Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield took home the three-point contest trophy and Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo reigned victorious against Domantas Sabonis in the Taco Bell skills challenge.
Every shooter in the NBA wants to win the All-Star three-point contest at least once in their career and last night, it was Hield’s chance to take home the trophy. Despite a long list of superb shooters dominating the league this year, including Trae Young and Zach LaVine, the 27-year-old guard wanted to turn up, prove himself, and have fun doing it.
Hield did in this contest what most NBA athletes dream of doing during a game, he won off the back off a last-second shot:
“I felt great. Like I said earlier, as a shooter, this is on your bucket list. You have to come in, and you want to win a three-point shootout. With a stacked field like that, it makes it even better. The pressure is on, and you’ve got to show up.
“I heard the guy on the PA, the announcer, and I had 25 or 26 or something like that. I know Devin had 26, so I knew I had to make one more to top him. I was focused on. I was locked in on that part.”
However, Hield explains why the competitors kept breezing past the signature Mountain Dew shot without sinking it:
“Yeah, I didn’t care about it. When I was practising, I was like, if I focus too much on it, it’s going to mess me up. So I just sit back and relax and focus on trying to finish the five racks. If I made them, Mountain Dew ball, it was a bonus. Just focus on making those shots.”
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Representing Freeport in the Bahamas, Hield expressed what it meant to bring the three-point trophy back to his hometown:
“It means a lot. When I go back to the Bahamas, I do it for people back home. I do it for me and my family. Thank God I have the ability to do that. People back home, they enjoy this more than I do. Being from the Bahamas and getting to represent them, it means the world to them. I do it on the highest level that I can and be the role model for the kids down there, to show them, if I can do it, whatever you apply yourself in life, anything is possible.”
Hield ended the interview by dedicating his victory to the victims of category 5 Hurricane Dorian which tore through the Bahamas last September. Hield claims he is nothing without the people back home.
Heat forward Bam Adebayo also took home a first of his own last night when he beat Domantas Sabonis to the final three-point shot in the Taco Bell skills contest. The 22-year-old helped breakdown a long-standing stereotype that bigs are not the most capable three-point shooters and even has a bet with Jimmy Butler who has to pay him for each three-point attempt this season.
Talking to reporters after the event, Adebayo said: “I don’t think it’s a breakout weekend. I think it’s more of a breakout season for me. I don’t discredit what I did before the All-Star break. I feel like I deserve to be here, and just being here and proving that I just got another accolade is putting more people on notice.”
The New Jersey native has vowed to give his latest trophy to his mum as she has played an integral role in getting him to where he is today:
“I’m supposed to be finding her. She might cry because it’s a big deal. This isn’t something that you just pass along. I know it’s All-Star Weekend and we’re all having fun, but it’s competition at the end of the day. I came out and won this one, and it’s just another accolade to me.”
Adebayo and his three teammates, Derrick Jones Jr, Jimmy Butler, and Duncan Robinson were attempting to go 4-for-4 last night to turn All-Star weekend into a Miami Heat affair. Bam was the first to secure his victory, Jones came up tops in the slam dunk contest and Robinson gave it his best shot against Hield in the three-point battle.
“We’ve been down a couple of years. That’s what I like about this organization, we never stop fighting no matter what our year is like. We always come in with positive intentions and trying to find a way to win. It’s perfect that one of us started with a trophy, and we’re looking for everybody else to get one. It just shows how much talent we have on this team.”
Head over to NBA.com/ to watch the highlights from All-Star Saturday as the league prepares for its biggest competition yet, the 69th All-Star game Team Giannis vs Team LeBron tonight at 8 p.m. ET.