Russell Westbrook learned how to do the one-legged 'Dirk shot'

Russell westbrook dirk shotNBATVWestbrook drains a ‘Dirk shot’ against Portland.

The typical Russell Westbrook highlight looks something like this:

Or this:


Westbrook’s brilliance is a function of his athleticism and fearlessness. Not only is he faster with the ball and more explosive than any other guard in the league, he’s willing to do bodily harm to himself in order to get to the basket.

On Monday night, SB Nation points out, we saw something radically different out of Westbrook: the signature Dirk Nowitzki’s one-legged step-back:

The original:


It’s silly that the most athletic guy in the league has learned a move that was specifically designed to compensate for a lack of athleticism. The shot — where you back down, jump off one leg and shoot while leaning back — is unblockable if you’re tall enough and have the right technique, no matter how slow you are.

Dirk told the Star-Telegram about why he came up with the shot that would become his signature:

“I was never the fastest guy beating somebody off the dribble, so I had to come up with something to create a little separation. The step-back is a good way of just creating a little separation and still get the shot over them.”

Westbrook is the fastest guy beating somebody off the dribble, which is why this is so ridiculous. After the shot, he told his bench, “That’s Dirk’s move.”

Westbrook isn’t the first OKC star to try and perfect the Dirk shot. Before he got hurt Kevin Durant was doing it with some regularity.

Westbrook has been a one-man show since Durant and Serge Ibaka got hurt, putting up historic numbers in a probably futile struggle to drag the team to the playoffs by himself. The Thunder aren’t going to win a playoff series, but watching Westbrook do everything he can think of on the court has been fantastic.

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