In a recent interview with the Dallas Morning News’ Eddie Sefko, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki answered a question that has been asked of him by many other players: What’s the secret to his shooting touch? “Breathe through your eyes,” Nowitzki said as quoted by the Morning News. “The biggest thing is, I try to see the ball through my eyes instead of through my hands. When I shoot, I see the ball through my eyes so I can get my body into the right position.”
There are few things in life more quotable than basketball legend Jason Kidd, so when he met with Dirk Nowitzki at a charity event earlier this year, he naturally asked the Dallas Maverick what he did to improve his shot, especially his ability to consistently make difficult shots from the mid-range area. “I just breathe through my eyes,” was Nowitzki’s response, which was picked up by the media and has become a well-known phrase in hoops circles ever since.
It’s hard to believe that Jason Kidd grew up idolizing former Dallas Mavericks great Dirk Nowitzki. But the two are family in more ways than one. Although Kidd has won four NBA championships, he still credits Nowitzki with helping him become a better point guard and he still shows up at Dirk’s games to root for the Hawks.. Read more about jason kidd coach and let us know what you think.
Dirk Nowitzki charmed NBA fans with his unusual talent before jump-shooting became a non-negotiable element of every big man’s arsenal. While the German was adept of finishing near the rim, he could also knock down a long-range shot with ease for the Dallas Mavericks. Jason Kidd seemed to be fully aware of this fact.
When the guard returned to Dallas in 2008, he contacted Dirk and inquired about his shooting technique. While Nowitzki was eager to teach his method, Kidd was perplexed by the response.
In 2008, Jason Kidd returned to Dallas and formed a partnership with Dirk Nowitzki.
Kidd was nearly dealt to the Lakers a year ago, but the Lakers refused to part with Andrew Bynum. pic.twitter.com/ssvrRZnmJW
February 19, 2019 — Ballislife.com (@Ballislife)
Kidd wore a number of different uniforms during his NBA career. He did, however, go to Dallas on two occasions to play for the Mavericks.
The guard joined the Mavs as the second overall selection in the 1994 NBA draft after leaving Cal. Kidd had a bright start in Dallas, but he only lasted two seasons before being moved to the Phoenix Suns.
History replayed itself more than a decade later. Kidd had outstayed his welcome in the Garden State after bringing the New Jersey Nets back to prominence. A trade sent the guard back to Dallas in February 2008, where he was supposed to assist Dirk Nowitzki and help the club get over the hump.
Kidd wasn’t above seeking guidance, even though he was a seasoned veteran at that stage in his career. When he returned to Texas, he sought out Dirk and attempted to pick his brain.
Dirk Nowitzki gave his new buddy some strange shooting tips.
During their tenure as Dallas Mavericks teammates, Jason Kidd (R) and Dirk Nowitzki (L) pose. | Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT
Nowitzki had a smooth shooting stroke despite being one of the bigger players on the floor at the time. That truth didn’t appear to escape Jason Kidd’s notice.
“In 2008, I returned to Dallas, to the club that had selected me. It was undeniably Dirk’s squad at that point. I was about to start my fifteenth season, and one of the most important things I’d learned was to keep asking other men for guidance. In a Players’ Tribune article, Kidd said, “Always strive to keep studying and developing your game.” “Coming into Dallas that season, I knew I wanted to work on my outside shot. Dirk was an unstoppable three-point shooter.”
Kidd approached Nowitzki after practice one day and asked for some shooting advice. Rather of just responding quickly and continuing about his work, the German went into a step-by-step description of his form.
Keeping your fingers spaced apart like this. Tuck your arm behind your back. This is how you should spread your feet. Release the ball in this manner.
It was all coming together. I was paying attention. That’s when he remarked, with a serious expression on his face, “The secret to shooting is to breathe.”
“All right, Dirk. “I see.”
“No. As seen via your eyes. “Take a deep breath through your eyes.”
According to Jason Kidd of The Players’ Tribune,
Kidd, understandably, was perplexed by the last step. He hadn’t finished piecing things together as of 2018.
The guard said, “I didn’t know how to react.” “We continued shooting, and Dirk simply looked at me with a shake of his head. Maybe he was joking around with me? Your guess is as good as mine to this day.”
Shortly after returning to Dallas, Jason Kidd’s three-point shooting statistics increased.
“Breathe through your eyes” isn’t the best piece of advice anybody has ever heard on its own. Kidd, on the other hand, seems to have benefited from Dirk’s advice.
While it’s unknown when the guard sought guidance, his three-point shooting statistics improved following his return to Dallas. Kidd shot a career-high.461 from three-point range in his first 29 games after the deal. Although a tiny sample size may have distorted that figure, he nevertheless did well over two bigger periods. During the 2009-10 season, the California native shot.406 from downtown, improving to.425 in the 2010-11 season. However, after winning the 2011 NBA championship, Kidd’s long-range accuracy dropped back into the 35 percent area.
Is it possible that Dirk Nowitzki was onto something? Was it simply the placebo effect at work that made the difference? It’s difficult to say at this time. However, the next time you’re facing a game of HORSE, it can’t hurt to try breathing through your eyelids.
Basketball-Reference.com provided the statistics.
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