Michael shot his with his back to the basket. Hakeem shot his coming off of the Dream Shake or a spin. KG gives a shoulder shimmy, back to the basket, then launches his over anyone who’s in his way. These greats all have their own signature fadeaway jumper, and Dirk Nowitzki is no different.
Whether he catches the ball in the post and jumps, turns, and fades in one move — or he elevates and leans back when facing his opponent — Dirk can drop fadeaway buckets in many different ways. In Dime #39 (on newsstands now), NBA’s reigning MVP broke down the finer points of his go-to move, focusing on positioning his defender and using a leg-kick to his advantage:
“I think the closer you can get to your defender, the better. You don’t want to shoot a fadeaway from 18 feet. So if you can get the defender closer, keep them in the post or try and get them in the paint and then shoot a fadeaway just outside the paint. It has a better percentage anywhere outside.
“Usually I kick my right leg a little bit. I like to go right shoulder and lean back a little bit and put my right leg up. I could go the other shoulder, too, but I like the right shoulder better.
“Sometimes you know the double team is coming from the middle and you just turn away on it from the baseline and shoot it. It depends. Sometimes you can quick-shoot it. It kind of depends on the situation of the game what you want to do. But I think with my size I don’t have to get it off quick.
“I actually don’t practice that shot a lot when I’m just shooting by myself. I try to shoot up and down all the time. The fadeaway is just a shot that happens in a game. You have to lean back a little bit to shoot over defenders. But when I practice by myself I never really shoot fadeaways.”