even in the face of someone or something unfairly inhibiting you. Say, for example, you’ve been teamed with the office dud – a real nothing burger of a co-worker – and tasked with pitching a prospective client. And say you get the account despite your colleague’s general uselessness – and your boss comes in and congratulates you both on a job well done without mentioning that you succeeded in spite of your dead weight colleague, not because of them – well, then, you too know what it is to shout “AND ONE” plaintively and futilely at the gods.

Word to the wise though — do not actually shout “and one” in a board meeting. That won’t go over well.

Thanks for reading,
Dean Russell Bell

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