Further proving that time is a flat circle, it appears Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has been spending time this offseason changing his jumpshot again. Earlier this weekend, a tweet from LethalShooter__ showed MKG practicing his new form:
The last 8days I've started teaching Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Charlotte Hornets) the Art of Shooting. Going to change the entire shot. pic.twitter.com/ibcePmIgAd— Lethal Shooter (@LethalShooter__) May 27, 2017
As indicated from the tweet (and obviously from the picture), MKG is changing his entire shooting form. This is far from surprising — you only need to scroll back to the top of the page to see just how much he reverted back to his form of old. Why that happened is likely due to a number of reasons, and one that certainly didn’t help was the severe amount of shoulder rehab MKG went through last summer after tearing his labrum twice. Given that he’s healthy this summer, he can fully commit to working on his jumper again.
But just who is Lethal Shooter? His name is Chris Matthews (no, not that one), and he’s a former collegiate and pro basketball player turned NBA shooting coach. He spent two seasons at Washington State from 2005-2007, before transferring to Saint Bonaventure, where he found a lot of individual success, averaging 12.4 points per game in two seasons, and shooting 39.1 percent from the 3-point line his senior season.
Following college, Matthews played briefly in the NBA D-League with the Reno Bighorns, then played internationally in Iceland and Canada before starting as an NBA Shooting coach. In an interview with SLAM, Matthews stated he is still playing professionally through basketball tours in the Dominican Republic, China, and Russia, and is only devoting a lot of his time to helping inner-city youth. Recent Instagram photos indicate he was at the most recent draft combine, and worked with former UNC Tarheel Kennedy Meeks.
Matthews is the third shooting coach to work with MKG. He saw marked improvement with Mark Price a few seasons ago, then Price left to be head coach at UNC Charlotte. Bruce Kreutzer was hired to replace Price, and while other players have praised his work with them, MKG’s shooting form didn’t continue to improve. Again, two major shoulder injuries likley contributed heavily to this. It’s hard to undo a lifetime amount of poor shooting form, and when an injury comes along that forces you away from shooting the ball, bad habits can return.
This makes his work with Matthews important. The work they put in together, along with the work put in with Kreutzer in training camp, will be vital in MKG’s development. At this point, he can’t afford reverting back to his old form again.