The Art of the 3-Pointer (Ben Gordon-style)
Shooting a 9-inch-wide ball through an 18-inch-diameter basket from more than 23 feet away is no easy feat, but Bulls guard Ben Gordon is quickly becoming one of the league’s top 3-point shooters. He is currently ranked tenth among the NBA’s all-time career leaders in 3-point field goal percentage (.413). Asked about other long-range shooters he emulates, Gordon is quick to answer: “B.J. Armstrong and Steve Kerr.” Spoken like a true Bull. Here’s how Gordon connects from behind the arc.
by Nora O’Donnell
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Focus eyes on the back rim of the basket and make sure shoulders face the target.
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Position feet square to basket, with toes facing the goal. If right-handed, like Gordon, place right foot slightly ahead of left foot. Bend knees slightly.
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Lift hands to chest height. Cock wrist of shooting hand. (Gordon’s right elbow now points toward the basket.) Keep ball on the pads of fingers.
Release ball at the apex of the jump. Extend elbow and snap wrist. Put a high arc on the ball. Doing this-or being Ben Gordon-increases your chances of hearing that sweet swish.
Photography: (Gordon) AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh; (Kerr) AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser; (Armstrong) AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
BY THE NUMBERS
Last season, Gordon made 166 3-point field goals, a Bulls franchise record; he also set a team record by sinking nine of 13 3-pointers against the Phoenix Suns. And, in a game against the Washington Wizards, Gordon hit nine of nine from behind the arc, tying Latrell Sprewell’s NBA record for most consecutive 3-pointers without a miss in one game.
|BULLISH ON 3’S |
Former Bull Steve Kerr (left) is the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-point field goal percentage.
B.J. Armstrong (right), another Bulls sharpshooter, is fifth.