L.A. Lakers contingent wins RadioShack Shooting Stars
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 14
-- Call it home-halfcourt advantage.
Derek Fisher banked home a shot from just inside halfcourt for the Los Angeles Lakers squad to win the inaugural RadioShack Shooting Stars competition on All-Star Saturday Night presented by America Online.
Magic Johnson, Derek Fisher and Lisa Leslie celebrated after winning RadioShack Shooting Stars.
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images
"Ain't no pressure in my home building," he told the Staples Center crowd after the event.
For what is in effect a shooting relay, each team of three players is required to make six shots -- a 10-foot bank from the right side, a 15-footer from the left elbow, a three-pointer from the top of the arc, an 18-footer from the right baseline, a three-pointer from the left wing and a halfcourt heave.
The Lakers squad of Fisher, Sparks star Lisa Leslie and NBA legend Magic Johnson completed the circuit with a time of 43.9 seconds. Johnson and Leslie also teamed with Marko Jaric and actor Ashton Kutcher to win the Jeep All-Star Hoop-It-Up last year in Atlanta.
"It started out slow," observed Leslie. "I don't know how I missed my first shot. I was able to knock down my other shot and Magic knocked down his and Derek just nailed it for us."
The San Antonio Spurs team of Manu Ginobili, Jennifer Azzi and Steve Kerr had opened the contest, and its time of 46.0 seconds -- with Azzi nailing the halfcourt shot -- had remained the one to beat through the two succeeding rounds. The Los Angeles Clippers, featuring Jaric, Nikki Teasley and Terry Cummings clocked in at 49.8, and the Detroit Pistons, with Chauncey Billups, Cheryl Ford and John Salley finished fourth in 1:05.
Salley encountered significant trouble on the left-side three-pointer, missing about a dozen shots, throwing the ball at the rim and even attempting a layup ("Nice try," countered the public-address announcer) before finally banking one in.
But fittingly, the event belonged to Johnson, who already this week has had his statue unveiled at Staples and a three-hour tribute at the Shrine Auditorium.
"It's been amazing," said Magic, "the enthusiasm of the city and the fans in All-Star Weekend. To come here and win back-to-back -- we won the three-on-three last year -- we come back and win the shooting this year -- we represent L.A. style."