Klay Thompson credits neonatal doctor for perfect shot form – Basketball Network
Between the two Golden State Warriors Splash Brothers, arguably Stephen Curry is the better shooter, but not by a mile. However, when it comes to shooting form, Klay Thompson is by far the ultimate champion. It’s not because Curry’s shot is lousy. But rather, Thompson’s shot is so clean, nothing can compare to it. One would assume that Thompson was diligently taught by his father, Mychal, proper mechanics. But lo and behold, a neonatal doctor is tasked with creating one of the finest shots in the game.
Crediting Mychal for the Klay shot makes a lot of sense because the elder Thompson spent 13 years in the NBA. However, upon further analysis, Mychal played in the middle and was not considered an important stretch by any metric. The credit goes to a newborn named Joseph Kaempf, as Klay himself put it.
Dr. Kaempf is a neonatal physician by trade who has also served as a head coach for children’s sports teams in Portland, Oregon. Perhaps coincidentally, Kaempf’s son, Joey, was teammates with Klay on a school-age team. The shooting technique he taught Klay and Joey was eerily accurate. Emphasis was placed on keeping the ball above the forehead. When releasing, the arms should be straight and the shooting hand outstretched. The index and middle fingers should form a “V”.
“I’d say, ‘Shoot with good close form and get out,‘” Kaempf said. “Don’t shoot with bad form at 20 feet, shoot with good form at 3 feet.”
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The three-time NBA champion remembers repeating this set of shooting instructions every day in practice. Per Kaempf’s marching orders, Klay and the others started at close range and fought their way.
“Before each practice day we would shoot our jump shot over our head just inside the key,said Thompson. “And I swear it helped me develop my form. I kind of grew in my shooting from there.”
There’s an argument to be made that if Kaempf hadn’t become a doctor, he would be a shooting coach in the NBA. After all, he applies the same keen eye to his patients for the nuances of a perfect stroke. He studied the excellent techniques of Jerry West, Pete Maravich, Geoff Petrie and Dell Curry.
Don’t want fame and fortune
It would be understandable if Kaempf started a basketball camp and called himself “Klay Creator”. Tons of kids and prospects would sign up for his basketball program. This type of workshop would be in high demand, especially in today’s age where every position needs to have a decent shot.
But Kaempf is not the type of guy who likes to be credited and paid. He believes he wasn’t solely responsible for Thompson’s multimillion-dollar form. Kaempf thinks Thompson worked his tail. In other words, the doctor just gave him the blueprint and Klay ran off with it.
“The local grocer could have coached him and he would have been great,Kaempf said.
But the story speaks for itself. Kaempf’s patience with teaching children and his diligence in studying the grown-ups are good proof that he deserves a ton of credit. Kaempf deserves all the praise because he is the true creator of Klay.