Kobe Bryant modeled his fadeaway jumper after a cheetah tail

Kobe Bryant modeled his jumper after this guy. (USATSI)
Kobe Bryant modeled his jumper after this guy (USATSI)

In an extended and fascinating three-person Q&A with the New York Times, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant spoke with both the Times and Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post about variety of topics, most of which involves what makes he and Huffington tick. The whole thing is worth a read, but really, the best part is at the end. 

PG: As a lens for understanding each other?

KB: Exactly. I’ll give you an example. When you watch me shoot my fadeaway jumper, you’ll notice my leg is always extended. I had problems making that shot in the past. It’s tough. So one day I’m watching the Discovery Channel and see a cheetah hunting. When the cheetah runs, its tail always gives it balance, even if it’s cutting a sharp angle. And that’s when I was like: My leg could be the tail, right?

AH: That’s amazing.

KB: Inspiration surrounds us.

For Arianna Huffington and Kobe Bryant: First, Success. Then Sleep. - NYTimes.com.

Yup, Kobe's a cheetah. 

And here's the thing. He's not lying. Check it out. 

Before and after cheetah transformation. (USATSI)
Before and after cheetah transformation. (USATSI)

Or, to put it in more literal terms:

Cheetah tail. (USATSI)
Cheetah tail. (USATSI)

It actually does make sense, when you think about the dynamics of balance and maintaining a core. It's just cool that Bryant takes these kinds of inspirations from all over. Or that it "surrounds us" or whatever.

Bryant's new Showtime documentary Muse premieres this fall.

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Moore's colleagues have been known to describe him as a "maniac" in terms of his approach to covering the NBA, which he has done for CBS Sports since 2010. Moore prides himself on melding reporting,... Full Bio

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