Why Do NBA Players Point Up?

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NBA games are the most-watched sports show around the globe, with players putting on spectacular performances. Athletes do crazy dribbling displays, glide through the air for ridiculous throwdowns, and point their hands up after the shot. Why do basketball players point up?

It could mean counting the trey after the release, swagger, or a celebration.

Find out the connotations of pointing up by NBA players in this material.

What Does Pointing Up in NBA MeanWhat Does Pointing Up in NBA Mean?

If you’ve watched a Golden State Warriors game, you’ll notice Steph Curry release the ball, look to the crowd, pound his chest, point to the sky, and the ball hits nothing but the net. You’ll see Curry’s mom jumping joyfully and doing the same thing.

The gesture started during Curry’s first college year. His mom would sit in the stand to watch the game, and when the national anthem stopped, the son and mom team would look at each other and point to the sky.

The sign means “have a heart of God.” It reminds Curry where his strength comes from and gives him an understanding of why he plays the game. At first, it was a bonding between Curry and her mom whenever a shot went in, but it became a thing when lots of shots were made.  

Curry grew up in a Christian home and gave glory to God at every opportunity. He uses social media to express his faith. Curry started a discipleship group with his Warriors teammates and even asked Kevin Durant to join them in chapel sessions, and is considered the main reason Durant was in the Warriors’ championship team in 2016.

Build Rapport

Back then, players were required to raise their hands after committing a foul to ensure that the official scorer tags the correct player. The task was transferred to the referees to describe the foul and report the player who committed the foul.

Today, players raise their hands to acknowledge the foul and build rapport with the referees. They are acknowledging the foul shows that this wasn’t intentional to merit a technical.

A Strategy

Raising the hand after a call is a strategy to save a teammate with more fouls. For example, LeBron James had five fouls and Patrick Beverly with two; they were defending, and the whistle blew to call a foul on LeBron. Beverly raises his hands to receive the call to save LeBron from fouling out.

15 Reasons Why NBA Players Point Up15 Reasons Why NBA Players Point Up

NBA players do lots of hand signals on the court, one of which is pointing up. Let us look at some of the point-up meanings in the NBA.

1. It’s a natural celebration when a shot goes in, especially in close games.

2. Players point their fingers to teammates to call their attention to play defense.

3. To acknowledge a good dish out from a teammate when he made the shot.

4. Thanking God for making the shot.

5. Making a three-point shot. Steph Curry does that often.

6. It’s a player’s habit to hang the arms upward after releasing the ball. 

7. To get the goat of the opponent.

8. A feeling of confidence.

9. Hands are raised in defense to get the ball from the offensive player.

10. Swagger.

11. A locked-up defense makes a shooter’s life miserable.

12. Show the referee that he was playing straight-up defense and didn’t commit a foul. 

13. Owning up the foul.

14. A player is in an excellent position to score and signals his teammates to give him the ball.

15. A means of communication among players on the court and is used to devise offensive patterns.

3 Other Hand Gesture Habits in NBA3 Other Hand Gesture Habits in NBA

NBA players sometimes don’t have to talk, and their hand gestures tell it all. Hand signals are a great way to get the message across without the opponent’s understanding. Teams have different hand gestures to create a common ground in players’ movements. Some signals are offensive that might merit a technical. Check out these hand gestures in the NBA to know what they mean.

1. Call for a Pick

A ball handler raises a fist in the air signaling a teammate to provide a screen to block the defensive player. It can develop into a pick and roll where the player providing the pick rolls to the basket and receive a pass for a good offensive play.

2. Isolation Play

An offensive player who wants to play one-on-one signals his teammates to spread out to give him space. Isolation (ISO) plays are designed for potent scorers to make points based on their offensive skills or an opponent’s lack of defensive skills.

3. Clapping of Hands 

Clapping hands in front of an opponent’s face violates the NBA rules. Taunting is unsportsmanlike conduct that deserves a technical foul.

In a game between Cleveland and Memphis, after a defensive foul by Cavaliers Otto Porter Jr.  on Grayson Allen of the Grizzlies, Allen faces him clapping continuously. Taunting is against NBA rules, and Allen got a technical from the referee.

Who are Some Popular NBA Players Who Point UpWho are Some Popular NBA Players Who Point Up?

Only a few NBA players can produce spectacular moments in basketball. We’re spotlighting some of these players whose tenacity and flair make them popular among fans.

Dillon Brooks

Once the ball is tossed, Brooks keeps his hands busy with an in-your-face defense that wears down the offensive player. Brooks’ style of play depicts the grit and grind style of play by the Memphis Grizzlies.

Patrick Beverly

Lakers’ Beverly doesn’t give his opponent a break. It’s hard to perform at your best against an open-ball defender who is receptive to the idea of taking over your mind and air and knocking you off your game.

Bam Adebayo

Adebayo is an All-Star center who doesn’t mind banging bodies on offense and defense. Bam doesn’t back off; he’ll guard anyone and put himself on the line for a Miami win.

Wrapping Things Up: Why Do NBA Players Point Up?

Improvisation by NBA players make the game exciting. Impossible shots, dazzling dribbles, sticky defense, and when NBA players point up fingers, it’s a trey are common appearances.

Hands-up action by NBA players can be the “that’s me” type of thing after a fantastic play. However, hand gestures merit a T, like clapping on the face of the opponent or referee, and a flagrant when the hand comes in contact with the face of a player.

You’ll know something exciting will happen whenever NBA players point up.

We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.

> Why Do Basketball Players Chew Gum?

> Why Do Basketball Players Tape their Fingers?

> Why Do Basketball Players Wear Masks?

> Why Do NBA Players Tuck in their Jerseys

Hoops Addict
Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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