Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Form first, and the range will come

What does LeBron James have in common with Tiger Woods?

According to Chris Ballard in SI, "Just as Tiger Woods remade his swing when he was already dominant, James spent last summer quietly reconstructing his jumper, working with assistant coach Chris Jent five days a week, an hour and a half per session."


If you watched James shoot last year, you know why; even though teams were petrified of his penetration, he sometimes looked like he was chucking pumpkins at the backboard. According to NBA.com, he hit only 37.1% of his two-point jumpers from the top of the key and the wings, which are the money spots for an off-the-dribble midrange shooter.

Ballard describes how Lebron -- "like a pee-wee player, began by putting up one-handed shots close to the basket."

He graduated to "one-dribble jumpers and free throws, then midrange shots. Remarkably, never once during the sessions did he fling a three-pointer."

Says Coach Jent:

"Form first, and the range will come."