A fadeaway or fall-away in basketball is a jump shot taken while jumping backwards, away from the basket. The goal is to create space between the shooter and the defender, making the shot much harder to block.
The shooter must have very good accuracy (much higher than when releasing a regular jump shot) and must use more strength (to counteract the backwards momentum) in a relatively short amount of time. Also, because the movement is away from the basket, the shooter has less chance to grab his own rebound.
The shooting percentage is lower in fadeway (because of the difficulty of the shot) and the shooter cannot get his own rebound. This leads many coaches and players to believe it is one of the worst shots in the game to take. However, once mastered, it is one of the hardest methods of shooting for defenders to block. The threat of a fadeaway forces a defender to jump into the shooter, and with a pump fake, the shooter can easily get a foul on the defender.
Only a handful of great NBA players have been successful shooting fadeaways. Michael Jordan was one of the most popular shooters of the fadeaway. Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, Hakeem Olajuwon, Dwyane Wade, Karl Malone, and Larry Bird are also well known for using this move. The even more difficult one-legged fadeaway has become Dirk Nowitzki's signature move and has been called by LeBron James the second most unstoppable move ever, only behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's skyhook.