Chip Engelland Rumors
Engelland: “He hasn’t been tricked by any of the NBA glamour or bright lights, big city. A lot of smart, great players have been. You get lost and forget the process, forget why you began to play. With him, it’s like, ‘What’d you do last night?’ ‘Watched a little TV. I was with friends. My mom cooked dinner.’ Those are very common nights for him.”
The intel on Thompson was so jumbled, the Spurs needed two private workouts before deciding to attempt trading up to get him. After one workout, Chip Engelland, the Spurs’ shooting guru, told the front office something that made their hair stand on end, officials remember: Thompson’s competitive nature reminded him of Manu Ginobili. “There’s something deep in there,” Engelland recalled. “He has that chip. When you see it, you know it.”
Sam Mitchell: The only guy we had to help work on his shooting was Jose Calderon. And we hired a guy named Dave Hopla. Ever heard of him? He’s in Detroit now. To me there are two guys — him and the guy in San Antonio [Chip Engelland] — who are the best. They teach shooting the best I have ever seen. Hopla could come out here right now and hit 97 of 98 threes, just getting out of his car. And the thing about it, he doesn’t want to coach, all he wants to do is teach shooting. That’s it. He doesn’t come to your coaches meeting. Just teach shooting.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich would have you believe that’s even more impressive than it sounds, because the 6-foot-7, 24-year-old wing has had to adapt to a new position. “He was basically a big man in college,” Popovich said Monday before matching up against Anthony and the Knicks, according to NBA.com’s John Schuhmann. “He didn’t play on the perimeter. When he came, he couldn’t shoot a three until Chip Engelland got a hold of him. So all of this is new to him as a perimeter player, defensively, offensively, his development with some of the moves he has that Chad Forcier works with him on. All of that has been an education for him. So he just keeps progressing.”