Mark Price Rumors

So he went to work last summer. Assistant coach Mark Price, one of the best shooters in NBA history, tore everything apart and put it back together. The hitch and sidespin are gone and Kidd-Gilchrist now has a release point that doesn’t come on his descent from the jump. The result? He makes 43 percent of his mid-range jump shots this season, compared to an embarrassing 28 percent a season ago. That forces defenders to get up on him, making his drives so much more effective.
The results won’t start becoming public until next Wednesday when the Hornets play their first exhibition in Philadelphia. But the head coach sounds encouraged. “I’ve never seen anybody’s shooting mechanics change more drastically, in the year or so Mark has worked with him,” Steve Clifford said Monday. “He’s not Dell Curry, and that’s important for him to understand and us to understand. He’s played one way his whole life. Mike has always caught it and said, ‘I’ll drive it or pass it.’ Now he has more ability to shoot the ball. “If he can get to that point where he makes some shots, he’ll have a much different career.”
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Now consider the look: Everything about Kidd-Gilchrist’s jump shot appeared awkward. He would launch the ball almost as he landed at the end of his jump. The shot had a weird side spin, like a Frisbee flying through the air. Price, one of the great shooters in NBA history – 40.9 percent from 3-point range and 90.4 percent from the foul line – was charged with tearing apart Kidd-Gilchrist’s delivery and replacing it with something sound and reliable. “I told everyone in management this was going to be a process,” Price said, invoking the magic word. “I always knew this was going to be a big summer for Mike and I give him a lot of credit. We started in May and really broke some things down. He listened, he applied it and the biggest part is he stuck with it. We all know when somebody is making some changes there are tendencies to slip back.”
Once the Bobcats’ wing player finds balance, it allows him to be ready to shoot, which should bring in some much- needed confidence. “Basically for the most part, he wasn’t ready to shoot when he got the ball,” Price explained after his pupil went 4 of 4 from the field for 11 points in the team’s second summer league game. “So even [Sunday] we talked about that, I thought [Sunday] was the best job he’s done. I mean he was actually ready, took his shots in rhythm, and made a couple. Just doing those kinds of things are going to help. Obviously, to become the kind of shooter you want to be, you’re going to have to eventually get a lot of things straightened out. But I think just getting some of that stuff is going to help him a lot.”
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Charlotte Bobcats’ new assistant coach Mark Price was recently hired to join Steve Clifford’s coaching staff. Immediately, he was given the task of fixing Kidd-Gilchrist’s jumper. Price’s credentials are legit. In 12 NBA seasons, he scored more than 10,000 points, shot 47.2 percent from the field, 40.2 percent from 3-point range, and he’s currently second all-time in free throw percentage at 90.3 percent. So what do you do if you’re the shooting coach of a guy that looks like he’s caught in a wretched game of Twister whenever he gears up for a jump shot? “I think there’s a lot of things going on,” Price said at Las Vegas Summer League. “I think what most everybody is looking at right now is where his elbow is, the hitch in his shot, things like that, but there’s a lot of balance, footwork, getting your body in position squared up to shoot the basketball that’s going on, as well. I typically start there first. I start with the feet and move up. Most guys think of shooting from the waist up but a lot of things happen starting with your feet.”
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Toward the end of shootaround Friday, Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash approached Dwight Howard and offered up a couple of tips on how to shoot free throws. Though Howard is shooting just 46.9 percent from the foul line this season, while Nash is tied with Mark Price for the best free throw percentage in NBA history at 90.4 percent, the Lakers center said he’s had enough of people giving him advice. “Listen, he was just suggesting some things, but it’s not something that we’ve already talked about or anybody else has suggested,” Howard said. “My mind cannot get clouded with everybody telling me how to shoot a free throw. I just have to go up there and shoot it my way and not get caught up in what everybody else is saying, because that’s when I miss.”