Kobe Bryant has been a sore sight for many eyes this season as he’s made his way back from being away from the game due to injuries in the past two seasons. He’s been the butt of jokes and heavy criticism early on due to his horrendous shooting. Bryant is averaging 16.7 points a game, shooting .339 from the field and .247 from behind the arc. All of these shooting percentages are career lows for the future Hall of Famer. Kobe is also averaging a career high in 3-point attempts per game with 7.2, which ranks 8th amongst the entire league. The struggle has been real for the Black Mamba, and he even admitted a month ago that that he was, “playing like s***”, but things have seemed to turn around as of late.
Kobe first 17 games: 29.6% shooting on 17.9 FGA per game. Kobe last 6 games: 48.9% shooting on 14.7 FGA per game.
— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) December 18, 2015
It seems that Kobe’s shooting is coming back and that’s simply due to him getting his rhythm back. Anybody that knows anything about basketball knows that shooting is all about rhythm. The stance, the form, the jump and the release all have to be inline to be able to make a shot. And to become consistent at it, it’s all about practice.
“Repetition is the key to success”
This famous quote pertains to a lot in life, including shooting a basketball. Ask any great shooter the key to becoming a good shooter and they will tell you, it’s all about practice. Consistency comes from taking a lot of shots on a daily basis and that’s how they become so good at it.
What affected Kobe so much was that he was unable to shoot a basketball. He suffered a torn rotator cuff last season that required surgery to heal. Many critics blamed old age and no legs for his early shooting struggles, but they failed to realize just how much the shoulder injury affected his shot. A lot of muscle memory goes into shooting, so when you’re unable to shoot for months and months, it’s almost like learning how to ride a bike for a second time (trust me I know from experience).
It’s no surprise to me that things are turning around for Kobe. Shots are starting to fall and his efficiency is beginning to rise. Three months into the season, he’s had the time and capability to work on getting his shot and rhythm back. It’s only a small sample size, but don’t be surprised if you start to see more shots fall for Mr. Bryant going forward.