TV analyst Grant Long preps for move into coaching
Grant Long loves being a Pistons analyst for Fox Sports Detroit.
But he wants to become an NBA coach, and he is making the rounds this offseason hoping to land an assistant position to begin his journey.
"What's odd is when I was playing I heard all the time from coaches what a wonderful coach you would make," Long said. "And when I finished playing I got nothing. Sometimes it's just lip service until you get in."
Long has gone through the NBA's coaches program, and coached three pre-draft camps and the Nets summer league team.
He was known as a student of the game at Eastern Michigan and during a 15-year NBA career that included stops with the Pistons, Heat and Hawks. Long retired in 2003.
"I know I am not ready to be a head coach, but I feel in time I will," Long said. "That is why I want to be an assistant first. I know the game. I can convey it to players to make them better. I can motivate people and can relate to younger players."
"Hack-a-Shaq" has turned into "Hack-an-anyone who can't shoot free throws."
A Forbes.com story reported that 80 percent of hacking is done to five players — DeAndre Jordan (Clippers), Dwight Howard (Rockets), Andre Drummond (Pistons), Josh Smith (Rockets) and Joey Dorsey (Raptors).
Drummond is on that list because he's a 57 percent career free-throw shooter who saw that dip to 51.4 percent this season. He's working with assistant Brendan Malone to improve those numbers by shooting 3-pointers.
It is a concept used by former Pistons coach Chuck Daly. The goal was to get big men to bend their knees more while shooting.
"(Shooting 3-pointers helps) establish a foundation for his shot, which is to go down and up with your legs and follow through and stick your hand in the basket or stick your trigger finger into the basket," Malone said.
The Pistons also encouraged Drummond to put more arc into his shot.
"His foul shot is getting better even though the percentages are down," Malone said. "His shot is softer every time he follows through. He has to establish a consistent release point from the foul line."
The numbers for other four players on that list: Jordan and Howard are at 57.3, Smith at 48.1 and Dorsey at 47.7.