The last time I spoke with Mark Price he was planning to re-enter the professional coaching ranks. Price had just taken the 2012-13 campaign off to stay close to his son during his senior season in high school.
Since then, Price accepted an assistant coaching position with the Charlotte Bobcats. I caught up with him again last week at Summer League to talk about how it felt to be back on the sidelines.
"Feels real good to be out here," Price told me. "I'm working with a great group of guys and I’m excited.”
Among other topics, we also talked about the work he’s been putting in with Cleveland's favorite Bobcat of all time.
"He's got a great work ethic," Price said, when I asked him about Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. "I’ve been working a lot with him since joining the team and have already seen a lot of progress so far."
After wishing Price luck he doesn't need, I talked with MKG about the Cavaliers legend who was actually in his seventh NBA season when Mike was born in 1993.
"You know Coach Price is a Cleveland legend, right?” I asked Kidd-Gilchrist later. “I think you might have only been about five when he retired so I just wanted to double check.”
"Oh absolutely,” he said in response. “I know how good he was. He was a great point guard who could really shoot it.”
"Yeah he really was,” I replied. “He was like my favorite player on the Cavs growing up too."
"That's awesome. We've been in the gym every night working out, it’s been great. For me, as far as shooting the basketball, it’s all about confidence right now and he's really helping me a lot with that. I really think he's going to help me a lot throughout the year too."
I told Mike, who's coming off a successful rookie season, that I agreed.
I also asked if his summer felt strange this year having not come through Cleveland to workout.
"You know man," Kidd-Gilchrist replied with a smile, "It does. I enjoyed my time in Cleveland last year for sure. I’m actually going to try to get out there sometime next month.”
I told him we appreciate that, enjoyed having him and wished him the best with Coach Price this year.
As I walked away, though, I also thought about just how good the basketball gods are at working things out like putting MKG and Price together at this specific moment in history.
Kidd-Gilchrist is willing to do whatever it takes to improve his jump shot and there is no better guy on the planet to help him with that than Mark Price.
Looking forward to big things from both of those guys this year.
Photo: David Foster III / CharlotteObserver.com