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

EYES/SHOULDERS:
Focus eyes on the back rim of the basket and make sure shoulders face the target.
chicago bulls player ben gordon
FEET/KNEES:
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.
ARMS/HANDS:
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.
THE JUMP:
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.

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.

diagram of a NBA 3-pointer
BULLISH ON 3’S
former Bull Steve Kerr

Former Bull Steve Kerr (left) is the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-point field goal percentage.

bj armstrong

B.J. Armstrong (right), another Bulls sharpshooter, is fifth.

Photography: (Gordon) AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh; (Kerr) AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser; (Armstrong) AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

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