NBA fans are used to strange shooting styles. There’s Shawn Marion with his flicking jump shot and Russell Westbrook with his notoriously low three-point percentage. Don’t forget Shaquille O’ Neal with his famously horrible free throws. When it comes to modern players, however, nobody has worse form than Lonzo Ball. And this doesn’t just apply to his jump shot; it extends to his workouts as well.
Lonzo Ball’s awful jump shot
Ball, who’s only been in the league since 2017, is known for a lot of things. Winning multiple Player of the Year awards while he was still in high school. Being a two time All American in college. Being the second-round draft pick by the Lakers in 2017. What isn’t Ball known for? A good, or at least conventional jump shot.
Ball isn’t bad by any means. Even though he’s only three seasons deep into his career, he’s still managed some pretty impressive numbers. In his rookie year, Ball was one of the Laker’s go-to defensive players. He began racking up the triple-doubles.
In fact, Ball has managed to average at least seven rebounds, seven assists, and 10 points per game since he entered the league. While his outside shooting percentage is much lower than many players, he manages to get the job done from the perimeter. In fact, he scored a new career record with seven three-pointers against the Timberwolves this past season.
So what’s the deal with that awful jump shot? Ball drops his hands low then flicks the ball up from his waist, shooting almost sideways as his body drifts left. A work of art it is not.
Word on the street, according to SB Nation, is that in the offseason, Ball worked with a pro shot coach to correct his jump shot. The 2019 season, his first with the Pelicans, shows improvement. But his jump shot isn’t the only thing that needs correcting.
Awful weightlifting form
COVID-19 has hit everyone hard, and the NBA is no exception. With the remainder of the 2019-20 season canceled and players locked in quarantine, things have gotten a little … weird. In early May, a shirtless Ball uploaded a video to Twitter showing himself lifting weights at home, as Fansided reports. Let’s just say, when it comes to form, his jump shot isn’t the only thing.
In the video, an excited Ball is seen doing shoulder and bench presses. The result is almost as ugly as his rookie season jumper. With the shoulder press, Ball bows his back at a pronounced, hard-to-watch angle, bending his wrist into a painful position before launching into a roaring celebration that’s equally awkward.
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone in a high school weight room that lifts his back as high off the bench as Ball does.
Lonzo Ball’s fans react
Ball’s athletic technique reminds me of a cartoon character that sticks a finger in a leaky dam only to have a new leak sprout somewhere else. He “fixes” his jump shot only to have his conditioning crash and burn.
That’s the problem with uploading things like that to social media: fans weren’t having it. Take this string of Reddit comments for example. They pull apart every aspect of Ball’s form, dragging on him for his wrist placement, the amount of weight he uses, and his ability to take direction from professional trainers. That’s human nature though. When you’re famous and in the spotlight, especially if you make a target out of yourself on social media, you’re going to get dragged.