The Sky Hook
It is more and more common to see a big guy with good outside touch. Many take that out to the 3 point line and shoot respectable percentages.
What I wonder is why more post players don't work on some version of Kareem's Sky Hook. A lot of them shoot a little one handed jump hook, but it is not the same as Kareem's signature. Even back to George Mikan, there have been a lot of hook shooting big men. The shot gave Kareem a decided advantage, as it was a hard to defend option on the low block and even out into the mid-range.
What is your theory? Is it the fact that he came in and they banned dunks, forcing him to find other ways to score? Is it that new players would just rather dunk or would rather play at the three point line than down low? Is it that few people bother to coach it? I just wondered if others had a thought on this. I miss the shot and wish it was a bigger part of the game.
There have been just been too many rule changes that discourage post play. NBA is favouring this brand of 'sexy' basketball with guards and perimeter play wanted more then slow post and methodical post moves.
You think with the introduction of rules such as Hand checking, Zone defence, defensive 3 seconds, 5 second rules. All these modification mean big guys cannot get and back down in the post as much, and when they do they are met with quite a bit of help defensive. Also, with more perimeter play, big men are getting less touches. Furthermore, more big men have adapted to these changes and trimming down and/or adding face up/shooting games (more stretch 4s and 5s).
But also remember Kareem was a once in a life time talent. I really doubt there will ever be a player who at 7-2 was so ultra skilled and have an unstoppable shot like that.
Zone D is a rule? and how would 3 in the key or the removal of hand checking hurt the validity of the sky hook? seems like it would do the exact opposite..
They did not remove hand checking? They introduced it? Hand checking means coaches use their guards more on the 3 point line in order to take advantage of easier passage to the basket and attack more.
Zone D use to be illegal in the BA. It was partial eliminated in the mid 80s and since more then a decade ago the NBA eliminated illegal defence guidelines entirety.
Defence 3 seconds and the under the basket no foul area allows so much space in the key. Yes, post players have a bit more space down low , but this really favours guards and wings more. There is more space for them to drive and with players unable to just sit under the basketball and draw a charge this just means faster and more attacking rim basketball happens.
It may sound dumb, but at some point the hook shot went from a deadly and valid weapon... to being somewhat "uncool" on the basketball court. When I was growing up in the 90's, I started using it because I was always into basketball history and at that point was watching a lot of the greats from the late 70's. I was experimenting with hook shots and George Gervin and Drexler style finger rolls, and while the finger role was widely accepted...the hook was usually met with chuckles when I was playing with guys I didn't know. Even when the shot went down.
I think another reason it has fallen out of favor is because it's hard to get perfect. I was a post, and my coaches discouraged it in organized games, because I didn't have enough reps on it to hit it at a higher percentage, than a face up jumper. When push comes to shove, it's just an advanced shot, and the easier to master version "the jump hook" is much more accepted by coaches, and much easier to control for young players trying to develop their post games.
That's just my two cents as a fan of the sky hook.
i think it's all about athleticism.. eventually players have become more and more athletic and that has translated in a lack of skills because all they care about is dunking, dunking and dunking..it's very sad.. why are they gonna try to learn a hakeem shake or a sky hook when they can dunk over people..the problem is that is ok while playing in high school or college but once you become a pro you need something else to be a good player..
that is why europeans are in general more skilled and have a higher IQ than americans..europeans don't have that kind of athleticism so they need to develope other tools to compete..
off course you can't blame it all on the kids..college and specially high school coaches are more guilty as they should teach their players how to play and give them the tools to develope and maximize their potential..
and off course you can't just blame the coaches as the "basketball system//establishment" including marketing in general, brands,media and webs like ballislife/hoopmixtape reward physique over talent and always looking for the next big thing..and that includes someone who can dunk all over people..
if i was a high school coach and had a freak athlete big on the team i would let him dunk just once each game..
Another thing about European bigs is that the best prospects go pro at the age of 16 or 17, so since a very early age they have to play against grown men.
If you're a 215-220 pound tall kid playing against 260+ pound muscular men, I'm sure you'd rather learn some finesse moves so you won't have to bang with them under the basket all game. And when they're younger - they still play in youth basketball clubs (that are usually affiliated with actual pro clubs, for example, I had a classmate who played for the CSKA-1994 team) and I'm sure their coaches tell them exactly that.
The sky hook was a fairly unique shot which took Kareem a long time to perfect and as Nick5354 said above Kareem was a unique player. The current NBA does not have so many high scoring bigs as there were in the 20 plus years from the Hakeem/Ewing/Robinson era up to the KG/Duncan/Dirk era also taking in Shaq and co of course.
Those bigs who are near the top of the scoring charts are often athletic freaks, have legit 3 point range or are finesse players. Perhaps the heaviest scoring "old fashioned big" is DeMarcus Cousins. His offensive game looks fairly set and successful so it would not be likely he'd spend the time needed to perfect the Sky Hook when he can continue refining the strengths of his game.
The sort of player who could possibly consider looking at using the sky hook could be someone like Joel Embiid. With him out due to injury he might have the time to really study the move and if Sam Hinkie and Coach Brett Brown did think out side the box then they might consider trying to get Kareem to give Embiid a few one on one masterclasses. But again there would be issues, Coach Brown who spent a decade under Coach Poppovich at the Spurs would more likely look to Joel to try and copy Tim Duncan or maybe try to get David Robinson to give him some mentoring sessions.