The pull-up jumper is deadly and Kemba Walker agrees

Kemba Walker
Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker (15) shoots over Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum (3) during an NBA game at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon on January 31, 2017 (Photo: Christopher Oertell/Portland Tribune)

One of the lethal under the radar moves is the pull-up jumper. Yes, I said it, the pull-up jumper. But not just the basic pull-up jumper but more of a full speed, downhill stop on a dime jumper.

It’s not talked about because it’s not eye candy. It doesn’t usually break ankles, it’s not fancy, and not going to get spectators out of their seats. However, it’s lethal and purposeful and that’s what’s important.

On CJ McCollum’s latest podcast, The Pull-Up, Kemba Walker was a special guest where they discussed a number of topics. One of those topics was this exact move and how Walker has perfected it.

McCollum: “I don’t really watch makes and misses, I watch the balance of how guys are able to dribble at somebody full speed stop on a dime and raise up… And I was like he’s got it. If he’s hitting that shot then he’s going to be impossible to guard.”

Kemba: “It’s a tough shot though but you have to put that work in.”

McCollum’s co-host, Jordan Schultz continued the conversation and went more in-depth about the balance it takes to be able to knock down that pull-up jumper going full speed.

Schultz: “It’s a balance thing with that pull-up going full speed.”

Kemba: “Balance is mostly everything. Especially because I use my speed a lot to get over the pick and roll and beat defenders. Balance is a huge part of my shot personally.”

Gems! Gems! Gems!

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When an offensive player is coming downhill full speed and can stop on a dime, there’s no easy way to defend it. The defender naturally retreats because the offensive player is coming at them full speed which allows them to create space to get a good shot off.

There are a few players who are extremely talented at this. Walker is one but a few other guys that come to mind are Russell Westbrook and Victor Oladipo. The Pacers guard killed the Cleveland Cavaliers last year in the playoffs with this very move. Whether it was a mid-range jumper, three, or hesitation to the rim, Oladipo had his way with defenders.

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When you watch these guys perform this move you can see the balance that Schultz and Walker discussed. Balance determines accuracy. When you’re swaying your body or tilting your lower body, it throws off where the shot is going. These guys go straight up and down and that’s such a hard thing to do going full speed off the dribble.

I suggest students add this very move to their game. It’s very beneficial in multiple situations. Whether you’re coming off of a pick and roll or leading a fast break, it’s a beneficial way to get your shot off. If you want some pointers just watch Kemba Walker and don’t forget to stay balanced.


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