Fix It: Redick Deserves Chance in 2014 Three-Point Contest
By Dan Savage
February 17, 2013
ORLANDO – If the NBA makes two changes to All-Star Saturday night in 2014, it’s absolutely apparent that they should restructure the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest and finally give J.J. Redick his well-deserved chance in the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest.
Perhaps that statement is a little extreme, but it’s borderline idiotic that one of the purest shooters in basketball history hasn’t been granted a chance to display his near-perfect form on one of the league’s biggest stages.
Redick offers the complete package as a potential participant. He’s had success connecting from long range at both the college and pro level. He’s currently averaging over 15 points per game, while ranking ninth in the league in 3-pointers made (116) and 12th in attempts (288). A high percentage of his points come from beyond the arc (47.3 percent) and he strokes the three-ball efficiently (40.3 percent). He has a name. He has marketability. Heck, he even has his own basketball shooting video.
Also, Redick is one of those divisive players that people either love or – due to his success at Duke – hate and his presence in the competition would even assist in increasing the tune-in rate.
Somehow that isn’t enough. But maybe an endorsement from one of the league’s best deep-ball droppers, a two-time contest participant and a host of next year’s All-Star Game will push the decision makers over the edge.
“It’s pretty unbelievable that he hasn’t been in a three-point competition yet,” Hornets forward Ryan Anderson explained after a solid showing in the contest on Saturday. “Just how good of a shooter he is, he’d be perfect for this competition.”
Anderson speaks from experience. During his three-season stint in Orlando, he watched Redick shoot on a daily basis. And he believes the Magic guard’s mindset and form would make him an ideal candidate to walk away with the title.
“He has such a quick release,” Anderson added. “He’ll be in here eventually. I wouldn’t want to go up against him.”
Denying Redick from shooting in the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest would be like denying LeBron James from dunking in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest.
It just doesn’t make sense.
While having rising stars like Indiana’s Paul George involved in All-Star Weekend is great, it’s downright silly that a three-point shooter of that caliber earns a nod before Redick. And after George missed every ball in the first rack, air-balled a corner trey and only notched 10 points in the first round, it’s obvious there was an error in the selection process.
However the NBA has a chance to right that ship in 2014.
“I’ve wanted to do it every year,” Redick said recently during a Google+ Hangout. “But I haven’t been invited yet.”
Hopefully, he doesn’t have to say that much longer.
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