Could work on this. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Frank Isola just twat that the Knicks are close to hiring Dave Hopla as a shooting coach. And indeed, if you check out Hopla's Twitter profile, he lists himself as an assistant coach for the Knicks* (and a motivational speaker to boot!) and has a bunch of recent tweets accepting congratulations and remarking on the prospect of settling in New York. So, perhaps they're closer than close.
Who is Hopla? Well, you've probably encountered his legend before even if you don't remember his name. Hopla may or may not be the best shooter of basketballs on the planet. He holds the world record for most NBA three-pointers (one ball, one passer) sunk in a minute and once casually sunk 550 consecutive free throws. That Dan Steinberg post also reports that Hopla's system is called "BEEF", which stands for "Balance Elbows Eyes Follow", not "Bite Ellen Every Friday" as I originally suspected. Hopla has worked before with the Raptors and Wizards and a number of individual players, so he wasn't plucked straight out of the Guinness Book.
So, it would seem that Hopla's the new shooting guru, replacing Phil Weber (and interim shot whisperer Allan Houston) in that role. I can't think of a Knick whose shot needs total reworking (Ronnie Brewer doesn't count because his quirky form is out of necessity, though perhaps it could still be tweaked), but there are several guys-- Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith, Chris Copeland, even Carmelo Anthony-- who have solid form but could be more consistent. Oh, and I really look forward to some shooting contests between Hopla and Steve Novak.
This might be a stupid question, but does this mean the last spot on Mike Woodson's bench is now occupied? Is LaSalle Thompson-- whose name has been attached to the Knicks for weeks-- no longer in the running? I guess we'll see.
Update: Ian Begley:
Can confirm #Knicks hired shooting coach Dave Hopla. Hopla will serve as a player development guy & will conduct individual workouts.
Begley's not sure yet whether Hopla's hiring fills that vacancy on Woodson's staff.
*Not anymore, but it did.