Kobe Bryant Shooting Form: Breaking Down Kobe’s Shot


In my last post I covered Stephen Curry’s shooting form. In this post I’m going to break down Kobe’s shooting form. The reason I decided to talk about it is because in my opinion, Bryant is one of the greatest shooters in the NBA.

Kobe has been playing in the NBA for more than 16-years and his long lasting career is just an evidence of how good he really is. Even after all these years the black mamba is still considered as one of the best players in the NBA and the argument of who’s better, Lebron or Kobe, is still alive and kicking.

So lets get to it.

Kobe as you know, in his first years as a rookie, was mostly famous for his athleticism because he used to go to the basket a lot and he really loved finishing with authority dunks.

I remember as teenager me and my friends used to get together and watch Kobe and Shaq with and all the highlights they provided during their career together.

As time went by Kobe gradually started to develop more of a shooter personality and more of his points started coming from actually taking shots, and not so much from penetrating.


Today Kobe has the reputation of a pure shooter, his lifetime percentage of 84% from the free-throw line certainly proves that he’s a quality shooter.
But how did Kobe get so good at shooting?

Watch this video that explains the evolution of his game and the changes he had to make in order to improve his shot.

So as you can see there are a few reasons why Kobe got dramatically better in shooting the ball, but perhaps the most of them is the finger.

The Finger

The finger is the first thing we notice that Kobe does differently from others, he holds his index finger after he shoots the ball. If you haven’t noticed it by now it’s because you didn’t look deep enough. Anyway, this is something Kobe did not invent, he actually took it from someone else, can you guess who?

kobe-bryant-index-fingerYou guessed right, Kobe took this method from MJ (Michael Jordan). If you’ve watched the video above you’d see the footage of Jordan doing it as well. Thumbs up for Kobe for copying from the best.

The reason he does it is because the index finger is the straightest finger we have in our hand, and if we use it right in our form then we can make our shot go straighter.

Basically Kobe uses the finger to avoid shooting sideways and keeping his shot straight.

Here’s the thing though, you have to use the finger correctly to be able to rip the benefit from this method. You have to make sure that the ball rolls off your index finger. Of course we all know that, but what you don’t know is that once you follow through with your shot the index finger should end up over and through the rim, otherwise it won’t work.

To summary, what you should do is simply hold your finger over and through rim and that will help you facilitate your ability to become a straight shooter. Remember, a quality shooter is a straight shooter.

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  1. What u think about the finger release? Is it good? U know people’s use it?

    • I use the finger release myself although I don’t pinch it down so much as Kobe or how they show it on Pro Shot.
      To be honest I don’t even think about the finger when I shoot, it just happens naturally.

  2. lol ive seen the reply only now, forgot to ask u what u think about the turn it is good? its really helps with the elbow?

    • for me yes and im a leftie

    • I think the turn is a must if you want to be a good shooter, I can’t imagine myself trying to shoot straight. even when shooting free-throws I don’t square my feet anymore.. and after testing & researching this topic a lot I came to the conclusion that the turn is just the most natural way to shoot.

  3. How do you develop a consistent shooting form cause I tried a variety and still I don’t have one I stick to in games. don’t tell me it’s by practicing cause I have done all that.

    • Hey David, it’s a little difficult in games as you can see because when we talk about big shooters like Kobe, Steph, and Kyle Korver, you’ll see that in games they don’t always shoot the same.
      For instance, sometimes they would extend all the way and sometimes they would barely follow through with the shot, it’s all according to the situation they’re in and if they get a wide open look they won’t shoot the same as if they had a defender on their face.

      So you have to develop a different rhythm for different shots and then try to get consistent for that specific type of shot, it’s easier said than done but that’s basically the gist of it.

  4. Ah.what do you mean by turn and over and trough the rim?

    • It means that your when you finish your shot your finger should be above the rim and through the rim. Just imagine standing on the foul line and holding your hand just above the rim while your finger is pointing down on it, that should be your ending position.

  5. The pinch release is a good way to get consistent ? Beacuse nodbody except kobe using it.. What u think about it? U heared about people who have good results that using it?

  6. What if the index finger isn’t in the middle of the ball Jesse

    • Does the index finger have to be in the middle of the ball when you have the index finger release?

      • It doesn’t have to be Pancho, many people actually shoot with the middle finger as their guiding finger, it’s a matter of preference and what “feels” more natural to you. So if you’re using the middle finger it makes sense to have it in middle of the ball too.

  7. kobe is the goat of the past 10 years

  8. Barely 1 month has passed since he left the game and already I miss the black mamba and his highlights.

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