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  • Mohammed Hussein

The Most Important Skill In Basketball

The definition of the word skill is "the ability to do something well; expertise" in the game of basketball there are a number of on court skills that players utilise on the offensive end. Today we look to figure out which one of those skills will make a player seem most valuable at any level, identifying the element an individual can add to their arsenal that'll place them levels above competition, the most important skill.


To help determine which skill is the most important for a player to have I went out and asked a few experts, from the NBA to the BBL; Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy, NBA skill trainer Chris Brickley, Utah Jazz assistant coach Irv Roland, NBA trainer Devin Williams, former BBL coach. Jay Williams, UK pro trainers Afiz Olaniyan and Marvin Abbey, Bucks assistant coach Chad Forcier, London Lions assistants Daniel James and Gary Maitland (BBL & WBBL).


"Footwork & balance are the absolute needs of every player." - Phil Handy


"Work ethic!!!" - Chris Brickley


"Shooting!" - Irv Roland


"To me shooting is the most important skill" - Devin Williams


“Mental toughness. Without this a player won’t be able to get through the ups & downs of the game, whether it’s losing, making improvements or even coaches getting onto them. After that shooting!” - Jay Williams


"Shooting. Shooters are always needed it is an ability that causes a threat as it spreads the floor and demands defensive attention.” - Afiz Ola


"I think it has to be shooting - if jumpshots, FTs and layups are classed as shooting. To win the game one team has to put the ball in the basket more than the other team. Simple.” - Marvin Abbey


"Shooting. If you can’t shoot, you don’t have to be guarded In as many places so you make it harder for your teammates & spacing changes dramatically” - Chad Forcier


In terms of skillset, I’d say footwork because footwork is the difference between a good crossover and a bad one, a tight and clean spin move or not, a solid eurostep or a sloppy one. It’s the difference between being able to bump your man off you by placing your foot in the right place so you can use your weight effectively or bumping only with shoulder and not getting the full power output. Also, it (footwork) gets you out the gates when trying to beat your defender with a jab step. Good footwork also helps you stay balanced, strong and agile in the post/midpost. It all comes from footwork. Even the planting of your feet for a shot or floater.” - Daniel James


"Being able to shoot. When you can shoot the defence have a tougher job to do” - Gary Maitland


In my humble opinion, I believe footwork is the most important skill a basketball player can possess. Without sufficient footwork a player's ability to shoot, finish and handle the basketball is severely hindered. You cannot be a great shooter without elite footwork, take into consideration the ability to shoot off screens, off the dribble and fadeaway. Finishing at and around the rim would be nil without great footwork, no eurosteps, spin moves, up and under or using fakes to finish. Lastly handles would be very pointless without footwork, there would be no effective movement.


Ask yourself what all the great have at every position, footwork! Kyrie's handles have elite footwork, Kobe & MJ's midrange package is a result in amazing footwork, Tim Duncan and Hakeem Olajuwon's superior postgame is a product of brilliant footwork!


What do you think the most important skill in basketball is? Let us know!

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