Basketball Moves Breakdown: Kobe Bryant Pivot Switch

Published on
September 9, 2015
by
sidbreakball

Kobe Bryant is one of the more skilled players in the post. His turnaround jumper is one of the best in the game. And he has a wide range of moves to lead up to that shot, from off the dribble or a triple threat position. Even when guarded by the best defenders, his mix of fakes and nifty footwork allows him to get his shot off at will.


Here is a look at one of his more subtle moves. For this, Kobe catches the ball at mid-range and clearly establishes his right foot as pivot foot by moving his left foot ahead without dribbling. Now with his back to his man, he takes a quick dribble and catches the ball allowing him to change his pivot foot but during the dribble Kobe didn’t move his feet and it was so quick that it didn’t register with the defender that he can now choose to change his pivot foot. Still without moving his feet, he fakes towards his original pivot foot and then spins away in the opposite direction spinning on his left foot into an open shot.


Here is the video:

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Basketball Moves Breakdown: Kobe Bryant Pivot Switch

Kobe is guarded by a good defender, Shawn Marion.

Here, Kobe catches the ball at the top of the key and fakes a shot to get the defender to close in on him.

Lowering the shoulder creates space to move the left leg ahead

Now he lowers his shoulder as if to drive in. Without dribbling and with his right foot fixed, Kobe brings his left leg across the defender’s body to get a step on him and pauses in that stance.

Completing a quick bounce dribble with both hands without moving the feet

Instead of driving, Kobe takes and completes a quick dribble with both hands while still keeping his feet set.

A head fake along the original pivot foot makes Marion over commit

Kobe turns back and fakes a turnaround jumper. As his right foot was his pivot foot a second ago, the defender over commits to challenge the shot.

Marion is still frozen to the point that he doesn’t even raise a hand to challenge


Kobe spins on his left foot and turns around into a wide open jumper. The defense doesn’t recover until it’s too late.

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At first glance it seems like he traveled by changing his pivot foot. The idea is to get the defense to think that the right foot is the pivot foot throughout the move thus allowing you to get a uncontested shot. For this move to be effective you need to develop a turnaround jumper and have the defense respect it enough to close in on you.


To recap:
1. Catch the ball and fake a shot.
2. Lower your shoulder and move the non pivot foot ahead.
3. Complete a quick dribble allowing you to change your pivot foot.
4. Fake a turnaround jumper towards your original pivot foot without moving your feet.
5. Spin back on your new pivot foot into a wide open jumper.
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Kobe starts off facing the basket in a triple threat position, and ends the move while posting up with his back to the basket. A turnaround jumper is very useful for guards and big men alike. Pick up a ball and get started.

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