As basketball players Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant have quite a bit in common. To start, they both stand 7 feet tall (although KD is listed at 6’9), they possess great footwork and mobility for their size, they are elite shooters, and their games are effective on the perimeter, in the post, and everywhere in between.
Dirk’s patented one-legged fadeaway has been emulated by many players across the league, including Kevin Durant, who has effectively added it to his arsenal as well. This shot requires balance and touch, and when used by a 7-footer becomes almost unguardable.
These similarities that fans see on the court are a product of the similarities in their training, and that all starts with Dirk and his Mentor Holger Geschwindner. Geschwindner, who knew Dirk from his native Germany, was the person who introduced him to the unorthodox drills that worked on body movement, balance, footwork, coordination and touch.
So how did Kevin Durant adopt these same training methods? By working with Adam Harrington and Steve Nash, both of whom played with Nowitzki on the Dallas Mavericks and who have bared witness to his training.
Here are some of the main shooting drills that Dirk and KD have used to simultaneously improve balance and shooting:
Deep Squat into a jump shot
Long, slow strides curling into a jump shot
Side Lunge into a wide stance free throw
360-degree spin on one leg into a jump shot
Deep Squat + dribble into a jump shot
Single-leg stationary jump shot