Hard work, dedication and form shooting: The only way to go from being an average shooter to a lethal threat is by working on your shot day after day after day. Kidd’s probably put in thousands of hours of work over the years, yet putting time in isn’t enough. Somewhere along the road somebody had to tweak Kidd’s shot a little bit here, a little bit there. After tweaking the shot comes repetitions after repetitions after repetitions with the new shot, especially close shots around the rim to hone the new form, which Kidd has clearly done throughout the years.
Release point: A consistent release point goes a long way towards determining success as a shooter and it appears that through all the years of struggle, Kidd has finally found the release point that suits his jump shot best – just above his right eye.
Set-shot: Kidd began his career as someone who could get up and down the court with the best of them, even throwing down dunks from time to time, and his jump shot suffered as a result of his ability to get off the ground. For years, Kidd would jump and release the ball at different points, which means there was no consistency with the aforementioned release point. Kidd’s jumper has reached the level it’s at because he goes up in one motion and shoots at the peak of his now tiny jump, which has created more consistency.
Arc / follow through – up, not out: If you watch this video from his early Dallas days and then watch the game winner below, you’ll see that Kidd’s arc has changed dramatically over the years. This is a result of a consistent release point and follow through; Kidd is shooting the ball higher because he is shooting the ball upwards instead of outwards. In other words, his arm is extending more towards the heavens than it is towards the hoop, which creates more arc and ultimately a better chance of the ball going through the hoop.
Confidence: For a player like Kidd, to have confidence in a jumper is one thing, but to be able to hit big shot after big shot late in a career after not being the best shooter early on means that he’s uber-confident in his abilities. Now that he’s found his stroke, he’s also found a shooters mentality: The next one always feels like it’s going to fall.
Dave Hopla: We featured him last week because we believe he’s been absolutely vital to the Knicks shooting success this season. He’s the best shooting coach in the world for a reason and you can bet he’s been giving Kidd pointers each and every day about how to improve his jumper.
As we said before, Jason Kidd didn’t have to do any of this. He could have had a wonderful career and walked away from the game as one of the greatest point guards to ever lace ’em up.
Remaking his jump shot has revitalized his career and, on top of his leadership skills, has made him indispensable for these New York Knicks.
Just as he used to see Kenyon Martin, Richard Jefferson or Vince Carter on the wings in New Jersey, you can bet that Kidd saw this coming from a mile away.