LEFTOVERS: Thompson's switch might be NBA first


Former Findlay Prep standout Tristan Thompson made 4 of 4 free throws in Team Canada’s 77-72 exhibition victory over Jamaica on Saturday in a tuneup for the World Championships.

It was a pretty solid effort for the career 58 percent shooter from the line, but it wasn’t the story.

Neither was Thompson’s 16-point, 10-rebound performance.

The story was the overhaul of the Cavaliers forward’s offensive game.

Thompson, a left-hander, shot his free throws and jump shots with his right hand in two exhibition games against Jamaica.

It wasn’t just an experiment, either. Thompson decided at the end of last season to make a permanent switch to shooting right-handed.

Thompson struggled in Thursday’s game against Jamaica but busted out with his big game Saturday.

“I think it’s the first time ever in NBA history,” Thompson told Michael Grange of Sportsnet of the seemingly unprecedented switch.

The 22-year-old Thompson always has shot left-handed and drove to the basket almost exclusively to the left, but Grange wrote that Thompson throws a baseball and brushes his teeth with his right hand.

“I’m all messed up,” said Thompson, who writes with his left hand. “I’m still trying to figure myself out.”

If the move is successful, maybe it will send a signal to Tim Tebow to start throwing with his right hand. It couldn’t be any worse than his left.

■ NEXT! — Some perks are expected for professional athletes. Groupies, first-class flights, limos, free bottles at the club. But not having to wait in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles might be the best benefit.

Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby was allowed to skip to the front of the line Friday at the Duncan Manor DMV office in McCandless, Pa.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Crosby was there to renew his driver’s license and it is state policy to give preferential treatment to celebrities to keep disruption to a minimum.

According to the story, supervisors of the state’s DMV offices decide whether to let famous people — whose presence might make customers’ wait time longer — go to the head of the line. The decision is based on how much potential the celebrity has to create a furor that causes delays.

“If they walk in and the place goes crazy with fans, we would just move them in and out,” a Pennsylvania spokeswoman told the Post-Gazette. “It’s a matter of keeping ... disruptions to a minimum.”

The patrons interviewed by the Post-Gazette were mixed in their feelings on the policy, but no one seemed overly annoyed.

The people who should be angry are the players deemed not to be big enough celebrities to warrant the special treatment.

If Ben Roethlisberger walks in with his offensive line, is the quarterback ushered to the front of the line while the five big guys have to take a number and wait with the commoners?

What about members of the Pirates before this great season? When they were losing all those years, most of the players probably were forced to wait until the end of the day to get served.

COMPILED BY ADAM HILL LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

 

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