Why was Michael Jordan’s shot so flat?

File this one under: "Questions I still wonder about."  I can think of a few options:

1. Michael Jordan wasn't a very good shooter.  (True at first, but it is hard to maintain this hypothesis over the course of his career.)

2. Jordan was weak on one dimension of shooting ability, but he compensated along other dimensions.  He could have been a better shot, if only he had learned proper arc from Mark (and Brent) Price.

3. Jordan's flat shot was part and parcel of an efficient combination of talents.  Perhaps the flat shot gave him a quicker release or different angles at the basket or a greater ability to shoot while moving or all of those.  Check out "The Shot" at 2:20 here

Maybe his flat shot, when combined with his other talents, gave him an advantage. Since few other players have had the complementary talents as Jordan did, they haven't had an incentive to develop or stick with flat jump shots.

Jordan had a good three-point shot under pressure but when he was open his long-range shooting was unreliable.  That combination is consistent with this hypothesis.  Here is a short Yahoo discussion.

In my heart of hearts, I believe #3 is the answer.

Questions: Can any feature of the U.S. economy be said to be akin to Jordan's flat jumper?  Any feature of your personal cognitive profile?


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