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Kobe Bryant says a cheetah inspired the form on his fadeaway jumper

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets

NBAE/Getty Images

Kobe Bryant has been known to take inspiration from unusual places; the animal kingdom, especially.

His self-selected nickname is the Black Mamba, one of the fastest and deadliest snakes in the world whose venom can kill a person with a dosage of only two drops.

It shouldn’t be surprising, then, to see Bryant emulate another creature when trying to come up with the best way to attack from a basketball standpoint.

From Philip Galanes of the New York Times:

KB: Exactly. I’ll give you an example. When you watch me shoot my fadeaway jumper, you’ll notice my leg is always extended. I had problems making that shot in the past. It’s tough. So one day I’m watching the Discovery Channel and see a cheetah hunting. When the cheetah runs, its tail always gives it balance, even if it’s cutting a sharp angle. And that’s when I was like: My leg could be the tail, right?

AH: That’s amazing.

KB: Inspiration surrounds us.

The “AH” there is Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor in chief of the Huffington Post Media Group. The interview featured both of them in a lunch setting, where the two gave some insight into what has made them so successful in their respective fields.

There are plenty of examples of the fadeaway technique Kobe is talking about in the video clip below, where the right leg kicks out exactly the way he describes.