Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3800: Houston Rocket's Chinanu Onuaku Shooting Underhanded ("Granny Style") Free Throws (and His Teammates' responses) - Body Language and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Chinanu Onuaku made his NBA career debut on Monday night with the Houston Rockets. He came in the game in the fourth quarter, scoring six points and three rebounds in a 131 - 115 victory over the Phoenix Suns. Onuaku has made viral news by the sinking of his two free throws using the underhanded technique - which is often times colloquially (and patronizingly) referred to as "Granny Style".

[Note: The original video has, since the original post, been removed from its online source. The images below however, were captured from this video.]

Although many technical analysts and players (including NBA great, Rick Barry) believe the underhanded configuration is indeed a method which is statistically superior (often far superior) to the ubiquitous overhanded free throw (even Wilt Chamberlain used it in the 1961-62 season, including 28 free throws in one game), it has not been used in decades.

The response of his teammates in the above video provide fantastic examples of some nonverbal tells indicative of emotional suppression.

Note his teammates' (and even some of the audience) reaction. In this post, for nonverbal teaching purposes, his colleague Ryan Anderson's reaction is highlighted and analyzed.

In the frame above, once Chinanu Onuaku makes his first free underhanded free throw, Ryan Anderson stands, cheers and "fist-pumps" the air (red shirt with white towel around his neck). It's the first in Onuaku's NBA career, so perhaps a cheer from a teammate is in order - yet for a free throw this is disproportional and out-of-context.

As Ryan sits back down, his mouth is configured in an "Inward Lip Roll". An inward lip roll (aka ILR) is a sign of emotional suppression. This is subconscious attempt of the mind to minimize both inward emotion growth (can you tell what feelings he's suppressing?) as well as outward expression of that same emotion.

A moment later Anderson displays a "Tight Tongue Jut". In this nonverbal behavior, the term "Tight" is included to describe the concomitant jaw tension (in distinction to a "Loose Tongue Jut" which has a completely different meaning). A tight tongue jut signals disdain and repulsion - in this moment, at the idea/sight of a "Granny Style" free throw. This is identical to what occurs when infants push out food which they find "distasteful".

He then re-configures into another Inward Lip Roll. Note his simultaneous jaw jutting as well as his mid-face (mustache region and nostrils) tension. Disgust is being felt (and suppressed).

In this next image, we see a rarely photographed (yet not at all rarely displayed) variant of an inward lip roll - with Ryan Anderson's mouth open moderately (Did you catch the inward and downward vectoring of his eyebrows and lower forehead?).

In this final image, Anderson recruits his towel as a pseudo-mouth wipe in order to cover his feelings of disdain and disgust.

Summary: Ryan Anderson's clapping for Chinanu Onuaku's underhanded free throws is hyperbolic and sarcastic. He is strongly suppressing emotions of repulsion and disgust. These feelings may be secondary reactions to other emotions or conflicts.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3799: Carrie Fisher and Princess Leia - Full Lips and Lip Pursing

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3797: Donald Trump's Out of Context Christmas Tweet

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3795: Donald Trump's White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer comments regarding Trump's, "Let It Be An Arms Race" Statement

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3761: Mitt Romney meets with Donald Trump

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3674: Drake Presents Rihanna with Vanguard Award - 2016 MTV Video Music Awards

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3638: Hillary Clinton's DNC Speech - and One Expression Which Profoundly Lowers Her Likability

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3599: The Brexit, David Cameron announces his Resignation, Protection and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3531: Helen Mirren, Subways, Sincerity, Empathy and Body Language