When it comes to the Splash Brothers, you really can’t go wrong with either taking a shot behind the 3-point line. But when it comes to developing your own shot, many coaches say the player to emulate isn’t Stephen Curry.
Coaches teaching young basketball players say falling in love with Klay Thompson‘s mechanics is more important than the long bombs Curry consistently wows Oakland crowds with. A few spoke to Sports Illustrated for a feature on how the two Golden State players differ in their impressive shooting styles.
“Everyone wants to shoot like Steph,” veteran NBA shooting coach Dave Hopla said, but the article suggests overwhelmingly that Thompson is the ideal modern shooter.
While Curry is fun to watch, he is difficult to mimic—unless you also happen to have both world-class hand-eye and lateral quickness. He shoots from a variety of release points, contorts his body to get off shots, takes preposterously deep threes, and often fires at full tilt off the dribble. Klay? He is a jumpshooting metronome: plant, pop, release. If possible, one gets the sense he’d prefer never to dribble; when he scored 60 points in three quarters earlier this season, he did so in only 90 seconds of possession. His shot contains no wasted motion, especially from the waist up. It is replicable, if not always exciting. “I’ve even begun shooting like Klay myself,” says Poser. “It simplifies everything.”