Is the Mid-Range Pull Up Disappearing?

The pull up jump shot is a vital component of any great scorer’s arsenal. We have just concluded a three part video series on the pull-up jump shot. Below is the link for the three videos including the most recent video which focuses on footwork.


In the 70’s and 80’s everyone had a mid range pull-up and everyone practiced the pull up. You could basically be an NBA all-star with just a quality mid range pull-up shot. Times have definitely changed.


Quickly we are seeing the disappearance of the mid range pull up at all levels. Recently I had a Division I college coach tell me, “We are about three and key (getting to the basket). We don’t do pull-ups.”


Lets look at some numbers closely. During the 2000-2001 season, NBA players shot the mid-range pull up 26% of the time and the three point shot 17% of the time. Times have definitely changed. This past season (2013-14), NBA players shot the mid-range pull up 18% of the time and the three pointer is now 26%. At this rate the mid-range pull up may be an extinct species within a decade.


The newest shot in the evolution of shooting is the pull up three pointer. A decade ago you rarely saw it and back in the 90’s if a player did a pull up from the three he or she would probably have been benched.


Kobe Bryant and Stephen Curry have both been big factors in the three point pull up movement. Kyrie Irving and Damon Lillard also use it quite frequently. Kids and teens are watching this move and are starting to emulate pulling up from behind the arc.


Is the mid-range pull up dead? Can it ever go back to the status that it had two to three decades ago? We hope it makes a come back, but we are also realists. The numbers say that this game is changing thanks to the three point line.