What are some of the essentials of basketball shooting?
Number one: When you lift your ball up to shoot, it starts waist-high if you visualize holding a ball. What you’re going to do is raise it up. If you were to lift it to head level or a little bit above, the shape of your shooting arm, between your forearm and the rest of your arm, should form a backward letter ‘L.’ Most kids will take the ball when they start, and the ball will come back to their chest, underneath their chin area. When they were little, that’s what they had to do for power. When you collapse the ball to your body, you don’t get that perfect letter ‘L.’ What you get is a ‘V.’ When you have a ‘V,’ you’re dead. It just doesn’t work.
The number two factor is what happens with your left hand, or the hand that doesn’t shoot. Ninety percent of basketball players do that hand incorrectly. When you’re done shooting the ball, the hand that doesn’t shoot should not be facing the basket in any way, shape or form. But almost 100 percent of all kids use that hand to shoot, to push. That causes the ball to go off-line, which is a terrible problem most players have. A lot of NBA guys have it, too.
Which NBA players should youth basketball players watch to understand good shooting form?
Back in the day, I would have told you to watch Chris Mullin. He was probably the best shooter in history. He was not pretty good, he was great. Today, if you were watching on TV, (Richard) "Rip" Hamilton has pretty good form. Ray Allen has pretty good form, too.