After a good play, like scoring a big basket, some basketball players perform a salute that seems inspired by The Prisoner: looking through a circle made with their thumb and forefinger with one eye, then snapping off a high salute. What do they mean by this, and where does it come from?

3 Answers 3


There are two variants of the fingers over the eye salute.

1) Bullseye - popularized by Ben Gordon. This is a reference to darts and signifies that the shooter is very accurate.

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2) Goosie - popularized by Mo Williams and Jamario Moon. The back story here is that Moon's follow through looks like a goose neck when he shoots a three.

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    Just for clarification, it's not that Moon looks like a goose. The position of your hand and wrist at the end of your follow-through on a shot seems to look like a goose neck (according to the Cavs, who popularized the "Goose Eye").
    – Matt
    Mar 6, 2012 at 14:44

There are a couple of different meanings, but seemingly related: the "Goose Eye", started by the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the "3 Goggles" started by the Portland Trail Blazers.

Both have to do with the act of shooting (and making) a 3 point shot.


This is done to show that they are a "Dead Eye" shooter from 3 point range. According to dictionary.com the term "Dead Eye" refers to "an expert marksman".

The three fingers are held up to symbolize the three point basket that they just made and they look through the hole made by their thumb and forefinger to symbolize the "dead eye". As far as the high salute I'm not sure, however they will often slide their hand down their hip to symbolize holstering their "gun" that they used to make the "shot".

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