The Breakdown: Kobe Bryant – The Shooter



There’s been a lot said about Kobe Bryant, both good and bad, as he is one of the most love-him-or-hate him players in the NBA.  You can say what you want aboutKobe, but the fact is that he’s one of the most skilled guards in today’s game, and probably one of the most skilled ever.

One of the things that makes Kobe stand apart is his fundamentals.  For instance, Kobe Bryant has a textbook jumpshot, and any Austin Youth Basketball player can learn from watching and emulating the way he shoots the ball.  

The first thing you notice about Kobe Bryant’s jumpshot is that he gets great elevation, allowing him to shoot over defenders and get good looks at the basket almost every time.  How does he get great elevation?  Because he shoots with his legs.  WhenKobeshoots, he jumps and releases and extends all in one smooth motion.  There is no hitch in his shot.  A lot of young players shoot only with their arms, catapulting or slinging the ball and not elevating off of the floor.  When you shoot with only your arms, your shot is different every time and you don’t get a good arc.  Your shot also tends to fall shorter later in games because your arms get tired quicker than your legs do.  When you shoot using the explosion from your legs, you can keep the same form and range deeper into the game, making you more of a scoring threat.  Another benefit of shooting with your legs is that you have a better pumpfake.  The next time you watch Kobe, watch how many times he gets guys in the air with his pumpfake.  He’s great at this.

The second thing you notice about Kobe Bryant’s jumpshot is his follow-through. Kobehas one of the best follow-throughs in the game because of how he shoots.  He explodes using his legs and he keeps his eyes on the rim as he shoots.  A lot of players watch their shot fly through the air after they release, and that’s inefficient.  Keeping your eyes on the rim allows you to use your hand-eye coordination to aid you in making your shot. Kobedoes this excellently.

Kobe Bryant is also on-balance as a shooter, whether he’s fading away or shooting from an uncomfortable position.  And by on balance we mean that he is square to the basket.  No matter where he shoots fromKobemakes sure that his shoulders are square to the basket.  This promotes balance and helps his shot go straight forward as opposed to off to the side.  You can tell thatKobehas spent countless of hours in the gym working on his good shot form and establishing positive muscle memory.  A shot like his is not formed overnight.

The next time you’re watching Kobe Bryant, instead of watching the dunks and incredible finishes at the rim, watch his shooting form.  You can learn a lot from one of the greatest shooters of his generation.

For more basketball knowledge and tips, come train with Austin Youth Basketball.  Contact Christopher Corbett for a basketball shooting session today.  (512) 921-4444.

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