Skip to main content

NBA History: How the jump shot was invented?


Can you imagine basketball without a jump shot? Everyone are playing, but no one gets their feet off the ground? One man, 5'10" tall, playing amongst the trees couldn't come to terms with the destiny. In the era, when there wasn't small ball and 3-point line, when the basketball was the game for the big men, one small guy invented a new type of shot. Jump shot.

“Discharged from the Marines in late 1945, Kenny ... within days ... found himself in Madison Square Garden again. One shot by Kenny Sailors ... remains historic ... He had stolen a pass and then raced down the left side of the floor ... At the top of the key, he cut to his right and then stopped suddenly and jumped. Courtside spectators in folding chairs watched as he seemed to rise up into the scoreboard ... Now, at the peak of his jump and hanging-in-the-air in Madison Square Garden, he drew a bead on the basket ... Just before he dropped his left hand away to release the shot, a photographer’s flashbulb exploded silently. To the 18,056 fans who were watching, the flashbulb explosion seemed to freeze Kenny Sailors in the air, while beneath him men as floor-bound as statuary looked up in awe. Two weeks later Life Magazine ran a photo story of the game .... millions of young players saw that picture of Kenny’s jump shot in Life, and that ... began a chain reaction in basketball ... Everywhere young players on basketball courts began jumping to shoot.”

Meet Kenny Sailors, inventor of the jump shot. After filming this documentary, Kenny passed away in 95. We shouldn't forget these legends, that made basketball such a lovely game for us today.

Scroll to Continue



Kevin Durant, Paul George, And James Harden Play 1-ON-1 FULL GAME

Dennis Rodman shuts down Shaq - 0 pts in 2nd Half/OT