When the Brad Stevens hired Joe Mazzulla during the offseason as an assistant coach, he knew he was getting an outside-the-box thinker, and he channeled his inner McGuyver in one of his first assignments.
Rookie Romeo Langford had surgery on his shooting hand in April to repair a torn ligament in his thumb. Shortly after being cleared to practice, he was seen with Coach Mazzulla with an interesting attachment on his hand.
Romeo Langford is shooting with a ping-pong paddle taped to his left hand. pic.twitter.com/o2GyJFkQzd
— Tom Westerholm (@Tom_NBA) July 2, 2019
Why? Celtics Summer League coach Scott Morrison wasn’t too sure.
“I believe it has something to do with keeping his guide hand thumb off the ball when he follows through.”
Langford had a quirk in his shot that the coaching staff wanted to correct, and the Celtics new coach got the assignment so he attached a ping pong paddle to the rookie’s hand.
“I used to shoot with a little hitch in my shot,” Langford said. “If you want to be consistent and be one of the best shooters in the NBA, you can’t shoot with a hitch in your shot. Most good shooters have a two-motion release, so just trying to eliminate that little glitch or hitch. Just try to make it all one smooth release.”
Langford struggled to hit from deep while at Indiana, but with Mazzulla’s help, he could develop into an multi-faceted scorer in the NBA.