Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is not making any impact on the team on the Charlotte Hornets on the hardwood. He is making a big impact on the Charlotte Hornets in the coach's huddle though.
The forward, who is out until April after he had surgery to repair a torn labrum in October, is making the most of his time off the court by becoming another scout and coach for the team, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. As Bonnell said, think of Kidd-Gilchrist as "the NBA’s highest-paid, quality-control scout."
The idea came from longtime assistant Stephen Silas, who now creates a 25-question form for Kidd-Gilchrist to fill out after each game, covering everything from the team's offensive and defensive sets to the effort given by the players. According to head coach Steve Clifford, Kidd-Gilchrist is not just mailing it in with the answers. The forward goes over his answers with Silas, who then goes over the answers with Clifford.
"To be really good in this league, you’ve got to be a student of the game. So it’s working out well," Clifford told Bonnell. "He’s really locked into personnel. It’s literally evaluating everything from our team (defensive) coverages to what was good, what was bad to why we won or why we lost."
Kidd-Gilchrist added that what he mentions in his answers is not far off from what he would say in the team huddle were he playing.
"Things where, if I were on the court, I would (mention) the effort baskets we aren’t getting or the fast breaks we’re not getting," he said. "Trying to (maintain) that pace on the floor. We’re not always getting that right now, but I hope we’ll find it somewhere."
It's great to see Kidd-Gilchrist not just taking his injury in stride, but finding ways to continue to improve despite not being able to play. It will be very interesting to see how this effects his play when he returns to the court and if he becomes more of a coach on the court.
If nothing else, the Hornets' new D-League franchise could have a new coach (if a lot of the correct dominoes fall).