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Saturday, August 10th, 2013 at 12:27 pm  |  14 responses

Tristan Thompson Has Decided To Change Shooting Hands


Tristan Thompson has been a left-handed shooter his entire career but has decided to change his shooting hand to his right for free throws and jump shots. Thompson told Sportsnet that he believes it’s the first time in NBA history that a player has switched his shooting hand mid-career, and who are we to argue: “When it comes to representing his country, Tristan Thompson is determined to do things the right way. Literally. The burgeoning Canadian NBA star, a left-handed shooter for his entire basketball career, has decided to use his right hand to shoot jump shots and free throws. The unusual – perhaps historic – switch has been months in the planning but had its competitive debut Thursday night in Canada’s 81-71 win over Jamaica in the first of two exhibition games between the two countries in advance of the 2013 FIBA Americas tournament. Midway through the third quarter of his first game with the Canadian national basketball team Thompson got the ball on the right side of the floor, faked left, drove right and took off for a dunk. He was met at the rim by Jamaica’s Samardo Samuels who got whistled for the foul. In itself it was a strong sequence as Thompson demonstrated he is a threat to go strong with his so-called weak hand. And then something remarkable happened: Thompson went to line, set up for his free throw and shot them right-handed as well – and a new phase in his basketball life began. ‘I think it’s the first time ever in NBA history,’ Thompson said of the change, and he may be right.”

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  • LLC#12

    “And then something remarkable happened: Thompson went to line, set up for his free throw and shot them right-handed as well”

    I’d of thought whether or not he made them would be an important part of the article…

    Why change hands anyway, seems like a waste of time. In the time he’ll devote to learning to shoot right handed, surely he could have just improved his left hand shooting? As an aside, when I was younger I briefly changed the foot I kicked with (rugby) with fairly disastrous results. Hope Tristan is more successful!

  • spit hot fiyah

    that was my first thought as well. who cares if he switched hands, we want to know if it made a difference.

  • spit hot fiyah

    i remember when i was young a playing ball there was this one dude that was truly ambidextrous in the true sense of the word (not just a person who is good with both hands, but one that can use them the exact same way.) he would pull up for 3s and use his right when he felt like it and his left when he felt like it. pretty amazing to see

  • Stainless

    so is he shooting threes with his left hand still? Does he shoot like shawn marion when he finds himself on the line?

  • Basketball_iQ

    Shawn Marionshot goes in hater. And he’s been in the league umpteen years and won a championship and shut down Lebron,,, why mention him? Bc his shots awkward? You’re awkward for mentioning a winner like a loser.

  • Basketball_iQ

    If he’sshooting with his other hand, hhe’s I proved his game…. Haters on this site big time.
    Give props when their due.
    Big ups Tristan trying to stay relevant in a league where the average career is 3 years.

  • Stainless

    Never really said or mentioned anything disrespecting the guy, merely just a reference to the way he decides to shoot… You are in fact the one who has tried to list and create something that is not even necessary. The only awkward part is his leg tattoo, that is a problem.

    Take a lap.

  • lannister

    put that man`s name in the nba history books … just might b his only accomplishment

  • Enigmatic

    Saying Thompson is changing his shooting hand “mid-career” after his second season kind of sounds like he’s only playing two more seasons and then calling it a career, lol.

    On another note, for some reason this reminded me of Hank Gathers, who at Loyola Marymount decided to start shooting free-throws left handed despite being naturally right handed.

    As most of us know (and if you don’t know about Hank Gathers, definitely check out the ESPN 30 for 30 movie Guru of Go) Gathers passed away doing what he loved, and as a tribute his teammate Bo Kimble would shoot (and usually make) his first free throw attempt of every game left handed before switching back to his natural right for the remainder of the game, something he continued to do well into his NBA career.

    As far as someone suddenly just deciding to completely switch shooting hands, though, Thompson might be right. Could be a first.

  • KSupreme

    I watched the game yesterday. Nice play to get to the line….missed both free throws, looked awkward AF

  • cut fastball

    Rasheed Wallace?

    And didn’t Greg Oden shoot his FTs left-handed in college cuz his injured wrist?

  • Michael

    This sounds like a horrible idea… Nothing wrong with devoting some time to shooting with his off hand if he uses it the same way Kobe and Nash have in the past but to completely switch? Just sounds pointless

  • Dfrance

    Rasheed pulled up and shot a 3 left handed in the all-Star game. Swished it, it looked incredibly natural.

  • Dfrance

    Rasheed pulled up and shot a 3 left handed in the all-Star game. Swished it, it looked incredibly natural.

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