06-18-2009, 10:28 PM
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Kapono speaks about the trade, role with 76ers
Confident Kapono ready to bring long-range shooting to 76ers
Posted Jun 18 2009 6:13PM
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Jason Kapono is a sure shot to make an impact in Philadelphia all because of his long shot.
No active player in the NBA is as accurate in his career from 3-point range than Kapono.
No team in the NBA was worse from 3-point range last season than the Philadelphia 76ers.
Even a down year by Kapono's standards (43 percent) in 2008-09 would have been good enough to top Sixers regulars.
Andre Iguodala and Andre Miller made 95 3s out of the backcourt, guard Lou Williams missed 79 percent of his attempts, and only reserve Donyell Marshall (46 percent on 56 attempts) put up numbers that matched Kapono.
Kapono's career has bounced him to five teams in seven years because he can shoot the 3 like few others. That long-range boost is exactly what the Sixers are counting on as they try to go deep and win an Eastern Conference playoff series for the first time since 2003.
"I take care of what I can do and get ready to compete for playing time and provide a skill that this team needs," Kapono said on Thursday.
Kapono was acquired last week from Toronto for power forward Reggie Evans. The Sixers have a glut of big men in the frontcourt, especially if Elton Brand is fully recovered from shoulder surgery, and desperately needed that long-range threat. They made a woeful 32 percent of their attempts last season.
Kapono's numbers dipped a bit last season after he made 51 percent of his 3s in 2006-07 with Miami and 49 percent in 2007-08 with the Raptors. Kapono's .454 career 3-point shooting percentage is tied for first in league history with Steve Kerr.
Kapono believes he can lift his accuracy back near 50 percent.
"I don't think it's anything too serious so I'm still confident and still believe I'm one of the best out there and I look forward to bringing that to the 76ers," he said.
The former UCLA standout, who made a pitch for the Sixers to select Bruins guard Darren Collison in next week's draft, joked that he was barely ready to attend preschool when he knew outside shooting would keep his career moving upward.
"It first dawned on me when I realized I couldn't dribble, run, or dunk," he said. "Once you get into the league and got a chance to play, it really helps you out and you gain the confidence that you need to continue your career."
The Sixers have lacked a serious 3-point threat since trading Kyle Korver two years ago, and Kapono might even find a starting job at shooting guard in place of Willie Green. Kapono has talked briefly with first-year Sixers coach Eddie Jordan, and the message was clear: His 3s are needed, wanted and will have to connect for the Sixers to open the floor and have a shot at competing in the East.
"It's a huge step from my confidence standpoint," Kapono said. "It's such a great fit in terms of the style of play of Coach Jordan coming in with his system and philosophy
I can't believe he admited he couldn't dribble/run/dunk he should have added play D!