Six shooters. One target.
ATLANTA, Feb. 7 --
During Friday afternoon's All-Star media availability session, NBA.com spoke to all the participants - Brent Barry
, Pat Garrity
, Wesley Person
, Peja Stojakovic
, Antoine Walker
and David Wesley
- in tomorrow's 1 800 CALL ATT Shootout and found a loaded, loquacious arsenal.
The good money is on a repeat from last year's champion Peja Stojakovic. To a man, all the contestants named the Kings' Peja as the favorite, but nobody was ready to concede.
Peja himself said he wouldn't mind pulling a Larry Bird - walk into the locker room and ask "Who wants to come in second?" - but he knows it won't be that easy.
"Everybody in the contest is so good. I may have won last year, but that doesn't mean anything this year."
Person With A Purpose:
Wesley didn't have to call on his big brother and former NBA marksman, Chuck Person
, for advice this year. He knows what to expect in his second time around in the 1 800 CALL ATT Shootout.
"Last year, in that first minute the adrenaline is pumping. You just have to enjoy it and don't get going too fast."
But taking it easy, and taking it lightly are two different things.
"When I leave this game, I want to be known as one of the greatest shooters ever."
Sonics forward Brent Barry comes into the 1 800 CALL ATT Shootout with even more pedigree than Wesley Person. Son of NBA Hall of Famer Rick
and brother of current Pistons guard Jon
, Barry looks at the contest as more of an exhibition, but wouldn't mind moving over his 1996 dunk title trophy to clear some space on his mantle for another trophy.
"Obviously I would like to have been here playing on Sunday, but I am proud to be here on Saturday, and I am just going to take it from there."
The Magic's Pat Garrity's cool demeanor revealed a player who had done this all before. "If you start off nervous, you are in trouble. But I know just to take it as it comes."
And while Garrity may not be anybody's favorite to take the title, the role of underdog seemed to suit him just fine.
"The contest is over so quickly, if anyone gets hot they can win it."
The versatile Celtics forward never runs out of ammo. With 123 three-point field goals in 356 three-point attempts this season, Walker ranks first in the NBA in both categories, but he knows that won't guarantee anything Saturday night.
"I've played with some great shooters - Tony Delk, Paul Pierce - so I've seen guys get hot. I just need to get hot as well."
Wes Hopes For More:
If you had fans name the top three marksmen in the NBA, David Wesley's name would probably not come up very often. But sure enough, Wesley ranks third in the NBA in three-point field goals made. This lack of respect or credit is nothing new to the Hornets guard.
"I've been fighting this all my career. When we bring new players in, I am supposed to lose my spots. When they name the great shooters in the league, my name doesn't come up. That's just how it is."
When asked what three-point moment they remember best, everyone said the image of Larry Bird shooting the final ball and putting up his finger in the air before the ball was through the basket during the 1988 All-Star Weekend. There are six itchy trigger fingers waiting to do the same on Saturday at 8 p.m. (TNT, ESPN Radio) at Philips Arena.
Notes: Barry and Peja have an informal agreement to split the winnings should they come in first and second, and donate the winnings to two charities of their choice.
Below are the 1 800 CALL ATT Shootout year-by-year winners and the roster for this year event:
|2003 1 800 CALL ATT SHOOTOUT COMPETITORS|
|David Wesley, New
(Statistics through games of Friday, February 7)
1 800 CALL ATT SHOOTOUT YEAR-BY-YEAR WINNERS
1986 -- Larry Bird, Boston
1987 -- Larry Bird, Boston
1988 -- Larry Bird, Boston
1989 -- Dale Ellis, Seattle
1990 -- Craig Hodges, Chicago
1991 -- Craig Hodges, Chicago
1992 -- Craig Hodges, Chicago
1993 -- Mark Price, Cleveland
1994 -- Mark Price, Cleveland
1995 -- Glen Rice, Miami
1996 -- Tim Legler, Washington
1997 -- Steve Kerr, Chicago
1998 -- Jeff Hornacek, Utah
2000 -- Jeff Hornacek, Utah
2001 -- Ray Allen, Milwaukee
2002 -- Peja Stojakovic, Sacramento