How to Shoot a Basketball Like Michael Jordan

Man attempting to throw basketball into the basket

Everyone wanted to be like Mike in the commercials of the 1990s that featured basketball superstar Michael Jordan. Jordan is considered by many to be the greatest basketball player of all time and he had a unique style, athleticism and flair that will likely never be seen again. Many have idolized Jordan's game and duplicated his moves on the court. You need to remember a few things so that you can shoot like Mike.

Spread your shooting hand fingers on the ball, and have your shooting hand under the basketball and your off-hand or guide hand on the side of the ball. Former basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian says that those points in addition to keeping the ball off of the palm of your hand are important in shooting a basketball.

Jump as high as you can and cock the ball straight above the middle of your head until your elbow comes to a 90-degree angle. Jordan's shot used a high release and was nearly impossible to block because of his leaping ability.

Release the ball at the top of your leap and let your guide hand stay still and fall off the ball. Follow through out and up in more of a straight line to the basket instead of up and out, which would give you more arch on the shot. Basketball Plays and Tips notes that Jordan was streaky as a shooter and shot more of a line drive shot with less arch. Following through out and up in a straight line will give you more of a line drive.

Add in a fade-away jump shot because The Hoop says Jordan perfected the fadeaway jump shot. A fade away jumper means that you fall away backward a bit as you shoot, making it a harder shot to master and an even more difficult shot for the defense to prevent.


Practice as much as possible so the shooting techniques you learn become habits that you perform without thinking.


Adapt the Jordanesque style to your own game and physical abilities, rather than creating a carbon copy of Jordan's shot. Shooting like Mike doesn't look as impressive when the ball doesn't go through the hoop.