Basketball Lessons from Kobe Bryant

With Kobe Bryant announcing his retirement, we thought it a good time to take some lessons from the master. In this video he gives some of his best tips, tricks, and lessons that can help anyone pass, shoot, dribble or dunk a basketball much better.

  • Tip #1 – The Proper Grip and Shooting Form
  • Tip #2 – Attack the Foot, Sell the Fake
  • Tip #3 – The pull-Up Jump Shot
  • Tip #4 – The Art of the Foul Shot
  • Tip #5 – Play to the Opponent’s Weaknesses
  • Tip #6 – Get in Character
  • Tip #7 – Stretch

…And finally, Kobe says you’ve got to have fun.

Some great advice for the beginner players looking to make their mark on the court!

What is the State of Basketball in Japan?

Many outsiders looking at Japanese basketball are surprised. While the game is nowhere near as popular as it could be, there are 2 leagues and many different teams. The sport has been played for over 100 years, but struggles to keep up with other popular sports like baseball and soccer. However, the existence of 2 leagues does at least make it interesting to analyze.

The 2 leagues are as follows: the National Basketball League of Japan (NBL) and the bj-league are the options available, and they have some obvious differences. The NBL is often seen as the unglamorous, serious option, whereas the bj-league takes more the glitz of the NBA in America. The former could be seen as more serious and driven by athletic discipline, while the latter tries to add some showbiz to the game.

basketball dunkThe NBL takes a lot of corporate sponsorship money, which can make it hard for fans to really get behind. Companies like Hitachi and Toyota sponsor teams, so rooting for your hometown team is harder. The existence of corporate money does make life easier for some teams, but this does not make for a level playing field as not everybody attracts this level of sponsorship.

The bj-league avoids this corporate sponsorship, allowing for fans to get behind local teams with more NBA inspired names. Teams like Oita Heat Devils, Osaka Evessa, and Shiga Lakestars. But without corporate sponsors, it is tough to compete against other popular sports.

From October 2016 all will change. FIBA have decided that the NBL and bj-league must merge if their licenses are to be allowed. This merger will begin the start of the B.League.

The league will consist of three divisions; the first two divisions will have 18 teams each. The third division will have nine teams made up of de facto semi-professional teams. There will be a system of promotion and relegation between the first and second division. Each of the first two divisions will be further divided into three conferences. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B.League)

It is hard to assess how this will affect support for basketball in Japan, but it is certainly a major upheaval. While many people are unsure of exactly what to expect over the coming seasons, there is reason to be optimistic about the future of basketball in the country.

Drills for Attacking the Basket

John Calipari explains some drills and tricks for attacking the basket featuring Damian Lillard, John Wall, Kemba Walker and Ty Lawson.

If you want to become a better basketball player, you really should pay attention to what you can learn from the video.