In dramatic and heroic fashion Grand Bahamian sharpshooter and shooting guard for the Sacramento Kings’ Chavano “Buddy” Hield ran away with the 2020 MTN (Mountain) Dew NBA All-Star Three-Point Contest title.
Under the bright lights of the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, the host city of the 2020 NBA All-Star festivities, Hield became the second Kings player to hoist the three-point contest’s championship.
As the final shooter in the championship round, Hield needed to match his first round total of 27 points to defeat fellow finalist and former contest champion representing the Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker.
The 65’’ Bahamian marksmen approached his “Money Ball” rack (each made shot worth two points), placed in the left corner, with 19 points and went four-for-five, sinking the final “Money Ball” at the last second to celebrate the historic accomplishment in his young career.
Booker, who seemed to be the overwhelming favorite in the final round, went second and finished second overall with 26 points. The Washington Wizards’ Davis Bertrans set the tone in the championship bracket but finished third with 22 points. The trio were nearly lights out in the first round as the only shooters to eclipse the 25-point mark.
“First of all, I want to thank God for giving me the opportunity to come out here and perform in Chicago on this All-Star Weekend,” Hield told TNT. “That’s all I’ve got to say,” the newly minted champion concluded.
In a post contest interview posted via 10th Year Seniors, Hield expressed how much the win meant to him.
“It was about coming out and representing The Bahamas as best as I can and my family.
“I thank God for giving me this win, I feel happy to be here. I was happy to show out.
“We all know I was a shooter when I was a little kid and this was on my bucket list,” he shared with a big smile on his face.
Hield came up short during the 2019 shootout. He finished third behind eventual and immediate past champion Joe Harris of the Brooklyn Nets and Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors. A year removed from last year’s performance, Hield noted he learned a lot from that breakout showing.
“I’m blessed. I did some homework and I was able to be more relaxed and focus on knocking down shots. I was able to motivate myself between a few racks and it was fun.”
Hield ranks third in the league in made three-pointers at 207, trailing the Houston Rockets’ James Harden (234) and the Portland Trailblazers’ Damian Lillard (212). The Pinedale, Eight Mile Rock native’s percentage from three-point is gradually getting back to the career 40 percent threshold he broke last year. He is currently shooting at 38.5 percent for the season as he headed into the All-Star break.
In terms of his confidence moving forward Hield shared he isn’t lacking in that regard.
“It could go either way but with the way I shoot the ball I’m always confident. I always feel I’m the best shooter on the floor no matter how I’m shooting the ball. Nothing’s going to bring me down.
“242 to the world!” he ended those comments.
The league’s All-Star break has always been highlighted by Sunday’s All-Star Game, and even the Slam Dunk competition, which climaxes All-Star Saturday night. However, with the three-point shot becoming a rich and coveted gem among teams, the competition is grabbing the spotlight more than ever before.
When asked by ESPN’s Rachel Nichols about the current trend and crop of three-point shooters, Hield understood where the game is going and is happy to be a part of that shift.
“It was a lot of pressure, but with guys and how the league is turning to three-ball a lot, it’s very valuable. To make them consistently with that pressure in that environment (three-point contest), it’s fun”
With the Kings facing a steep uphill battle to grab the final spot in the playoffs, Hield admitted winning something like the three-point contest is one of the most humbling experiences imaginable.
“Life comes at you a lot of ways and this shows how much work I put in especially where I came from. My family knows this was on my list to win. It’s a blessing.
“Hopefully this continues to give everyone at home a sign of hope that if I can do it, they can do it. Like the “Mamba Mentality,” anything is possible.”
This year’s event saw the introduction of the MTN DEW Zone, two areas to the left and right of the center rack six feet behind the three-point line. Each spot was worth three points, allowing the participants to gain a maximum score of 40 points. Hield, however, missed from that area in both rounds.
Hield joins the ranks of former player and current director of player personnel and development for the Kings Peja Stojackovic as the second Kings player to win the contest (2002 and 2003).
As the Kings look forward to the remainder of the season Hield hopes to carry this momentum over in their final push for the final playoff spot. The Kings (21-33) are seven games behind the Memphis Grizzlies who currently rank eighth at 28-26).
Hield is averaging 20.4 points per game, along with grabbing 5.0 rebounds and dishing out 3.2 assists nightly.
Hield has been working his magic for the Kings since he has taken on a “sixth man” role back on January 24. During that 10-game stretch the team saw some positive production going 6-4 over that stretch. The Kings rode a six-game losing streak before head coach Luke Walton made the roster change.
Over that stretch Hield has averaged 22.2 points, on 50.49 percent shooting from the field and 48.63 percent from three-point range and had himself two spectacular career nights.
Hield became the fastest player to sink 800 career three-pointers in a 122-102 win for the Kings over the San Antonio Spurs back on February 8. He finished with 31 points on 11-for-17 shooting from the field; nine-for-10 shooting from three-point range.
He also led the Kings to a 133-129 win over the Minnesota Timberwolve on January 27 in an emotional tribute to the late Kobe “Bean” Bryant. He finished with 42 points on 14-for-24 shooting from the field.
The Kings will open the second half of their season at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California where they will welcome the Grizzlies on February 20.
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