Add Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love to the growing list of NBA players who have made Dirk Nowitzki’s one-legged fallaway jumper a part of their repertoire.
That illustrious list also includes Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Pau Gasol.
“It’s kind of an honor to know that some of these guys obviously are trying to shoot it,” Nowitzki said. “LeBron shot it the last couple of weeks, Kevin Durant has been shooting it a little bit.”
Coach Rick Carlisle credits Nowitzki’s longtime mentor and coach from Germany, Holger Geschwindner, for helping the 11-time All-Star develop the one-legged fallaway shot.
“They work on a lot of these unorthodox looking shots because Holger knew that with Dirk’s body type, size and athleticism that somewhere he was going to need to be able to do some unconventional things extremely well,” Carlisle said. “It’s a very unique shot, it’s an original, and Dirk’s an original.
“You’ve got guys like Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant copying that shot,” Carlisle said. “That’s a huge nod of respect towards one of the all-time greats.”
When Nowitzki was told Love had added his one-legged fallaway jumper to his game, he smiled and said: “That’s a nice shot to add. It’s a tough shot to shoot, but I think if you have good balance and if you have the touch, I think it’s a shot that you can master.
“It’s a shot that you can get off at any time because you’re always leaning back and getting a little separation between the defender and yourself.”
In praise of Nelson
For what Nowitzki needed during the early stages of his career, Carlisle believes Don Nelson was the perfect coach for him at that time.
“Nellie was the right coach at that time,” Carlisle said. “He knew to put Dirk at power forward and some at center and let big guys run around the perimeter trying to chase him, and it was tough to do.
“Nellie’s helped in his own way to really sort of put his stamp on the game, too.”
Carlisle lauds Cowboys
Carlisle applauded the efforts of the Dallas Cowboys, who ended the season with a 24-22 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
“I thought it was a fantastic effort,” said Carlisle, who is a friend of Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. “It just came down to a couple of tough plays.
“I was disappointed with the results but not the effort.”