Would anyone even notice if the Three Point Shootout was replaced by an offhand layup drill? Does anyone really believe Daequan Cook or Paul Pierce are potentially the best three point shooters in the league? Did you know Jason Kapono won the title in back to back years? The only reason I did is because I Wikipedia-ed it. If you answered “no” to any of these questions like I did, then you are as desensitized by the three point shootout as I am. Which is very sad because I used to love it.
I remember back in the day, i.e. 1993-94, when Zima and silk boxers were king. I was sitting in front of my VCR, my finger primed and ready to hit the “record” button as soon as the commercials ended. It was akin to trying to “tape” your favorite song on the radio without the DJ cutting in prior to the end to say something snarky. The other hurdle was having to hold down the “Tracking” button to get the screen cleared up properly. And though Tracking was a fickle mistress, I gladly endured her swift and irregular mood changes. And why was I doing this? To “tape” Mark Price reigning three’s like a robot, on his way to winning back to back titles in 1993 and 1994. Or to watch Craig Hodges try to win his fourth title when he wasn’t even on an NBA roster and had to wear some weird uniform with the word “NBA” plastered where a team name should’ve been.
From 1986 to about 2000 it was won by some of the purest shooters the game has ever seen; Larry Bird, Craig Hodges, Mark Price, Steve Kerr and Jeff Hornacek to name a few. After 2000 the field and style of competitors changed. Guys who weren’t known as three point shooters began getting introduced to the mix. Some were because of name and what I’m guessing was an attempt to attract viewers with star power but some of them were true head scratchers. Guys like Jason Terry, David Wesley, Pat Garrity, Cuttino Mobley, Richard Hamilton, guys who barely shot three’s in games at all. What happened to the George McCloud’s or Tracey Murray’s or Hubert Davises?
All Star Saturday Night is less than two weeks away and the NBA hasn’t’ even announced who is competing in the Shootout, but we’ve known the dunk contest contestants for a couple weeks now. And why is that?
Is it not hyped because the league has changed so much that pure three point shooters just aren’t that important anymore in today’s league where everyone is a slasher looking to drive to the basket? Would Jim Les make an NBA roster in 2011? Would Craig Ehlo? Would Dana Barros? I think they would because if anything, the allowance of zone defense increases the need for three point specialists. Can Eddie House be in it this year, NBA? Or a guy like Shawne Williams who shoots three’s 11% better than he does two’s?
Tonight, Three Point Shoot out I’m going to go home, put on some Zubaz pants, drink some Crystal Pepsi and watch AirWolf on Netflix until the entire stash is exhausted. You know, just like the good old days, when you were still relevant. You’ll always be relevant to me, baby. I mean that.