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Basketball Pull Back

Tracy McGrady drives, pulls-back, and sinks the jumper

What is pull-back in basketball dribbling?

Essentially, a pull-back in basketball dribbling is stepping forward and then dragging the ball backwards.  This basketball is very different from crossovers because crossovers result in a forward movement while pull-back results in a backward body movement.  It plays with the defenders' instincts to back-off and together with a backward bounce, you as the ball-handler will create a space of two body-lengths for yourself.

What does it take to do a pull-back in basketball dribbling?

Why is pull-back useful in basketball dribbling?

-Plays with the defender's instinct and MAKES HIM BACK OFF

-Creates space for yourself

What are the steps for performing the pull-back in basketball dribbling?

(assuming you are right-handed, reverse everything for a left-hander)

  1. Drive towards your defender slowly, start with the basketball in your right hand
  2. While the ball is bouncing up, suddenly take a huge stride towards right by moving your left leg across*
  3. Right after your left leg is out, swing the ball as far as possible in the right
  4. As soon as your defender jumps back, pull and bounce the ball backward around the outside of your left leg
  5. At the same time, hop backward to further distant your defender from you.
  6. You are now at least two body lengths away from your d.

*It must be your left leg that goes out because: 1) It maximizes your displacement from your original position.  2) Defenders never wants to look at their opponent's back.  It's a mental thing.

What are the useful basketball combination moves that incorporates the pull-back?

Name of the basketball move: Legit Hypnotizer

Steps: Slowly approaches defender --> Inter-leg cross-over x2 --> 1 sec pause --> pull-back --> jump shot

Level of difficulty:  High-Intermediate

How and why is this basketball move useful? It gets your opponent down and freezes them, then get him away.  Steve Francis loves this move

Name of the basketball move: The Pendulum

Steps: Drive towards opponent --> small inter-leg cross-over --> BIG behind-the-back (pushes the ball forward) --> slow pull-back --> head fake and shot fake --> drive

Level of difficulty: Advanced

How and why is this basketball move useful? This basketball move requires modifications to the other dribbling moves and excellent timing.  This move is useful when used in conjunction with the Legit Hypnotizer.  It keeps the defender always guessing.

In what situations do I perform the pull-back in basketball dribbling

Checklist about your defender

Checklist about the setting

Pros-n-cons about doing the pull-back basketball move



  • Highly reversible and flexible move
  • Creates ample amount of space for other moves
  • Provide you time to pull up
  • Easy to become off balance
  • Your momentum is towards the back, creates a tough shot situation


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