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Kidd-Gilchrist told Calipari he was “scared to death” he couldn’t make it in NBA

Dec 8, 2012, 9:31 PM EST

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist AP

Charlotte’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist shows a lot of promise as a rookie. Oh, there are flaws in his game (the jump shot) but he rebounds, hustles, defends and gets to the rim and out of that he has a PER of 17 — well above the league average.

Kidd-Gilchrist looks like a guy who could have a nice long NBA career.

But he didn’t think so during training camp. Kidd-Gilchrist was so freaked out at one point he texted John Calipari at Kentucky, reports Rock Bonnell at the Charlotte Observer.

Kentucky coach John Calipari, speaking with local media in Lexington, revealed Friday that Kidd-Gilchrist sent him text messages that “I may have made a mistake” turning pro, and “I don’t think I’m good enough.”

“He was scared to death,” Calipari recalled….

Calipari said he told his former star, “What? Are you kidding me? You may not shoot it as well. You may not bounce it as well. But the thing you do, no one else does. So you keep playing hard and competing. That’s what you do.”

That is what he does. He also makes really good decisions on the floor, something rare for a rookie and a really good sign for the future.

Kidd-Gilchrist’s jump shot is a mess — it looks awkward and he has hit just 18.1 percent of his shots outside three feet all season (via Hoopdata). So he doesn’t shoot from there much — through post ups, slashing and picking up broken plays he gets to the rim and takes 5.1 shots per game there, finishing 67.1 percent of them. The result is 10.8 points a game at 45.8 percent shooting overall. Combine that with some fantastic rebounding for a three (he’s dangerous and attacks the offensive glass) and you have a guy that can be a key part of what the Bobcats are building.

Kidd-Gilchrist is good enough to play in the NBA. For a long time.

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