Legendary shooter Mark Price has been hired as an assistant by the Charlotte Bobcats to fix Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's jumper. But while the work began over the summer as early as July's summer league, Price says the work ahead is so extensive, you may not see results for some time, let alone preseason.
"When I'm working with someone's shot, there is minor surgery which includes a few tweaks and there is major reconstructive surgery -- this is reconstructive," Price said.
It has been an exercise in patience for both men.
Kidd-Gilchrist, who turned 20 last month, has spent his teenage years shooting the same jump shot in AAU and high school ball. But his ability to get to the basket and run the floor often made up for his peculiar form.
Now he's learning old habits are hard to break.
"I don't know if it was just hard on me. It was hard on Mark, too," Kidd-Gilchrist said.
Said Price: "He gets frustrated sometimes, but like I've told him: `This is a process. It's not going to happen overnight. You're not going to be Chris Mullin next week. It's going to take some time."'
The key here is going to be whether MKG sticks with it. Players are prideful and most often play by feel. A young guy accepting the kind of long, frustrating work with fixing a shot can often reach a point where he just wants to bail on it and go back to what's natural. Price is literally trying to team him a new natural, and that's exceptionally difficult. That's why so many players have warped shots (Kevin Martin, Shawn Marion). You shoot how you're comfortable and that's what's going to get the best results.
But if you want to be a truly good, maybe even great shooter, you have to adopt the right form, and that means things like fixing your square-up, as Price talks about in the story linked above. Price outlined some of the myriad issues to CBSSports.com's Zach Harper this summer.
“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.”
This is going to be a long process. It's going to be a painful process. It could pay off big-time for MKG's career, but only if he has the discipline, patience, and humility to put in the work and let it pay off long-term.