Do you remember Kendall Marshall? I don't blame you if you don't. It's been a LONG time since the Phoenix Suns last played basketball and a lot has happened since then.
The Blanks Ghost was exorcised. The Suns' streak of bad luck continued with a one-spot drop in the Draft Lottery. Lindsey Hunter was given an "interview" that won him a Light Rail pass to Sky Harbor. And finally, Jeff Hornacek was hired!
Let's talk about that last one because something he said in his introductory press conference caught my ear. Specifically, Horny talked about his awful side-spinning shot that he brought to the NBA and how he was forced to take extreme measures to fix it.
Jeff taped his thumb to his hand to re-teach himself how to get his elbow tucked in and turned an ugly (but somewhat effective) shot into a consistent weapon that carried him through 14 years in the NBA and delivered a career .403 shooting percentage from behind the arc.
To recap: Hornacek entered the NBA as a 6-3 guard with a broken shot but good court vision and passing.
Does that sound familiar? It damn well should since I put Kendall Marshall's name in the freakin' headline and first sentence of this story, dumbass.
Marshall is a 6-3 guard with elite vision and passing skills who can't hit the broad side of a backboard thanks to his own broken shot mechanics. He has a different problem than Hornacek, but one whose only real solution
might be probably is a complete teardown and rebuild.
That, however, would require a GREAT deal of commitment and patience on the part of young Kendall. Hornacek discussed what it takes:
"It took about a year and a half to where I really felt comfortable, where i was back at my shooting range. It's a good lesson for me with the young shooters out there now. Every guy there's little things you might tweak, but the emphasis with the guys is you have to stay with it. It's a process."
It's a process. It takes a long time. It's hard.
Will a player of this generation be willing to follow the advice of his old-man coach and do what needs to be done? I am very curious to find out...but doubtful Kendall will go for it.
And if only Horny can teach anyone that beautiful one-legged runner in the lane! But that's another story for another day. In the meantime, enjoy this.