Game Changer – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Skyhook

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Credit: Brandon Royal.

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About This Episode

For the first installment in their “Game Changers” series, hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice turn to the “Showtime” dynasty of the Los Angeles Lakers when they won 5 NBA Championships in the 1980s under the leadership of the legendary Magic Johnson. In addition to Neil deGrasse Tyson, in the last of our off-season episodes brought to you by TuneIn you’ll hear from not one, but three of the team’s superstars: Jamaal “Silk” Wilkes, Michael “Coop” Cooper, and of course, the NBA’s all-time leading point scorer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. At the core of this week’s episode is Kareem’s signature shot called “The Skyhook”, a shot so impossible to defend against that Jamaal calls it, “The most devastating offensive weapon in any sport I’ve ever seen.” Neil and Kareem break down the physics of the shot, which amounted to about 75% of Kareem’s 38,387 career points. You’ll hear how the skyhook, and much of the Laker’s success, came not from the flashy, Hollywood image the team projected, but rather from hard work and practice. Discover why the secret to succeeding on a team full of superstars is, surprisingly, humility, and the importance of sacrificing for the good of the team. Explore why, despite its “unjustifiable accuracy,” the hook shot has disappeared in today’s game, with its emphasis on the slam dunk and the 3-point shot. Finally, join us as we compare the 1980s Lakers to the teams of today, and Kareem tells the story of the only 3-point shot he sank in his entire career.

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NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Game Changer – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Skyhook.

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  • aliru

    Why the skyhook shot has disappeared?

    Hey guys, I love your episode on Game Changer: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Skyhook Shot (6/8/2017). It was amazing; however, it does to answer the reason why the skyhook shot has become obsolete in basketball. Nobody is looking at the main reason, which just happens to be that nobody really understands the skyhook shot. There are many attributes to the skyhook shot that one needs to tie together to be successful with the shot. It is not they post players are not practicing the shot. Players are practicing, but lack of success leads them to jump hooks and other shots that they are experiencing success with. There at 10 attributes that must be in the package for one to be success with the skyhook shot. They are as follows:

    1. Good rhythm and coordination

    2. Established body symmetry with the
    center of gravity above your head

    3. The position of the shoulder-line
    relative to the basketball

    4. The shooting angle

    5. Position of the thumb relative to the

    6. The hop-step (most important
    technique of the shot)

    7. Dribble set-up

    8. Size of the leading steps

    9. Practice program to develop the shot

    10. Practice
    to develop a need habit

    Give me a hook shot, and I will break it down into these points, and show you why the shot was unsuccessful. I have studied the skyhook shot for almost 21 years, and I understand the hook shot inside out.

    I would like to meet with your producer and share my knowledge of the sky hook shot. Check out the results of my knowledge on the skyhook by looking at this clip of me shooting the four options of the skyhook shot

    Thanks, Joe Odhiambo

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