The grooming of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the Charlotte Bobcats’ 20-year-old small forward, includes a daily diet of more than 500 jump shots.
The regimen is identical before and after practice and again prior to each game: hoist jumper after jumper while stationed 18 feet from the rim along the baseline, then from the wings and from the top of the key.
Kidd-Gilchrist doesn’t count the exact number of shots anymore, just shoots.
With each ball that spins off Kidd-Gilchrist’s monster right hand — measuring 9 inches from the base of the palm to the tip of his middle finger and 10 inches wide — the Bobcats see a player budding. Kidd-Gilchrist is 6-foot-7, 232 pounds with a wingspan that stretches 7 feet, and he possesses overwhelming athletic ability of the sort that made him a millionaire at 19. But playing in the NBA demands mastery of technique. He is still looking for his jumper.