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Kidd-Gilchrist opens up about his jump shot and stuttering

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The Hornets forward spoke on a wide range of topics in a podcast yesterday, including his jump shot, stuttering, his name change, and Steve Clifford.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Ever wondered why Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s jump shot looked terrible a few years ago? Well, now we know.

Kidd-Gilchrist told the Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski that his horrid shooting form was the result of listening to too many people trying to help him improve it. By taking in information from so many different sources, he ended up with a Frankenstein’s monster of a jump shot that looked like this:

Miami Heat v Charlotte Bobcats - Game Three Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

He’s since silenced all of his critics and listens to one voice and one alone — first, Mark Price, and now, with Price coaching the Charlotte 49ers, assistant coach Bruce Kreutzer — and his shooting form has improved markedly.

If you’ve followed Michael Kidd-Gilchrist closely over the years, you know that his jump shot hasn’t always been bad.

Early in his four years at St. Patrick High School, his shooting form was decent, but upon arriving at Kentucky, it was a crooked, over-the-shoulder catapult. That particular form came with him to the Charlotte Hornets.

Luckily, the work he, Price, and Kreutzer have put into his shot has paid off. And they really went back to the basics, too. Kidd-Gilchrist told Wojnarowski that Price put him through excruciatingly boring shooting drills that had him standing a couple of feet from the rim that lasted, at times, hours.

Kidd-Gilchrist also opened up about his stuttering in the podcast. Once ashamed of the problem, Kidd-Gilchrist now accepts that it’s part of who he is. That’s alleviated some of the stress that burdened him a few years ago. He’s also still working with kids in partnership with the National Stuttering Association.

Some other highlights from the podcast:

  • He hasn’t grown since the eighth grade. He was — and still is — 6’6”.
  • He hated head coach Steve Clifford at first. However, after realizing how honest, humble, and hardworking Clifford is, he’s grown to love him. He said most players adore Clifford once they get to know him.
  • He’s been using Clifford’s threat of not playing him late in games if he can’t shoot as motivation to improve his jumper.