There surely isn’t room on Team USA’s 12-man FIBA World Cup roster for both Kyle Korver and Klay Thompson. The spot for which they’re vying on the National Team is that of designated sharpshooter, and there’s only one up for grabs. To help managing director Jerry Colangelo, coach Mike Krzyzewski, and legions of basketball fans across the country make the unenviable choice between them, Korver and Thompson got right to the point at a recent practice, going around the world in a two-man three-point shooting contest.
Two of the league’s preeminent long-range marksmen, Korver and Thompson have similar deficiencies that are especially magnified in a setting rife with All-Star caliber players – namely a lack of off-dribble comfort and creativity. And because neither is big enough to play nominal power forward, they don’t afford Coach K the lineup flexibility he so craves on the international stage.
Team USA is just too talented to take both players to Spain, but it can’t go wrong either way. As made clear in the video below, Korver and Thompson are historically proficient shooters. Watch Kenneth Faried in the near frame as the competition moves to the center arc; the Denver Nuggets big man is hardly a legitimate three-point threat, obviously, but the contrast between his jumper and Korver’s and Thompson’s is striking nonetheless.
According to LetsGoWarriors.com, Thompson said Korver emerged from the epic shooting battle victorious. He’s more concerned with getting better than winning mostly meaningless competitions, though, and there’s no better place to do so than Team USA training camp.
“Man,” the competitive Thompson said, shaking his head, “He beat me four out of seven spots.
“You can only miss one shot, maybe two (against Korver),” Thompson added, “but I love shooting with Kyle — or Steph [Curry]. There’s not many guys I think can shoot better than me. It just gets me better.”
Our quick analysis confirmed Thompson’s assessment. The players shoot from just six spots in the video, with Korver winning three spots, Thompson two, and splitting the other. Korver made a mind-boggling 27-33 shots, good for a scorching 81.8 percent. Thompson wasn’t far behind at 26-36 and 72.2 percent.
No matter which player ultimately makes the team, the United States will clearly have the best shooter in the World Cup on its roster.
(Video via Rich Twu)
Who’s a better shooter – Korver or Thompson?
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