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Friday, May 10th, 2013 at 10:10 am  |  90 responses

Tony Parker Claims He Invented the Teardrop Shot


According to San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker, he was the first to use the teardrop shot. Parker claims he came up with the deft move as a child, but he couldn’t possibly be more incorrect. Per the NY Times (via BDL): “It is unclear who first shot a teardrop, or who first called it that. Some credit Bob Cousy, a Boston Celtics star of the 1950s. Others point to Hank Luisetti, a Stanford player from the 1930s known for his running one-handed shot. The San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker, generally viewed as the league’s current teardrop master, insisted that he came up with the shot as a child. ‘I got copyrights on that,’ he said. ‘I did that because I was small and it was the only way I could get a shot off on the bigs. I grew a little bit later.’ [...] George Gervin, a Hall of Fame player who turned the finger-roll layup into an art form in the late 1970s, is regarded as a teardrop visionary. In his modified version, he extended his arm toward the basket and simply let the ball trickle off his hand, almost as an afterthought. If a defender got in the way, Gervin flicked his wrist just so, sending the ball on a high-arcing parabola. It was an underhand scoop so delicate and precise that the basketball could have been a Fabergé egg. Basketball experts will endlessly debate the finer points of a finger roll versus a teardrop: broadly speaking, a finger roll is underhanded, and a teardrop is tossed from a high point. Still, Gervin said he was transfixed by Game 1 of the Warriors-Spurs series, and especially by Stephen Curry, who is half innovator and half throwback, as spontaneous as he is prepared. ‘He was like Fred Astaire,’ Gervin said. ‘He was dancing and twirling around, gliding across the floor. We ain’t seen that in a while.’”

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  • spit hot fiyah

    he said: ‘I got copyrights on that,’ probably half-jokingly. he didn’t say he invented it. another great headline

  • Ugh

    To hold copyright on something you have to have originated it or licensed it from the originator.

  • Kadavour

    i’m mad this writer tried to credit Ice with the tear drop when they’re fundamentally different shots.

  • Max

    He was probably not being serious..

  • underdog

    Well, he sure as hell, mastered it.

  • spit hot fiyah

    i’m sure there is a copyright database somewhere so we can verify this

  • spit hot fiyah

    most underrated tear drop maker? troy hudson

  • http://twitter.com/SupermanayrB B!

    Apparently he’s never heard of Tim Hardaway, Kevin Johnson, Mugsy Bouges, Michael Adams, Nick Van Exel or any other late ’80′s/early ’90′s point guards.

  • Kadavour

    Throwback. Bobby Jackson had a decent tear drop too.

  • shutup

    It’s really simple…name a better teardrop in NBA history…..I’ll wait…….He may not have invented it, but he definitley perfected it and his teardrop is the most prolific in NBA history.

  • shutup

    Or have added on to an existing product and make it a “new” product. Plus if you want to get technical you can’t copyright a dance move, a spin move in footall or a basketball shot.

  • shutup

    I don’t remember any of them calling it a tear drop to be honest. It used to be called a floater.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    “Hi, my name is Pete Maravich, i have a teardrop”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qv0YS1wHoQ

  • Rockwell

    How come more point guards don’t adopt this shot? Why barrel all the way into the rim and pick up a charge, or get your layup swatted when you can just float it up? Can you imagine what Russel Westbrook could do to the rest of the NBA if he had a consistent floater? With his speed and agility, he could just stop on a dime and loft one up while the defense backtracks to stop the drive. I mean, he probably didn’t really need to develop it because he can just dunk over people. But if he had a automatic teardrop in his arsenal, he would be unstoppable. That one shot helped Tony Parker make a killing in the paint, despite consistently being the smallest dude on the court!

  • Rockwell

    We should have an unofficial Slamonline poll on who had/has the best teardrop. My vote goes to Parker because of how often he uses it and how consistently he makes it. It’s the one shot we associate with one player, almost like the fadeaway for Jordan, the skyhook for Kareem, or the finger roll for the Iceman. The others on my list would be Steve Nash, Sam Cassell, Gary Payton and Nick Van Exel.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Better? nobody.
    .
    comparable guys tho, Pete Maravich had a vicious tear drop. His was more of a scoop tho.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    it is incredibly difficult to attempt the shot consistently while running different speeds. the level of finesse needed to shoot a high percentage with a floater is something most guys just don’t have.

  • http://twitter.com/SupermanayrB B!

    Tear drop/floater, dunk/slam. Same thing.

  • TR

    I mean its not rocket science especially when you have endless amounts of time in the off season to practice

  • Mike Mihalow

    UPDATE: Members of the press Matthew Tynan and Dan McCarney, both of whom were present in the locker room when Parker’s interview occurred, have claimed on Twitter that these quotes were taken out of context. Both claim that Parker said this in a joking tone of voice, which would be a reasonable context for his comments. I can only hope that the rest of this post, in which I made up a very serious story about a hermit scientist named Pony Tarker, can stand on its own merits as a helpful demonstration of copyright law and the ways in which an unknowing party can tread upon the intellectual property of others.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yeah? why aren’t you in the NBA killing teams with a floater?
    .
    .
    i think the fact that so little guys have developed it should tell you how difficult it is.
    .
    i’ve been playing basketball for two decades, the floater is ridiculously hard to be consistent with.

  • TR

    Probably for the same reasons you aren’t. Lack of talent and physical gifts. But I’ve got a pretty nice floater for a guy who hasn’t truly practiced (yes we’re talking about practice) in about 4 years. I just think anybody as talented as the guys in the league, guards specifically, could develop this shot.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yeah, you shooting floaters over 7 footers while running full speed past some of the best athletes in the world?
    .
    you realize a “good” floater in the NBA goes in around 55% of the time? i bet you don’t make 55% of your floaters running full speed without a defense altogether.
    .
    skill wise, i’m fine. physical gifts were far and away the reason i didn’t get further playing ball. i know exactly what it takes to have a great floater, and most guys just don’t have it. no matter how much they practice.

  • tzm

    Shut up, please.

  • shockexchange

    Yeah … and Al Gore was in the next cubicle inventing the Internet.

  • TR

    I beg to differ, but that’s just me. Guys at the NBA level are unfathomably skilled compared to the guys you run into at your local court. Hell, even d1 players from “bad” schools are pretty damn good. Its just hard for me to believe its that difficult for these guys, but you’d have to get in the gym with these guys to know I guess.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    and i have.

  • Rockwell

    Both of you guys bring up good points. It is really difficult to loft up a floater over against athletic freaks like DeAndre Jordan coming at you at full speed. But most of the guards who made it to the League are gifted athletes to begin with. Even the “unathletic” guards like Andre Miller or Steve Nash are faster, more agile, more coordinated and better conditioned than the general population. Why shouldn’t they be able to perfect that shot when they have all the practice time in the world? I’m sure it’ll become second nature to NBA guards who don’t have it if they repeat the motion enough.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    well, first of all it’s really tough to find a big man to practice against. and even harder to simulating getting past an nba level defender, keeping the right tempo, and attempting a floater that wouldn’t get thrown back by the average NBA big man.
    .
    it’s incredibly hard to even practice, shooting wide open floaters all day is not really going to prepare you for the defense you are likely to face. and the huge variety of situations where you would attempt a floater.
    .
    it’s also not really “needed” – 8 foot little jump shot type shots are among the least efficient in basketball. if you aren’t efficient at it, an NBA coach is not going to support you attempting it.

  • RKJ92

    No, nbk is right, I played D1 and the teardrop is one of the hardest things to learn, as a point guard I can tell you when you switch your speeds to go by somebody then having to pull up mid air and flick it in over a (most the time) athletic 6-9 – 7ft big man is not an easy task.. because a) you have to make sure it doesn’t get blocked which can mess up your release point, and create more of a push then a flick which you don’t want, and b) when your doing your shot mid air that last minute flick off your finger tips usually has to be near perfect, unless your able to flick it off the glass. In hindsight, against your local court or gym this can be an incredibly easy move to use against people less athletic, slower, and most likely smaller then you, but when used at a high level not only do you have to beat your man while attempting the shot but you have to ALSO get it over the big man AFTER beating your man and still have the ability to finish.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    great description.

  • Rockwell

    Wow, never realized so much went into such a simple looking shot. Makes me respect Tony Parker even more since he’s able to make such a difficult shot look easy.

  • AndyK415

    He was a Golden Gopher!

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i really thought i could add that to my game, get more minutes as point guard rather than shooting guard, because i couldn’t elevate over guys and finish at the rim.
    .
    turns out, drawing a foul, or just avoiding the defender in an attempt to do a lay-up was a better option according to My coach (summer league, college coach) – that’s where i really learned how difficult it was to get right.

  • airs

    WHAT?
    I invented the teardrop shot, i thought we settled this already.

  • RKJ92

    Thank you

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    where did you play D1 at if you don’t mind me asking?

  • TR

    Yeah that definitely makes sense. I’m super short so its always been the only shot I could get off in the paint, but the tallest guys I usually went up against were 6’6″ so I could see the difference.

  • Bruce Wayne

    You guys have some good points, but the floater/teardrop is not as difficult as you make it out to be, even when playing against good competition. Quick note, floaters CAN’T be blocked except if a guy gets to the ball before it is released from the hand..that’s the whole point of the shot, to get it over bigger guys/ shot blockers in a high arcing delivery..

    It takes a good amount of touch, and coordination, but it’s not an impossible shot to add to the arsenal. Like everything else, it take dedicated practice and again, a decent amount of touch (which admittedly not everyone is blessed with)

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ Nick Tha Quick

    You mean, like when Shock Exchange says he came up with the Lebron Rules??

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Yeah? you doing the floater in a professional league? or against professional competition?
    .
    “It takes a good amount of touch, and coordination, but it’s not an impossible shot to add to the arsenal. Like everything else, it take dedicated practice and again, a decent amount of touch (which admittedly not everyone is blessed with)”
    - this is essentially what i said. except you are just ignoring the whole, there is so many factors into developing an NBA level tear drop that it is just as hard to simulate. which makes it even harder to develop.

  • RKJ92

    In Canada I played for a travelling Canadian basketball team called CAN6 we used to go around playing the best players from each city in the states, some notable players that came from my team are Andrew Wiggins (undecided) , Negus Webster-Chan (Missouri), Sim Bhuller (New Mexico) , Tanveer Bhuller (no college to my knowledge) , Stefan Jankovic (Missouri), Justin Edwards (Maine), Richard Peters (WSU), Dyshawn Pierre (Dayton).

  • RKJ92

    I was kinda blessed in the sense that i’m 6’4-6’5 so it felt more comfortable for me to use them knowing I already had a bit of height on my side, but the mechanics to perfect this shot are just so hard to develop as nbk said its about a 55% shot and that’s honestly after you master it, but if you can actually get it down pat, it’s a weapon on the court.. just ask Steve Nash 50%+ shooter with the tear drops, and floaters as his main asset.

  • RKJ92

    Steve Nash career 50%+ shooter has a pretty amazing tear drop/floater if you ask me.

  • TR

    You’ve really got to stop the “are you in the league,” comment because no one here is haha. SLAM can we get an in-depth interview with an NBA PG on floaters?

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni D dot Sanchez

    he should get a tear drop tattoed under his eye.

  • Bruce Wayne

    Actually, yes. I do have pro experience abroad. It’s really the first shot that I began to use in middle school when first starting to play the game, and it has been an effective tool ever since. I stopped growing at 6’9″ so I didn’t have to use it as much after I grew, but even for a bigger guy it can be a killer weapon when playing against 6’10- 7+ footers that are good shot blockers (think of Antawn Jamison’s quick floater).

    So realize that I know exactly what I am talking about. Of course, any shot is tougher against pro/nba comp, but don’t try to make it seem like it is something that can’t be developed over time. I have worked with some kids over the years and have seen dramatic improvements in some of them. It’s all about each individual, how hard you work on it, and your ability to execute it at a high level, which differs in all of us.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Ahh, so you are a big guy. How many times in your career have you really run full speed into the paint and stopped to shoot a floater from 8 feet away? As a guy your size, I assume the answer is rarely. .
    And having a floater, and being good at it are different.
    .
    Again, if it were easy, more guys would do it effectively.

  • O

    Didn’t DIddy invent the Remix?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    well telling me it’s not difficult because you can do it against guys at your local gym is pretty crappy evidence. especially with the whole “i have to take your word for it, and assume you don’t overestimate your ability to hit that shot consistently enough for someone else to consider it good” thing…..

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    oh that’s dope, i know the Canada scene is a lot different. My boy played up at Simon Fraser when they switched over to NCAA

  • TR

    You’re putting the floater on a pedestal. Parker does it the best, but ive seen Rose, Curry, Nash, Paul, Kyrie, Rondo, Conley, Lin, CJ Watson, Nate Robinson, and several others use the floater very effectively, so unless those guys are all super human, im sticking with the idea that any guard at the NBA level can develop that shot.

  • Bruce Wayne

    Actually, over the years, it depended on the type of comp I was facing. If you play against guys that have long wingspans and/or are good shot blockers, even if you are a bigger guy, you can get the shot blocked, so the floater in the lane is definitely something that I have employed at times..sometimes you can’t get all the way to the rim. Also, it can keep the defense off balance..when they are expecting you to take it all the way, sometimes you can toss up the little teardrop that even a Dwight Howard type can’t get to.

    Especially playing abroad, where the refs have the tendency to completely swallow the whistle sometimes, it helps to have a shot that you can get off in the lane no matter what, which can be an alternative in games where you get hammered driving to the basket and not getting any calls..

    Definitely not an easy shot, but with practice and some natural touch (some are blessed with more than others), it can be added to a person’s game.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    See, the thing is, i’m not guessing….you? you are.

    .

    - Rondo – 41% from 3-9 feet on 1.3 attempts http://www.hoopdata.com/player.aspx?name=Rajon%20Rondo

    - CJ Watson – 25% from 3-9 feet. 0.2 attempts a game

    http://www.hoopdata.com/player.aspx?name=C.J.%20Watson

    - Jeremy Lin – 33.8% from 3-9 feet on 1.0 attempts

    http://www.hoopdata.com/player.aspx?name=Jeremy%20Lin

    - Steph Curry – 40% from 3-9 feet on 1.1 attempts

    http://www.hoopdata.com/player.aspx?name=Stephen%20Curry

    - Mike Conley – 42.9% from 3-9 feet on 0.9 attempts
    http://www.hoopdata.com/player.aspx?name=Mike%20Conley%20Jr.

    .
    Do you want me to keep going? the first 5 players i looked at from your list are all not good at shooting floaters…..i’m sure this proves my point…right?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    see below for actual statistics.

  • RKJ92

    Ya I was blessed to grow up in the age group with all the talent Canada’s had in recent years, I was also privileged to play against the likes of Tristan Thompson, Corey Joseph, and Anthony Bennett, just a shame we never got to play on the same team though.. those Brampton boys are beasts..

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    so why aren’t you in Europe right now?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    it CAN be. but it RARELY is. because it is so difficult to simulate. idk if you saw my comment to you above (about a comment below), but i listed some guys who apparently have a reputation as having “good” floaters. clearly, “good” is a loose term if they fit the criteria.

  • TR

    Is at the rim only lay ups and dunks?or does that count finger rolls from a distance?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    rim only is any attempt from within 3 feet. if you figure the shortest guy in the league had a 3′ reach with one arm…..pretty much just layups, dunks, and dumps.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    here is an article from Zach Lowe about Curry today.
    .
    in here t basically says in the regular season Curry would use picks to get shorter jump shots or floaters. Now he stops for 3′s….and is a lot more effective. Because that is such a low % shot.
    .
    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/61766/the-new-stephen-curry-how-the-warriors-super-shooter-has-transformed-his-game-in-the-playoffs

  • RKJ92

    Pure stupidness.. I was outside playing pickup for fun one day and I went to dive for the basketball going into the grass and some guy must have gotten drunk and left a broken beer bottle there and when I landed the shards went into my kneecap and cut all the cartilage I was never the same player athletically again and have knee issues to this day..

  • pposse

    d rose, and you can’t look at any advanced statistics cause he does those shots from the free throw lines area, not 2-3 ft from the cup; he took what TP did and mastered it

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    oh f*ck man. i’m really sorry to hear that.

  • RKJ92

    lol…

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    nothing advanced needed.

    .

    Derrick Rose shoots 43% from 3-9 feet.

    Derrick Rose shoots 36% from 10-15 feet.

    .http://www.hoopdata.com/player.aspx?name=Derrick%20Rose
    -
    Tony Parker shoots 52% from 3-9 feet.

    Tony Parker shoots 47% from 10-15 feet.
    http://www.hoopdata.com/player.aspx?name=Tony%20Parker

    .
    .
    in other words. no, you are wrong.

  • RKJ92

    Ya man.. it’s sh*tty feeling still, so now i’m just a major hoop head, and help with some Toronto youth development basketball programs in my area.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i feel you bro. that love for the game doesn’t get killed by injuries. which is a blessing and a curse.

  • RKJ92

    I feel like I live vicariously through friends, and other players now going to the NBA from my area so I just root for them, and i’m okay with that there will always be a bond you share between the people, and the area that you grow up with/in together :) but I completely get what you mean between your love being a blessing and a curse, sometimes I recollect and feel horrible, but I always know the game will be with me so that’s what will always keep me from feeling down!

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    You’ll find your niche. Sh*t I think so at least. Just gotta be patient. Which is what I’m currently trying to do.

  • TR

    I feel you to an extent. I guess there’s just so many types of shots you can get in that range that aren’t necessarily floaters, but I get where ur coming from

  • Bruce Wayne

    I am not sure whether those stats are reflective of shooting ONLY floaters though..I’m pretty sure it also includes contested layups, and short jumpers, etc, which obviously are different than a standard floater.

    I think you might have missed part of what I said as well.. I started shooting this shot when I was a kid..so I have been working on it for years and years..I think if people started working on it earlier, then it would be a much easier shot to integrate into the arsenal. That’s why I made the example of me teaching kids..the earlier you get started, the more time you have to work on it, and thus be more adept at using it

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Ahh my bad. I commend you for teaching it, but you are a rarity. I didn’t personally even try it as a serious option until high school so i can’t really speak on how much easier it is to develop from childhood but I’m sure you are right. But as it is currently, it is not an easy shot for NBA players to incorporate. And it is not commonly used well. As has been implied here a bunch of times.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    You think Point Guards are getting tougher shots from 3-9 feet away then floaters? I understand thinking that about big men. But point guards, that’s the toughest shot in that are that they would take regularly.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk
  • http://www.facebook.com/starkpwnsyou Joshua Maria Peter Bautista

    Glen Big Baby Davis used this a few seasons ago, while sitting on the bench. Top that, Mr. French Teardrop.

  • dacre

    Hey…my last name is Tynan?!

  • toomanyshrimp

    fucking frenchmen

  • http://kingakai.com/ Alpha-bet

    Ahh…Tony..that man sitting on the sidelines coaching against you had a pretty prolific teardrop…matter fact if Im not mistaken..I think Mark Jackson is the one that coined the term ‘teardrop’..or atleast brought it to the forefront when he was with the Pacers in the 90′s…

  • Ugh

    The author of the add-ons owns the new product, but not the old. But that doesn’t change the fact that you have to be the originator of the new part of the product to have claim of copyright on it. See: the new horror novels made from public domain ‘classics’.

    On the second point, copyright applies to intellectual property. There have been patent claims on soccer strategies.

  • Ugh

    Or you could just consult Wikipedia. It’s amazing what information you can find on there.

  • pposse

    so every time Rose shoots the ball from anywhere you mentioned on the court its a tear drop or floater, i see. Same for Parker too. Do you even watch the Bulls? D Rose has/had the best tear drop/floater in the game, he took what Parker did and ran away with it.

    In other words, you need to watch more Chicago games.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Ahh, here comes the point where you think the floater is not the hardest shot he takes from that distance. That’s cute.

  • pposse

    ahh here comes the part where i have to tell you again there is no statistic which shows you what anyone’s percentage on a floater is.

    The knock on D rose was his jump shot; no one ever knocked his ability to make and take floaters, but you wouldn’t know that cause i sincerely doubt you watched the bulls closely ever.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Lol. Ouch. You got me.
    .
    Or nah.
    .
    And nah, Rose isn’t shooting much of anything but floaters from those 3-9 feet. It’s ok if you don’t want to use that little pea sized brain you have and just want to pretend he is taking 8 foot jump shots, that’s fine.
    .
    Was just getting the non-fiction out that Rose is/has in no way shape or form a better “floater/teardrop” then Tony Parker. If your eyes can’t tell you that because you have a replica of Derrick Rose’s ball sack firmly planted on your eye sockets then the stats should do the trick.
    .
    Or you could just keep living in a world of pure imagination.

  • pposse

    i see its someones rag time; u mad girl? Pull your skirt down take a midol or something.

    How about you actually watch the Bulls and then say something; you dont know what he’s shooting from 3-9 ft, theres your non fiction.

    Numerous analysts have said what i’ve said during games on national tv, but you don’t even watch those games apparently. So now stats tell the whole story and the story of stuff they don’t even keep stats for. Dont change feef.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Lol, you are an idiot.

  • shutup

    The idea that you can copyright a gametime strategy is absurd and would lead to a severe disadvantage. Maybe the name can be copyrighted, but think about it; if the alley-oop was copyrighted and other teams had to pay a fine everytime they ran one. Lets be honest there are many patents or copyright holders that didn’t invent or improve any product; they just blatantly stole form people with less money. Bill Gates, and Edison come to mind. Tesla died a poor old man, yet he is credited with being the father of modern electricity.

  • Derrick

    Curt Smith Washington DC playground legion was doing the tear drop back in the late eighties. Anyone from the District will tell you that he brought it back to the Chocolate City, Curt might not have invented however he did perfect it!

  • shutup

    I disagree, you can dunk the ball without slamming it, and although a tear drop and a floater might be the same thing, the use of the name tear drop definitely has a date. I’m not saying that he invented the name, but prior to him popularizing it I always heard it refereed to as a floater. Your analogy is off though, tear drop/floater would most likely be the same species, as for dunk/slam its more of a kingdom/phylum relationship.Were as all slams would be dunks but not all dunks would be slams.

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