Klay Thompson is one of the best shooters in the world, but every superstar athlete gets humbled from time to time.
Thompson is touring China right now, and at one of his stops, he played a young girl at an arcade at Pop-a-Shot. The girl absolutely destroyed him, and it really wasn’t even close, highlighting the question of how this dramatic upset even happened.
What’s very telling from the video footage of this matchup was the quantity of the shots this girl was able to hoist. It’s not a game for the methodical shooter, and it usually comes down to which shooter has the quickest release to rack up the most attempts possible.
Thompson has one of the quickest releases in the NBA, so his relative lack of speed in getting his shots up was surprising.
It’s yet another example that a person’s particular shooting skill in one setting does not necessarily translate to shooting skill in another setting.
Think of the kid in class who was really good at crumpling up papers and shooting them into the garbage can on the other end of the room.
It wasn’t often the kid who had the best jumper out on the basketball court. It actually seemed weirdly common for it to be the kid with the worst shot out on the court.
Pop-a-Shot tends to be a bit biased towards different types of shooters, too, beyond just relating to the player’s release speed.
It really helps to have more of a line-drive shot as opposed to one that has more of a rainbow arc to it. Way too many shots are deflected on that low ceiling that most of those Pop-a-Shot games have, although it looked like the one Thompson and the girl used didn’t have one.
While it might not necessarily translate to a professional basketball career, that girl could easily cash in on some overly-confident would-be sharpshooters in the future. Plus she can always say she beat one of the best shooters in basketball history.